One thing is certain for this year’s Colorado Rockies: Ubaldo Jimenez is the star of the team.
Jimenez was credited for one run on two hits in his last start against the Los Angeles Dodgers and it was one of his worst starts of the season. His ERA went up and he took the loss.
That’s right: two hits, one earned run, one loss, and an ERA still under 1.00.
If the playoffs started today, Jimenez would win the National League Cy Young Award.
The rest of the team? Not as impressive…
Entering the season, the Rockies were seen as a team that could compete for a pennant in the National League. While the Phillies added Roy Halladay and the Cardinals brought back Matt Holliday for a full season, the Rockies’ young nucleus was supposed to take another leap forward in 2010.
It hasn’t happened.
Troy Tulowitzki’s power has all but disappeared. Chris Iannetta played his way onto the Triple-A squad. Clint Barmes is struggling to get his on base percentage over .300. Todd Helton looks like a shadow of his former self.
The list goes on.
The Rockies pitching staff, thought to be one of the deepest in the league, has been riddled with injuries. The only two starters that remain from spring training are Jimenez and veteran Aaron Cook, who has been one of the worst pitchers in all of baseball this year.
Here is a team that people thought would have legitimate contact and power hitters at every position on the diamond. Instead, the Rockies lineup has toiled in mediocrity.
Here is a team that didn’t seem to have a single hole on its pitching staff. Instead, Colorado tosses out Esmil Rogers and Greg Smith two out of every five games and can’t find a reliable power arm to close out games.
You wonder how the team has stayed near the .500 mark this far into the season. And then you remember Ubaldo Jimenez.
No one player has meant more to his team this year than Jimenez, who owns six of the Rockies' 15 wins.
Just think, if this guy started every game for the Rockies, the team would be sitting at a crisp 27-4. We can only dream.
Chances are, Jimenez won’t stay on this pace all season. If he doesn’t, the rest of the team needs to step up. If they can’t, there are going to be some big changes in Denver come July 31 and Rockies fans can prepare for an October filled with San Francisco Giants baseball.