Rockies Look to Get Healthy on Home Cooking

Bob LockeContributor IApril 25, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 11:  Infielders Garrett Atkins #27, Troy Tulowitzki #2, Todd Helton #17 and Clint Barmes #12 of the Colorado Rockies wait for pitcher Jason Grilli to warm up against the Philadelphia Phillies as he enters the game during MLB action at Coors Field on April 11, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Phillies defeated the Rockies 8-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

After 14 games, the Colorado Rockies' record sits at 5-9, and they're last in the NL West. The mark doesn't really surprise me, all things considered (I predicted them at 6-8 after their opening stretch), but how they have gotten there does.

Starting pitchers Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez, counted on to anchor the rotation, have ERAs of 10.22 and 6.00, respectively, through three starts apiece. Cook has lasted just 12.1 innings and allowed 22 hits and five homeruns; Jimenez has 16 strikeouts in his 15 innings, but also 13 walks.

Jorge de la Rosa has an 0-2 record to show for his last two stellar efforts thanks to a bullpen meltdown followed by a shut out of the offense. A starting pitcher deserves better when he goes 12 innings and only allows two earned runs. Overall, de la Rosa has a 3.78 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched.

At least Jason Marquis sports a 2-1 record (and a 4.26 ERA) through his three starts and 19 innings. But his last outing was by far his worst, as he gave up six earned runs to Arizona in five innings.

Jason Hammel will take a turn or two in the rotation with Franklin Morales on the DL after injuring his shoulder warming up in his last start in Arizona.

Huston Street has been replaced by Manuel Corpas as the closer, and Jason Grilli is now slated for most of the eighth-inning work. Manager Clint Hurdle continues to look for outs in the sixth and seventh innings, as so far no one has stepped up on a consistent basis.

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The big issues with the staff are too many walks (54) and home runs allowed (22).

As a result, the team WHIP is 1.647 and ERA+ is only 83; these are definitely not winning numbers.

After scoring 44 runs in the first eight games, the Rockies have tallied a meager 23 runs in the last six contests and gone 1-5 in the process.

The cumulative team batting line to date is .243/.318/.436 (.754 OPS). In 14 games, Rockies' batters have racked up 119 strikeouts to only 49 walks.

Brad Hawpe and Ian Stewart have been the most consistent threats at the plate thus far, and Stewart has seen his playing time increase as a result.

Dexter Fowler has also gotten more time as he continues to produce. His three steals lead the club.

But two players in particular have faltered mightily: Chris Iannetta and Troy Tulowitzki.

Tulo drew six walks in the first six games but none since, and has watched as his batting average has droppped to a paltry .196.

Iannetta has opened the season with a 3-for-39 (.097) effort and is likely to see Yorvit Torrealba eat into his time behind the plate unless he gets it going quickly.

There's plenty of blame to go around at this stage, but pointing fingers isn't going to solve any problems. The bottom line is this team must improve in all aspects of the game, immediately or risk slipping out of touch with the division leaders.

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