By Chad Quates @chadquates on April 22, 2014
Expectations were understandably low for the Colorado Rockies entering the 2014 season, and for good reason. However, the Rockies are playing some decent ball at the moment, and are scoring runs at a league-leading pace. They currently sit at 11-10 on the season, a record that puts the Rockies right in the middle of the NL West division hunt. This surprising start has produced more than a few overreactions, and here are five such examples.
The Rockies always seem to be among the league leaders in runs scored. Of course, playing half of your schedule in the altitude at Coors Field certainly helps, but the Rockies have fielded some impressive lineups over the years. The Rockies currently lead MLB in runs scored with 114 through 21 games, but although this year’s lineup is potent, they will likely not finish at the top of this category.
LaTroy Hawkins has enjoyed a lengthy career, seemingly pitching for every single MLB team at one time or another. The 41 year old is currently closing for the Rockies, and has converted his first five save opportunities. While Hawkins is still a serviceable pitcher, he is also quite hittable, and will likely blow up at some point in the season. The much younger lefty Rex Brothers will eventually reassume the closer role.
While the Rockies are playing good baseball and are within range in the NL West, it is still very early. The Rockies are going to hit, but there are entirely too many question marks in both the rotation and bullpen. A division title is not a realistic possibility, and a wildcard spot is probably not likely either. If things go well, the Rockies could conceivably flirt with .500, but anything beyond that is hubris.
After signing with the Rockies in the offseason, Justin Morneau has enjoyed hitting in Colorado, and is currently tied for the team lead with four homers. Morneau should continue to drive in runs and hit for a respectable average, but the power is no longer sustainable for the veteran. Morneau has not reached 30 homers since 2009, and will likely fall somewhere around 20, provided he stays healthy for the full season.
Charlie Blackmon is absolutely on fire right now batting leadoff for the Rockies. He is currently hitting a silly .411, and is filling the stat sheet in other categories as well. This will be the first full season of action for Blackmon with the big club, and while the 27 year old will be productive at the top of a dynamic Rockies’ order, the robust batting average is simply unsustainable.
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