Rockies News and Notes

There are only three games today in Major League Baseball and the Colorado Rockies get to play in one of them. What an honor. While the other teams slack off on a Thursday, let's give them our all. So, what better time than now for Rockies news and notes?

Leading off with good news, Carlos Gonzalez hit three home runs in the Rockies' 13-5 drubbing of the Astros at Coors Field last night. It was the 13th time in franchise history that a player hit three home runs in a single game for Colorado, the first since Jason Giambi accomplished that feat on May 19th of last year at Philadelphia. It was the fourth time this season that Gonzalez has hit at least two home runs in a single game, which leads all of baseball. Gonzalez currently leads the National League with 117 total bases and 41 runs scored and his 1.020 OPS is on pace for a career high. The miserable start for the team hasn't affected Gonzalez' play as he continues the quest to make his first All-Star team. He won't get there without the fans, of course, but right now he's doing everything he possibly can.

Unfortunately, there's also some bad news to report today. It seems very likely that starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will be placed on the disabled list after leaving last night's game with a strained left groin in the sixth inning. Tulowitzki wasn't having quite a typical season for him just yet, but he was heating up recently hitting .389/.436/.833 over his last nine games before the injury. In a season where very little has gone right for Colorado, they now have to deal with another bad break as their shortstop injured himself running out a ground ball.

It's unclear what the Rockies will do with the lineup in Tulowitzki's absence, but it's likely that Marco Scutaro will take over at short with Eric Young at second base. In a candid interview with Dave Krieger, a Colorado sports talk show host, Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd talked about the transformation from Eric Young last year to this year. Clearly, the organization still thinks highly of and believes in this player.

The only issue is that Young's numbers, in a sample of just 52 plate appearances in 34 games, are almost exactly the same as they were last year in 77 games. In '11 his line was .247/.342/.298. This year, he's hitting .244/.346/.311. As you can see, Young's batting average and on-base percentage are within a measly few points of where he was last year while his slugging percentage still manages to not even scrape his on-base. If there's any transformation going on here, I'm just not seeing it. 

More likely is that O'Dowd is clinging to this team's offensive success, which he did throughout the interview. O'Dowd also acknowledged that some of his moves really haven't worked out for the offense, like Scutaro and Casey Blake. He also added that the team may be interested in bringing Scutaro back for next season. He is pleased with the development of young players like Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario

O'Dowd's assessment of the club's pitching was interesting. He was counting on lots of innings from Jeremy Guthrie and Jhoulys Chacin, who have combined to allow 44 earned runs in 65 innings before their respective injuries. After that, nothing has been able to fall into place. The best pitcher in the rotation currently is Juan Nicasio, who has a 5.11 ERA. That's the Rockies in a nutshell right now, folks. 

The Rockies announced after last night's game that left-hander Josh Outman will get the start Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Outman hasn't exactly been stretched out, so it's likely that right-handed pitcher Carlos Torres will also see the mound on Friday. Outman hasn't made a ton of headlines this season, but is most famous for having injured his oblique during Spring Training while vomiting. 

The last piece of news I have for you today is really great news. Tyler Matzek has been pitching his butt off for High-A Modesto recently. Last night he threw eight innings of one run ball, allowing just three hits and only one walk. He also struck out a season high nine batters. He's pitched three excellent games in a row now and is suddenly sporting a 2.64 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 58 innings. It's safe to say he's regained his prospect status and then some. The development of Matzek and Christian Friedrich is very important for the organization as we've seen how hard it is to get established pitchers to come here. 

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