Can Rockies Turn April Showers into May Flowers?

The calendar turned to May on Tuesday.

The Rockies can only hope they can put April in their rear view window.

It was a struggle, but the good news, from the Rockies standpoint, is as bad as the stats were in the opening month of the season they woke up on May 1 with every reason to feel their spring hopes of being a factor come October are still every much alive.

They do go into Tuesday's game against the Cubs at Coors Field with a 15-15 record, in third place in the NL West.

It's nothing to celebrate, but there's no reason to mourn a season wasted.

This is a team that suffered through the worst offensive start in franchise history. discounting the 1995 season in which the Rockies only played five April games because of a player strike that forced delay to the start of the season.

The Rockies .225 batting average and .301 on-base percentage at the end of April ranks 25th out of 25, and the .381 slugging percentage is 24th. Their 277 strikeouts are 56 more than the franchise has ever had by the end of April.

"Offensively, we are looking for an improvement," manager Bud Black said in the aftermath of a 3-2 loss to the Cubs. "We're not the team that is shown in the stat sheet right now."

Season G SO AVG OBP SLG
1997 24 153 0.316 0.391 0.512
2001 24 158 0.309 0.37 0.537
1998 28 147 0.302 0.361 0.459
2005 21 124 0.295 0.348 0.435
2014 29 191 0.293 0.343 0.48
2006 25 172 0.29 0.359 0.479
2000 25 129 0.283 0.357 0.457
2013 27 194 0.282 0.348 0.464
2015 21 154 0.28 0.322 0.443
2003 27 205 0.28 0.367 0.481
2004 21 161 0.279 0.359 0.507
1996 25 188 0.278 0.353 0.443
2016 23 186 0.278 0.341 0.498
1994 22 153 0.275 0.339 0.484
1993 22 99 0.274 0.328 0.407
2010 23 177 0.272 0.344 0.452
1999 19 109 0.269 0.337 0.418
2009 20 155 0.262 0.347 0.444
2002 26 194 0.261 0.331 0.397
2007 26 185 0.261 0.345 0.366
2012 22 153 0.26 0.324 0.438
2008 28 199 0.248 0.324 0.381
2017 26 221 0.247 0.31 0.44
2011 25 202 0.236 0.319 0.388
2018 30 277 0.224 0.301 0.377

Source: Stats, Inc.

But they are 15-15. That's the 11th best record at the end of April in franchise history. It is a lower winning percentage than 1995, when they advanced to the post-season for the first time, and last year, when they lost to the Diamondbacks in the wild-card matchup. It, however, is a better opening month than 2007, when they made their only World Series appearance, and 2009, the other time they advanced to the post-season.

Season W L Pct
1995 4 1 0.8
1997 17 7 0.708
2011 17 8 0.68
2017 16 10 0.615
2006 15 10 0.6
2013 16 11 0.593
2003 15 12 0.556
2014 16 13 0.552
2001 13 11 0.542
2015 11 10 0.524
2018 15 15 0.5
2012 11 11 0.5
2010 11 12 0.478
2016 11 12 0.478
1999 9 10 0.474
1994 10 12 0.455
2000 11 14 0.44
1996 11 14 0.44
1998 12 16 0.429
2004 9 12 0.429
2009 8 12 0.4
2008 11 17 0.393
2007 10 16 0.385
2002 10 16 0.385
1993 8 14 0.364

The offensive struggle is a team effort. Nolan Arenado is the only player with 50 plate appearances hitting .300. Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu are the only ones hitting .250 or better. Arenado's team-best batting average of .310 ties him for 69th all-time at the end of April among Rockies. Who is he tied with? Well, himself, from the 2014 season.

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG
Nolan Arenado 25 87 12 27 5 1 4 13 16 19 0.31 0.413 0.529
DJ LeMahieu 27 107 17 31 8 0 5 12 13 15 0.29 0.367 0.505
Charlie Blackmon 25 96 22 27 3 0 9 17 11 24 0.281 0.367 0.594
Carlos Gonzalez 21 69 8 17 2 1 3 11 3 17 0.246 0.274 0.435
Trevor Story 30 106 12 25 4 1 6 19 13 38 0.236 0.328 0.462
Gerardo Parra 25 81 11 18 3 0 1 4 7 13 0.222 0.284 0.296
Chris Iannetta 21 74 8 16 3 0 2 8 9 22 0.216 0.301 0.338
Ryan McMahon 28 50 3 9 1 0 0 3 10 22 0.18 0.317 0.2
Ian Desmond 29 101 10 18 4 0 4 13 5 27 0.178 0.229 0.337
Pat Valaika 26 52 1 5 3 0 0 1 3 14 0.096 0.145 0.154

The pitching has been solid, the overall numbers a bit misleading in light of the fact they have allowed two or fewer runs in 12 games, winning all 12. The overall ERA of 4.52 is the ninth lowest at the end of April in franchise history.

Season W L ERA
2011 17 8 3.53
2013 16 11 3.75
1995 4 1 3.86
2010 11 12 3.9
2014 16 13 4.19
2006 15 10 4.42
2008 11 17 4.47
2007 10 16 4.49
2018 15 15 4.52
2012 11 11 4.57
2017 16 10 4.58
1997 17 7 4.61
2015 11 10 4.62
1993 8 14 4.78
2002 10 16 4.92
2003 15 12 5.22
2001 13 11 5.26
2009 8 12 5.46
2016 11 12 5.5
1999 9 10 5.67
1994 10 12 5.71
2000 11 14 6.17
2004 9 12 6.27
1996 11 14 6.33
1998 12 16 6.47
2005 6 15 6.55

Source: Stats, Inc.

Chad Bettis has a 2.43 ERA, the second lowest in franchise history at the end of April for a Rockies starters with at least 10 innings pitched. Jhoulys Chacin set the franchise record at 1.46 in 2013. Adam Ottavino, meanwhile, has the second lowest ERA in franchise history at the end of April at 0.56, behind only the scoreless April he enjoyed in 2015. 

Starters W L ERA Relievers W L SvOP IP SO ERA
Chad Bettis 3 1 2.43 Harrison Musgrave 0 0 0 1 1 0
Tyler Anderson 1 0 4.1 Brooks Pounders 0 0 0 2 2 0
Kyle Freeland 1 4 4.24 Adam Ottavino 3 0 0-1 16 30 0.56
German Marquez 1 3 5.14 Wade Davis 0 0 10-11 11.1 14 2.38
Jon Gray 2 4 5.79 Jake McGee 0 1 0-1 11.1 11 4.76
Chris Rusin 0 0 0 12.2 11 4.97
Scott Oberg 1 0 0-1 11 10 6.55
Bryan Shaw 1 1 0-1 14.2 13 6.75
Mike Dunn 0 0 0 7.2 5 10.57

Source: Stats, Inc