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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|
Source: Stats, Inc