They're back: Desi and Cargo Are Stars of Rockies July Show

In the opening weeks of the season, when the Rockies were struggling through an inconsistent time, Ian Desmond and Carlos Gonzalez drew the brunt of the criticism from certain segments of the media and the fan base. 

Rockies manager Bud Black preached patience.

There is, as the late-Jim Fregosi would often say, a reason the back of their baseball cards were cluttered with numbers -- because they had a track record for producing runs.

And there were issues both players had to deal with. Desmond had made some adjustements in his approach at the plate in search of increasing his power, and Gonzalez was among the free agents sitting at home without a contract when spring training started, finally coming to agreement with the Rockies but not until the exhibition season was underway.

There were two reasons for a belief that both Desmond and Gonzalez would be just fine.

For one, they both remained strong factors in the clubhouse. They weren't feeling sorry for themselves. They were making sure their teammates kept a focus on the job at hand.

The other, is they both had a history of being big-time performers.

History has become reality.

The Rockies are enjoying the best July in the National League, they find themselves just two games back of the NL West-leading Dodgers, and a half-game back of the Diamondbacks in the bid for the second NL wild-card spot.

And while they have been overshadowed by Nolan Arenado taking over the NL lead in home runs, and a pitching staff that has the second lowest ERA in MLB for the month of July, Desmond and Gonzalez have played critical parts in the Rockies resurgence.

It's been a step-by-step ascension, but both have shown steady improvement each month of the season.

On the Upswing

Gonzalez
Monthly G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Mar/Apr 21 73 69 8 17 2 1 3 11 3 17 .246
May 19 67 60 4 16 2 0 2 8 6 17 .267
June 24 92 84 18 24 7 1 2 10 8 22 .286
July 19 77 73 19 26 9 0 5 16 3 14 .356
Desmond
Monthly G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Mar/Apr 29 109 101 10 18 4 0 4 13 5 27 .154
May 25 101 93 14 20 4 1 5 15 6 27 .215
June 27 106 88 20 23 1 1 8 19 17 32 .261
July 20 82 78 11 26 3 3 2 12 4 15 .333

With the revival of Gonzalez and Desomond, the Rockies have six players hitting better than .290 in the month of July -- leaving one outfield position and catcher as the only missing ingredients in the staring lineup. Recent call up. Tom Murphy leads catchers at .240.Gerardo Parra, the third starting outfielder, has hit .216 in July.

Celebrate the 4th

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG
Charlie Blackmon 20 80 18 29 8 0 6 12 .363
Carlos Gonzalez 19 73 19 26 9 0 5 16 .356
Trevor Story 19 72 7 25 6 1 4 10 .347
Ian Desmond 20 78 11 26 3 3 2 12 .333
Nolan Arenado 20 75 15 24 4 0 7 18 .320
DJ LeMahieu 13 55 10 16 6 0 0 4 .291
Tom Murphy 12 25 2 6 2 1 1 3 .240
Pat Valaika 9 21 3 5 0 0 1 2 .238
Garrett Hampson 6 17 1 4 1 1 0 2 .235
Raimel Tapia 14 18 4 4 2 0 1 5 .222
Gerardo Parra 19 51 8 11 2 0 0 5 .216
Tony Wolters 7 21 4 4 0 3 0 7 .190
Noel Cuevas 12 27 3 5 0 0 1 3 .185
Chris Iannetta 12 33 2 4 0 0 1 2 .121

Five of the Rockies are among the top 23 in the NL in batting average for July. Charlie Blackmon is seventh in the NL, but leads the team. Carlos Gonzalez is ninth in the NL, Trevor Story 11th, and Desmond is 14th, and Arenado is 23nd.

Player Team AVG
Jesse Winker Cin .442
Christian Yelich Mil .402
Corey Dickerson Pit .400
Yasmani Grandal LAD .390
Jose Peraza Cin .368
Starling Marte Pit .364
Charlie Blackmon Col .363
David Freese Pit .362
Carlos Gonzalez Col .356
Yadier Molina StL .355
Trevor Story Col .347
Lorenzo Cain Mil .338
Daniel Murphy Was .338
Ian Desmond Col .333
Javier Baez ChC .330
J.T. Realmuto Mia .329
Josh Bell Pit .329
Adam Eaton Was .329
Yairo Munoz StL .327
Daniel Descalso Ari .324
Paul Goldschmidt Ari .322
Austin Hedges SD .321
Nolan Arenado Col .320

As a team, the Rockies lead the NL -- and are tied with the Yankees for the MLB lead -- in average during July. They have hit .283 while the Dodgers, second among NL West teams, are hitting .266 followed by the Diamondbacks (.261) and and the Padres (.225) are 14th among the 15 NL teams.

Swing of Things

Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG
Rockies 20 683 109 193 43 9 30 104 .283
Pirates 24 813 122 227 44 8 34 118 .279
Cardinals 23 798 121 215 42 3 28 118 .269
Cubs 23 791 113 212 43 2 22 107 .268
Dodgers 23 804 123 214 44 4 32 114 .266
Nationals 23 807 115 213 28 5 30 112 .264
D-backs 23 808 115 211 48 6 18 108 .261
Reds 22 757 114 197 40 2 24 108 .260
Marlins 22 780 96 201 24 3 20 89 .258
Brewers 25 850 107 210 33 7 26 103 .247
Braves 20 682 78 167 40 3 17 76 .245
Phillies 23 810 110 192 30 4 32 108 .237
Giants 22 757 77 174 39 2 12 69 .23
Padres 22 756 80 170 30 3 22 74 .225
Mets 22 711 92 156 34 4 20 84 .219

Given the Rockies not only lead the NL with a 15-5 record in July, but they have a 3.19 ERA (second lowesst in the NL) it's no surprise they have a chance to be a critical part of the NL West race down the stretch. 

Armed and Ready

Team W L Pct SvOP ERA
Rockies 15 5 .75o 8-10 3.19
Dodgers 16 7 .696 12-13 2.96
Pirates 16 8 .667 8-9 4.37
Cubs 14 9 .609 9-11 4.63
Phillies 14 9 .609 7-8 3.41
Reds 12 10 .545 7-12 4.90
Brewers 13 12 .520 8-12 3.79
Marlins 11 11 .500 4-9 5.11
Yankees 11 11 .500 6-7 4.13
D-backs 11 12 .478 5-11 4.34
Cardinals 11 12 .478 6-9 4.57
Nationals 10 13 .435 3-4 4.41
Giants 8 14 .364 3-8 4.05
Braves 7 13 .350 3-3 4.94
Padres 5 17 .227 2-3 5.73
Tracy RingolsbyComment