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Rockies Continue to Push for Postseason Appearance

Brendan Jordan, Sports Editor

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The Colorado Rockies shocked all of the Major Baseball League this season with their tremendous start and continued success. Five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and former first baseman for the Rockies, Todd Helton quoted “I’m a little jealous that I wasn’t on this team.”

Over time, the Rockies have developed an ongoing reputation of “the upsetters,” making the playoffs only three times in their 22 year history. Although the Rockies look to have good starts to their seasons, they quickly fall short when the time to shine comes. However, this 2017 bout seems to be a good one for the Rockies, as they’ve managed a 79-65 record as of Sept. 12. Led by third baseman Nolan Arenado, center fielder Charlie Blackmon, and pitchers Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, and Chad Bettis, the Rockies look to be in pretty good shape as the final playoff push nears closer and closer.

The Rockies have had career years by multiple players so far this season. Most notably, third baseman Nolan Arenado has turned into an extreme competitor on both the offensive and defensive sides of the field. Whilst having the pressure of being considered one of, if not the best third basemen to ever play the game, Arenado has so far racked up 171 hits, 123 RBIs, and 33 home runs while maintaining a .311 batting average up to Sept. 12.

Alongside him is center fielder Charlie Blackmon, who is entering his sixth season with the Rockies. Blackmon has taken over the starting position in center field and has solidified his position as the lead off batter in the Rockies’ lineup. Managing a .338 batting average, posting 196 hits and 34 home runs up to Sept 12, Blackmon appeared in his second All-Star game in his career and participated in the 2017 Home Run Derby.

Surprisingly, the Rockies bullpen isn’t as terrible this year as it has been in the previous years. Led by “The Gray Wolf” John Gray, the Rockies have had consistent pitching throughout the 2017 season. Rookie pitcher Kyle Freeland pitched a no-hitter up to the very last out of the game against the Chicago White Sox on July 9, and Jeff Hoffman earned himself a spot in the 2017 MLB All-Star game.

Quickly addressing the trade deadline, I believe the Rockies picked up two solid assets to this young team. In a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies on July 26, the Rockies acquired right-handed pitcher Pat Neshek in exchange for three prospects. Neshek is a veteran pitcher of ten years that brings knowledge and experience to the young Rockies bullpen, knowledge and experience that these young pitchers could use to develop into great pitchers. Neshek has maintained a 2.76 ERA in his 488 games pitched as of.

Additionally, the Rockies acquired one more key player to the team. In a trade with the Texas Rangers on July 30, the Rockies acquired 7-year veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy in exchange for outfielder Pedro Gonzalez. Although Gonzalez was considered one of the hottest players available on the international market in 2015, the Rockies used him as an asset to acquire another strong veteran presence in Lucroy to help out the bullpen. Lucroy has so far racked up 942 hits and 453 RBIs in his 7 year career.

Evaluating the Rockies at this point in the year, I can confidently say that we have a consistent playoff contending team coming into the makings. The Rockies will continue to push for their appearance in the postseason this year, and it is now fully expected of them to become World Series competitors in the near future. Hopefully, Rockies fans can officially say that the long years of struggling are gone, and the dog days are finally over.

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Rockies Continue to Push for Postseason Appearance