The Rockies entered play on Sunday 7.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. The Rox are four games under .500 and that is after winning back-to-back ball games to start the weekend against the Washington Nationals.
Since the start of the 2010 season the Rockies are an even 126-126.
Before the 2010 season the Rockies were almost a unanimous pick among experts to win the NL West and some even picked them to go to the World Series. Unfortunately the team that had built a reputation as a strong finisher finished weak in losing 13 of their last 14 games. Heading into 2011 the Rox weren’t quite as heavy favorites but still picked by many to rise to the top of the NL West. They cannot even tread water.
Last year a major part of the Rockies struggles lied on the road where they were 19 games under .500. In 2011 most of their struggles have come against the better teams in baseball.
Going into play on Sunday the Rockies were 15-29 against teams that were either in 1st or 2nd place in their division and 28-18 against all other teams. Teams like the Atlanta Braves this week have given the Rockies major troubles and worse yet are the Rockies struggles against the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants in 2011; the two teams battling for first place in the West.
It isn’t just the teams that are the cream of the crop either, it is teams in general that are good. Going into play on Sunday the Rockies were 23-35 against teams above .500 and 19-13 against teams under .500.
The list of holes in the Rockies roster and team philosophy is suddenly growing long, but it all comes down to competing against teams within your division and holding your own against the best teams in baseball. The Rockies struggle to do both.
At this point there is no reason to think that the Rockies are playoff contenders. And if they somehow found their way into the playoffs there is certainly no reason to think they can win in the playoffs. They cannot beat the teams that do look playoff bound.
The bright spot is that there are still about 70 games left in the 2011 season and a lot can happen. The Rockies will be tested immediately coming out of the All-Star break as they will face the Milwaukee Brewers (48-43, tied for 1st in NL Central) and the Braves (54-37, 2nd in NL East and fresh off of four game sweep of the Rox).
It is safe to say that it will take 90 wins to get into the playoffs in 2011 as the Braves, Giants and East leading Philadelphia Phillies all have more than 50 wins and each team is on pace for 90 wins. For the Rockies to reach 90 wins they will need to win 47 of their remaining 71 games. This means they need to win 66% of their games the remainder of the season.
Not to end on a real downer but there is not one team in all of baseball that has played baseball with a winning percentage of even 63% so far in 2011.
The first rumor that the Rockies are receiving calls on the availability of Ubaldo Jimenez has surfaced and if Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd is realistic in looking at the Rockies 2011 season he should be open to offers. Jimenez should easily fetch two or three top prospects and possibly even one or two more system players.