Mgr. Jim Tracy #4
2011 record 73-89
Fourth Place, NL West
On paper the Rockies appeared to be contenders in the NL West, boasting one of the league’s most potent batting orders, including outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who led the league with a .336 average and 197 hits in 2010, as well as mainstay Todd Helton and slugging shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Staff ace Ubaldo Jiminez fronted a formidable rotation that also included lefty Jorge De La Rosa.
The Rockies burst from the gate, winning eight of the first 10 games and occupied first place for the first six weeks of the season but sputtered from there and failed to return to the top.
LaRosa won his first four starts but Jiminez, who won his first six starts in 2010, did not record a victory until June 1.
At 38-37 on June 24, it would be the last time the Rockies would post a winning record during the season.
Helton had his typical first-half of the season, knocking 10 home runs with a .321 average but dropped off after the All-Star break eventually succumbing to a chronic sore back that has plagued him for the better part of the past decade. Once among the most prolific sluggers in the majors, Helton’s home run totals have been in decline since 2002 in direct correlation with the use of humidors that the Rockies have used to store baseballs in at Coors Field as a means of tempering the effect that Denver’s high altitude and arid climate have had on balls hit high in the air.
Tulowitzki continues to be the big cog in the Rockies machine, leading the team in all three of the Triple Crown categories last year with 30 home runs, 105 RBI and a .305 average.
The Rockies .258 team batting-average was fourth best in the National League but the pitching staff’s 4.43 ERA was second worst only to the lowly Houston Astros who were also the only team to surrender more runs than Colorado’s 774.
Starter Jorge De La Rosa was 5-2 in his first 10 starts of the season when he suffered a complete tear of his ulnar collateral ligament while pitching against Arizona on May 24, requiring Tommy John surgery that will keep him sidelined until May or June. In the meantime the Rockies have signed 49-year-old Jamie Moyer to a minor league contract adding a veteran influence to a very young pitching staff. Fourteen players on the Rockies current roster were not even born when Moyer made his big league debut in 1986.
Arrivals: 3B Casey Blake, LHP Jamie Moyer,
Departures: RP Houston Street, 3B Ty Wigginton
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