Despite struggles, Rockies can still make a run in 2020

Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story (27) and second baseman Garrett Hampson (1) celebrate after both scored during the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum.

The 2020 season has been a bit of a crapshoot for all 30 MLB clubs. From teams revealing positive COVID-19 cases to the Toronto Blue Jays playing in Buffalo, New York, 2020 has not gone exactly according to plan.

The Colorado Rockies are no exception.

After jumping out to a ferocious 12-3 start, Colorado has cooled off considerably. The middle of August was a tough stretch for the club as the Rockies lost 11 games in about two weeks, which resulted in a free-fall in the standings.

The Rockies went from having the best record in the game at one point to being a middle-of-the-pack club teetering with another mid-season collapse.

Colorado’s offense hasn’t lived up to expectations so far in 2020. While the Rockies have posted a collective .263 batting average this season, they have struggled to capitalize with runners in scoring position and other critical moments. While the numbers may seem decent on the surface, the Rockies’ offense has underperformed compared to years past.

Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story have been sharp, but they’ve been needed to compensate for shortcomings within Colorado’s lineup, especially from Nolan Arenado.

The Rockies’ star third baseman has struggled to get going in 2020, batting just .258 with seven home runs and 20 RBI. Nolan has been a shell of himself at the plate this year, and it’s affected the Rockies considerably.

Since August 14, the Rockies have only scored five or more runs in a game four times. Even when the Rockies have won recently, it’s been by a razor-thin margin, and usually involves some sort of meltdown from the bullpen.

However, despite the hot start, fall from grace, and Arenado’s slump, Colorado is still in a prime position to salvage the season, and potentially back into a spot in the postseason.

Colorado’s hopes of winning the division are long gone, but they could contend for a wild-card spot in the National League. As it stands, the Rockies are 17-16, and if the season ended today, Colorado would be the second Wild Card in the NL.

The Rockies have a half-game lead on the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies, and if Colorado could manage to play around .500 ball the rest of the way, the Rox could end up with a spot in the big dance.

Colorado is just two games back of the San Diego Padres for the top Wild Card spot. With the shortened season and adverse conditions, the two WC spots are totally up for grabs.

Despite their struggles, the Rockies are a solid bunch. They still have a majority of their core players from the teams that went to the postseason in 2017 and 2018, and the starting rotation has been relatively reliable compared to years past.

Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela have been especially crisp this year, and Jon Gray has picked up where he left off last season.

German Marquez has been a bit up and down, but he is still the most proven of the bunch. Even youngster Ryan Castellani has been a welcomed addition to the backend of Colorado’s rotation.

The Rockies rotation is not overpowering, but rather serviceable, which is all you can ask for when you are the Colorado Rockies.

The bullpen is another story, but some arms have shown a glimmer of potential. Still, if the Rockies want to contend for the postseason, their bullpen will need a bit of tender love and care.

Colorado has been at opposite ends of the spectrum throughout the season so far, but the club is still in a solid position to finish the year strong if they can get their heads on straight.

The Rockies are winners in four of their last five games, and are set to play a pair against the Padres Sunday and Monday. With 27 games remaining, it’s time for the Rockies to settle back into a groove if they decide they to play past September 27 and return to the postseason.