Rockies hopeful new faces will help keep team afloat in Washington

Jul 11, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman (34) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies find themselves at a critical point of the 2019 season. With a record of 47-52, the Rockies are within striking distance of a Wild Card spot, but due to the mediocre nature of the National League this season, they are also reasonably close to the cellar.

With the July trade deadline looming, the Rockies have just a few games remaining to decide if they want to make run for the postseason or regroup of for next year.

The Rockies are currently fighting for their baseball livelihood. The club snapped a six-game losing streak and fended off a sweep by the New York Yankees after a critical victory Sunday afternoon.

The team now heads to Washington for the second of three series on their current season-long road trip.

The Nationals have played solid baseball as of late and are currently penciled in as the first Wild Card in the NL with a 52-46 record.

The Rockies made a flurry of moves towards the end of their series versus the Yankees, designating veteran Mark Reynolds for assignment after he hit a measly .170 in 135 at-bats.

In addition, Antonio Senzatela was optioned to Triple-A after struggling all season, pitching to a 6.87 earned run average while opponents hit well above .300 against him.

The Rockies mysteriously opted to stand pat during the offseason, choosing to roll the dice on payers within the organization such as Senzatela, Tyler Anderson, Mike Dunn, Chris Rusin, Seunghwan Oh, Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson to pick up the void left by the departure of players.

So what now? Nearly every facet of the Rockies’ offseason plan has crumbled, and all that’s left standing are the club’s core of star players in Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and David Dahl.

The pitching staff’s flaws have been catastrophic, and at this point, the club is trying to slap a bandaid on an open wound.

Colorado called up two pitchers in place of Senzatela and Reynolds, Sam Howard and Jeff Hoffman, seemingly extinguishing the rest of their pitching depth in Triple-A.

Rockies’ fans have become accustomed to seeing Hoffman at the major league level a few times throughout the season. The 26-year-old has bounced around between Triple-A and the big league club and has pitched to a 6.75 ERA this season.

This will be Howard’s first stint with the big league club of the year. He was called up after posting a 3.83 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 44.2 innings out of the bullpen for the Isotopes this season.

Between the bullpen and rotation, the Rockies pitching staff has been a revolving door of internal talent that has been unable to keep the team afloat.

Manager Bud Black says Hilliard and Hoffman will be deployed out of the bullpen, for now, leaving Colorado’s rotation with Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Jon Gray and Peter Lambert. That group has combined for a 5.70 ERA this season.

As August continues to approach rapidly, the Rockies find themselves in the danger zone. If the teams pitching does not improve dramatically, 2019 will become a lost season for Colorado.

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