The Coors Effect

June 8, 2009 11:24 AM

Are the Rockies turning a corner?

The Rockies won their fourth game in a row today, and the offensive outburst over the last four games has really been impressive: the team has scored 38 runs to just 10 by the opposition.  In fact, since Jim Tracy took over as manager, the Rockies are 6-4 -- not great by any stretch, but better than they had been playing.  That's all come, by the way, with Chris Iannetta out of action.

I still don't buy into the effects of a midseason managerial change having a great effect on the team.  But it's still apparent that the Rockies have been playing better of late.  Some of that seems inevitable: so many Rockies hitters were underperforming previously that the team was bound to see some uptick.

So which players have been key to the Rockies' recent rebound?

Ian Stewart
Actually, Stewart really started hitting this weekend: over the team's last five games, Stewart has 12 hits, including three doubles and four homers.  Stewart was already hitting for power (.227 ISO power through the end of May), but the last few games have seen his batting average rise 60 points -- from a terrible .177 to an acceptable, though certainly not great, .237.

Clint Barmes
When Jim Tracy took over, he seemed to imply that Barmes would be getting less playing time -- he wanted to see if Garrett Atkins could turn things around, he wanted to get more at bats for Stewart, he wanted Quintanilla to see the field every once in a while.  Of course, with Troy Tulowitzki missing a few games due to injury last week, Tracy had to play Barmes at short, and Barmes delivered.  In the ten games since Tracy took over, Barmes has seven multi-hit games -- his batting average going from .234 to .285 in the process.  Maybe Barmes took exception to Tracy wanting to give away his playing time.

Brad Hawpe
Not that Hawpe has ever hit poorly this season -- his batting average hasn't been below .300 since April 25 -- but he's hit safely in all nine games he's played since Tracy took over.

What should we expect from here?  It's too late for the Rockies to make any noise in the playoff race, but the Rockies could battle and come out with a respectable record to end the season.

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