DENVER -- The Rockies have won five straight because of standout starting pitching, but the offense, which hasn't found its groove, generates questions for this week's Inbox.Let's take a look at some of your questions:
DENVER -- The Rockies have won five straight because of standout starting pitching, but the offense, which hasn't found its groove, generates questions for this week's Inbox.
Let's take a look at some of your questions:
Raimel Tapia homered four times in the first seven games with Triple-A Albuquerque this season, but he was struggling with strikeouts -- 15 in his first 11 games. He has been far better over his past 18 games -- .346 with 18 runs scored, one homer, seven doubles and two triples. Now it's just simply a matter of finding a place for him. He's in that tough position of having to force the organization's hand, or at least stay hot until an injury occurs.
:: Submit a question to the Rockies Inbox ::
Despite the shouting about the slow starts of Ian Desmond and Carlos Gonzalez (Gerardo Parra has been respectable with a .263 average and a .327 on-base percentage), teams don't drop veterans they've invested in after a bad month. And with Desmond, who's owed a good chunk of money in the second year of a five-year contract, and Gonzalez struggling, it's not like there is huge grade value.
It's a lot easier to pinpoint with Desmond. He tried to change his swing during the offseason, then abandoned that project. The lesson: Commit to something, whether it's the old swing or a change. Desmond has recommitted to his old swing.
Gonzalez is a little harder to figure out. It looked as if he was finding some rhythm during a late-April road trip, but he injured his right hamstring, missed nine games and is 1-for-12 since. In Chicago after coming back, the rollover ground balls were a bad sign, and I thought CarGo wasn't moving well. He didn't start two of the games on the trip, and the Rockies had Monday off. The hope is that the rest has helped and he'll find rhythm at home -- where the Rockies must find their offense.
DJ LeMahieu, the Rockies' standout second baseman, is eligible to return from the 10-day disabled list Tuesday, so we can find out sooner than later.
First, give general manager Jeff Bridich credit for making some good roster management signings. Daniel Castro and righty reliever Brooks Pounders had been to the Majors with other teams. But the Rockies signed them to non-roster deals, knowing they each still have a Minor League option. So the club isn't stuck if it sends either of them down.
Castro would have some value on Colorado's bench for his ability to put balls in play. He has done so all 16 of his Major League plate appearances. It's a small sample size, and a .188 average isn't burning up the diamond. But you can see Castro moving a runner or dropping a bunt or performing a hit-and-run in a clutch moment.
Things being equal, Pat Valaika has more pop, as he demonstrated last year. But with a .103 average, 16 strikeouts and five walks in 64 plate appearances, it's been a rough go. The Rockies will have to decide whether Valaika will need regular playing time in Triple-A or if they'll function better once LeMahieu returns and the roster is finally somewhat normal.
I have heard of no intention on the Rockies' part. The disagreements with manager Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland would give me pause, especially after some rifts when Terry Collins ran the Mets.
The team that would take a flyer on Harvey would be one that built a relationship with him before the 2010 MLB Draft, when the Mets took him seventh overall, and believes it can make a connection that wasn't made with the Mets. I have no knowledge of any scouts, front-office members or coaches with the Rockies who have made that kind of connection.
There is a warming to Larry Walker's credentials, as his 34.1 percent finish last year suggests. But that's a long way from the 75 percent needed. I'm thinking any enshrinement will come after he is off the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.