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Inbox: Should losing streak worry Rox fans?

Beat reporter Thomas Harding answers questions
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Thank you for joining me on the MLB Facebook page for a live version of the Edward Jones Beat Reporter's Inbox, Rockies edition. Now, on to some questions from your Facebook posts.

DENVER -- Thank you for joining me on the MLB Facebook page for a live version of the Edward Jones Beat Reporter's Inbox, Rockies edition. Now, on to some questions from your Facebook posts.

The first six games of the eight-game losing streak proved that when starters struggle, the bullpen becomes taxed and the relievers can have bad days. As for the starters, supreme talent can get them through early, but teams collect information and adjust. A good sign was the way righty Jeff Hoffman and lefty Kyle Freeland came off poor performances to turn in decent starts in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday. Especially in the National League West, the young pitchers will have to counter-punch in a hurry.

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Also, I'm not surprised that the offense struggled on the road, especially in Los Angeles against Alex Wood and Clayton Kershaw.

After a June heavy on road games, the Rockies conclude the first half with a homestand against the Reds and White Sox -- two teams well below .500.

I looked at this in my story Thursday morning. The Rockies don't have a proven veteran in the rotation, and thus far, general manager Jeff Bridich has decided to attack the problem with multiple talented young pitchers. Jon Gray certainly looks forward to proving he can fill that role.

After not delving big into free agency in the past, Bridich sprung for Ian Desmond this winter, so he isn't predictable. But if a team requires one or two of the young starters to trade for an established guy, it's hard for me to see him making a move. I expect them to seek bullpen help, instead.

Among catchers who have played in 46 or more games, second-year man Tony Wolters' .286 batting average (47 games) ranks fourth in the National League, and his .382 on-base percentage is third. Also, his 38.5 caught-stealing percentage is tied for second among those with 47 or more games. And after catching in 59 games last year, I don't see undue signs of wear.

Tom Murphy is off to a 1-for-20 start, although being right-handed and facing Wood and Kershaw will depress the numbers. He has started some games during the losing streak, but the pitchers' struggles can't be laid at his feet. Veteran Ryan Hanigan is at Triple-A Albuquerque and has worked well with the young staff, and is always an option.

I'm not sure how long the shoulder injury that has Carlos Gonzalez on the 10-day disabled list has been an issue. But once that is healed, Gonzalez and the Rockies will have to decide whether he comes back immediately or, like shortstop Trevor Story earlier, he goes to the Minors for a rehab assignment to hone his timing and control of the strike zone.

In addition to the benefit of his bat, the Rockies need Gonzalez's defensive experience in right field, where he has already won some games for them.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies