In preparation of the Phillies series against the Colorado Rockies, I asked some questions to Hayden Kane, the editor of Rox Pile, FanSided’s Rockies blog.
Charlie Blackmon is off to a great start. Is he for real?
I am inclined to think Blackmon is for real, though his ceiling might not be as high as his fast start would indicate. I love his versatility and athleticism. At the plate he does well putting the ball in play. The key will be whether or not he can continue producing extra base hits over the course of the season.
The Rockies have a one-run lead in the ninth and LaTroy Hawkins enters the game. How confident do you feel?
Meh. To be fair to LaTroy he is off to a great start, as he is a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities. He certainly possesses a measure of poise and veteran know-how that is appealing in that role. I just don’t think he has the quality of stuff required to sustain success in the 9th inning. His average fastball velocity is sitting at about 92 MPH right now. As Phillies fans know as well as anybody, that might be a recipe for disaster in the long run.
That said, he is a great value on the one-year deal he signed and he will still be a valuable reliever for them. I’m just still not sold that this closer thing is going to stick.
After a strong 2013 season, Jorge De La Rosa seems to have regressed. Was last year a fluke, or do you think he’ll get straightened out soon?
I have a lot of faith in De La Rosa due to his success last season and in seasons prior. He has wipeout stuff; over the course of his career his issues have mostly been between his ears.That seems to be the case so far in 2014 with the meltdowns he has had, which have included spats with starting catcher Wilin Rosario.
He also might be feeling the heat a little bit because the Rockies did not sign him to a contract extension. With his contract up at season’s end, he very well might be headed for a dreaded qualifying offer this off-season. Even with those factors, I am confident he will turn things around.
When do you think Jhoulys Chacin will return and what do you expect out of him?
Chacin is pegged to return either April 28th or May 3rd. I expect that he will be back May 3rd because that start would be at home against the Mets. I think he will have a couple shorter starts to begin with, and then hopefully he will be back to form as the efficient, top of the rotation guy he was last season. If he picks up where he left off in 2013, when he finally started to work more efficiently and relied more on getting ground balls, he should be in for another solid season.
What is your prediction for the series?
I think the Rockies will take two of three mostly because the series is at Coors Field. They have played well at home so far, and I like their chances with Tyler Chatwood pitching on Friday and Juan Nicasio on Sunday. Nicasio in particular has been a pleasant surprise as the Rockies have dealt with injuries to the rotation early on.
Thanks to Hayden for his answers! Be sure to follow him on Twitter at @hwkane and visit Rox Pile for all the latest about the Rockies!
Tags: Philadelphia Phillies