It has to be. There is no other way to explain what is going on with the Rockies. Look at the number of players who have been or who are on the disabled list. Jeff Francis, Huston Street, Brad Hawpe, Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Hammel, Franklin Morales.
Those names go along with the injured, but still playing crowd that includes Melvin Mora, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez (missed a week in April).
Now the list will include Eric Young Jr. Young will be out for an undisclosed amount of time after fracturing his tibia in the fifth inning of the Wednesday game against the Phillies. After rounding a base awkwardly, Young felt soreness but continued to play. On Thursday he showed up to Coors Field with an awkward lump. X-Rays showed that the tibia has suffered a stress fracture.
Injuries are a part of sports, and they are something that every team deals with. However, the Rockies seem to be getting hit by the injury bug in mass quantities.
Before the season even began they had lost their closer, and their one-time ace to injury. Since then they have lost two more members of the starting rotation, and their temporary closer in Morales. At some point it has to feel like the Rockies are dealing with far too many of these injuries for it not to become an excuse.
It is hard enough for Major League players to compete day in and day out. Mentally it is one of the most grueling schedules in all of professional sports. With all of the injuries around the clubhouse, it has to take a toll on the players that are going out there every day.
Nearly half of the 25 man roster has experienced some sort of setback due to injury. It could be argued as well that Miguel Olivo even has dealt with his own issues after reportedly passing a kidney stone during a game and continuing to play.
After a tough loss on a field that should not have been played on Thursday night, the Rockies must be feeling the challenges of playing with a patched together squad.
The good news for the Rockies is that they may have weathered the majority of the storm. Jim Tracy announced that Jason Hammel will pitch on Saturday night and Jeff Francis will make his much anticipated 2010 debut after missing all of the 2009 season and much of the '08 season. The reality is, it will be the first time that the Rockies have seen Francis throw in a game that counted since the '07 run to the pennant.
If the Rockies can somehow manage to keep their heads above water while the majority of their players come back, they should be able to make a run. Staying in the race, however, is not going to be an easy task. It will require a solid showing over the weekend, winning the four game series with the Nationals, or at the very least splitting it.
If the club does that, and can stay near .500 when they get Street and De La Rosa back, they will be poised to make another run at the playoffs.
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