Colorado manager Clint Hurdle knows who his comeback player of the year is, but thinks the Rockies’ poor record will deny Aaron Cook the honor.
After battling back from a life-threatening injury, Cook is emerging as the rock of the Colorado rotation. He will try to win his sixth straight game when the last-place Rockies continue their weekend series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cook missed nearly a year with complications from blood clots in his lungs, including surgery to remove part of his ribs. He returned from the disabled list on July 30 and was roughed up for seven runs over 4 1-3 innings in an 8-7 loss to Philadelphia.
However, the 26-year-old right-hander has been stellar since, and is coming off his best effort of the season. Cook posted his third career complete game, allowing two runs and striking out five as Colorado halted a four-game skid with a 7-2 win over Arizona on Sunday.
“Once the doctors told me I was healthy, I knew it was just a matter of time before I was able to get back out there and compete for nine innings,” Cook said. “I knew I would be back.”
Though closer Brian Fuentes was nominated for the award, which is voted on by the fans instead of the writers, Hurdle says Cook best exemplifies what the honor is supposed to stand for.
“Very rarely do I like to soapbox for one of my players, but if this guy is not in serious consideration, all the people involved in the process are missing the boat,” Hurdle said. “This guy had his side cut open. The way he’s pitched, it needs to be recognized.”
Troy Glaus was the only Arizona player to have success against Cook last week, going 3-for-4 with two homers, the only two he has allowed in 55 2-3 innings this season. Cook had gone 219 batters and 49 2-3 innings since the last homer he allowed, to John Vander Wal on Aug. 7, 2004. He has yielded just eight runs in his last 39 innings.
He improved to 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five career games, including three starts, against Arizona.
Danny Ardoin hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth to lift the Rockies to a 6-5 win on Friday, their fourth victory in five games.
Tony Clark drove in four runs with a pair of homers and a double and Glaus also homered, but the Diamondbacks fell for the fifth time in their last eight. Clark and Glaus went back-to-back in the fifth inning, the club-record 10th time this season Arizona has hit consecutive homers.