The Rockies are going to be without Troy Tulowitzki for 4-6 weeks and that figures to significantly decrease their odds of staying relevant in the National League West. However, their cupboard isn’t exactly bare as they still feature perhaps the most underrated superstar in the game in Carlos Gonzalez, and one of the fastest rising stars at the hot corner in Nolan Arenado.
One is an already established game changing talent with the bat. The other stands a very good chance to be once he masters the game of constant adjustments. But perhaps the most exciting part for Rockies fans is that both are at or near the top of their position defensively. Especially Arenado, who is already pushing for consideration as a Gold Glove candidate just a little over a month into his career.
On Saturday, both men flashed those all around talents in Colorado's 10-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
As you see at the top, it was Carlos Gonzalez who set the tone in the top half of the first by cutting down Michael Young at the plate on about a 345 foot throw from the left field corner.
Two hops? Sure. A really athletic tag by catcher Wilin Rosario? Without question. But there's no way that's even a play without CarGo's cannon (and maybe Michael Young's lack of quickness). It was also an important play in the grand scheme of the game as Philadelphia was putting some good swings on Tyler Chatwood early. It finally allowed the Rockies young starter to catch his breath. He ended up rebounding for five pretty innings.
After Colorado erupted for six runs in their half of the first to take control of the game, Chatwood again relied on his defense. This time, it happened as opposing pitcher Jonathan Pettibone attempted to catch the Rockies off guard by swinging away in a bunting situation. It nearly worked, too, as the ball was on its way past Arenado and down the left field line. However, the Rockies rookie was able to snatch it at the last moment.
He then rolled over and did this...
Just to be sure, maybe we should asked Mr. Chatwood if that was any good.
''That was pretty special,'' Chatwood said of Arenado's defensive gem. ''That might have saved a run, and CarGo definitely saved a run, throwing out a guy from the wall. Our defense has been good all year and it definitely helped me out of some jams.''
Yeah, it sure did. And the dynamic duo also helped at the plate by going 5 for 9 with two doubles and three RBIs.
It was an all around baseball clinic and it was a ton of fun to watch for one day. The Rockies will now hope for several repeats as life in the National League West is sure to get more difficult without a healthy anchor at short.