Rockies On the Offensive, Steadily Recovering From Season-Opening Struggles

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Yes, the Rockies remain in fourth place in the NL West. No, they aren't closing in on the division-leading Dodgers. But the Rockies have made steady gains ever since that early season stumble, which saw them lose 12 of their first 15 games. The Rockies actually have the third best record in the Naitonal League since April 14 -- behind the Cubs and Dodgers, but they have the biggest improvement in the NL, having increased their winning percentage by 430 points thanks to a 17-10 record.

The key has been a revived offense. After hitting .203 and averaging 2.8 runers per game in the first 15 games, the Rockies lead the National League with a .274 batting average, .508 slugging percentage and 6.48 runs per game in the 27 games going into a three-game weekend series in Philadelphia. They are average 3.68 runers per game more than in the first 15 games, which is 1.14 runs better than the Mets, who have had the second biggest scoring improvement among NL teams since April 14.

And it's been a teamwide improvement. Only two players have seen their average decline since April 13 -- David Dahl, who has dropped 74 points, but has hit .279 since April14, and Pat Valaika, who was hitless in two at-bats after a call-up earlier this week. Valaika was returned to Albuquerque when the Rockies' No. 1 prospect, Brendan Rodgers was called up on Friday to make his big-league debut.

No surprise that Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon are key parts of the offensive infusion. They are two of five National League players with at least five home runs, five walks and 10 RBI in the month of May.