Although Mark Ellis has only been a member of the Colorado Rockies for six games (including Wednesday night’s game at Atlanta), he has made a huge impact on the team. No one is going to confuse Ellis with Chase Utley, but he is exactly what the Rockies needed. (Although, if the only time you have ever seen Ellis play had been these past six games, then you might think of him as Utley-esque.) Either way, Ellis has already filled a huge hole for the Rockies.
Second base has been a question mark for Colorado all season. Prior to the trade that brought Ellis in from the Oakland Athletics, six different Rockies players had combined to start 81 games at second base. Even though Jonathan Herrera started the majority of those games, Ellis’s career numbers indicate that he is an upgrade over Herrera for now. The Rockies have a team that is, on paper, ready to contend now. Even with their struggles, they are looking to win the National League West Division this season and make a run in the playoffs.
Mark Ellis career batting (.266, 88 HR, 441 RBI, 540 R, 1062 games) and fielding (.990 Fielding %) stats show he can be just what the doctor ordered for the Rockies at second base. His first six games in a Rockies uniform have been impressive: .440 avg., 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R.
Even though Ellis has provided some great numbers for the Rockies so far, the team is only 2-4 since his arrival. Just as it has seemed the majority of the season, the Rockies can’t get their pitching and hitting to be good on the same night. They either have a strong night at the plate but can’t get outs in the field or they get a decent start from their pitchers and can’t give them enough run support to pull out the W.
What does Ellis bring to the Rockies?
Mark Ellis was the longest tenured Oakland Athletic prior to last week. With that comes a certain leadership quality. He provides a great veteran presence in the clubhouse while being a solid contributor on the field. One of the benefits of the trade for Colorado is that Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Jason Giambi all played with Ellis in Oakland. This provides a more seamless transition to a new team for Ellis.
Ellis has also always been a solid defensive player throughout his 10 year career. He and Troy Tulowitzki will be a great double-play combination. Finally, Ellis brings some stability to the lineup. He has hit second and sixth thus far. No matter where he hits in the lineup, Rockies manager Jim Tracy can be more confident in getting consistent results from the veteran.
Though Mark Ellis is a welcome addition to the Rockies lineup, he can’t do it all by himself. Colorado needs to be able to get more consistent with their hitting and pitching to start adding numbers in the win column instead of the loss column.
Thursday July 7:
Rockies (41-46) at Atlanta Braves (52-36)
Juan Nicasio (3-1 4.10 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson (7-6 3.57 ERA)
Rockies (41-46) at Washington Nationals (45-43)
Friday July 8:
Jason Hammel (4-8, 4.31 ERA) vs. Jason Marquis (7-3, 4.11 ERA)
Saturday July 9:
Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8, 4.39 ERA) vs. TBA
Sunday July 10:
Jhoulys Chacin (8-6, 3.28 ERA) vs. TBA
About the Author
Written by Steve Folsom
Sports has always been my passion in life. I enjoy all sports but baseball is by far my favorite. I bring an analytical perspective to my sports consumption. Follow me on Twitter @Steven_Folsom.