Rockies' lineup facing mix of injury, inefficacy

Rockies' lineup facing mix of injury, inefficacy

Rockies' lineup facing mix of injury, inefficacy

DENVER -- Friday's outburst aside, one of the more perplexing aspects of the Rockies' precipitous fall has been a lack of offense.

"It's tough to say," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "I think we've struggled making some adjustments. If teams are getting you out one way consistently, you've got to make an adjustment. We've been slow making that adjustment in some ways. That's added to some of our offensive problems."

Also, an examination of the lineup reveals two issues -- the top and middle of the order has been injured, and the rest has been ineffective.

Since June 13, leadoff man Dexter Fowler, cleanup hitter Troy Tulowitzki and No. 3 hitter Carlos Gonzalez have all been on the disabled list. Gonzalez is currently out with a right middle finger injury, Fowler is playing with right wrist pain and Tulowitzki still has pain from a broken rib.

But despite being relatively healthy, the lower part of the order has not produced.

For the season, spots 6-8 have a .251 batting average, which is fourth-highest in the National League.

But from July 1 to Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Mets, hitters 6-8 hit .237. Only the Padres (.236) and the Mets (.231) have been less productive.

Catcher Wilin Rosario, who in the healthy lineup bats sixth or seventh, entered Friday with a .273 batting average, 15 home runs and 52 RBIs but batted fifth Friday. Rosario has hit .306 in the No. 4 ad No. 5 spots but .230 (34 of 148) when hitting sixth, seventh or eighth.

Todd Helton at .254 and rookie Nolan Arenado at .253 have had their struggles -- Helton with on-again, off-again back issues, Arenado with youth.

Ups and downs are part of a season, but Weiss said this season had been unpleasantly unexpected.

"Not for this length of time," Weiss said. "Every team goes through some offensive struggles, regardless of who you are in this league, but I'm a little surprised it's gone this far."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.