Jun. 21—DENVER — At the top of the order, Raimel Tapia and Yonathan Daza are becoming a one-two punch.
After a strong start to the season, Daza was moved up to the second spot in the lineup earlier this month. His main responsibility is to move the leadoff runner, which more times than not is Tapia.
Daza did just that this week. Tapia is riding a 17-game hitting streak, the longest active in Major League Baseball, and Daza has been there to send Tapia around the bases. In seven games last week, Daza moved Tapia 10 times with a hit, sacrifice fly or sacrifice bunt. Four of those times Tapia scored.
"Those guys are amazing, they are fun to watch," Joshua Fuentes said. "Those two guys have definitely been a spark for us."
Daza, who came into this season stronger and with more power, has a .367 batting average with 61 hits. He had his second home run of the season Sunday as part of the Rockies' four-home run sixth inning. He's on a career-high nine-game hitting streak.
CJ Cron has found his power
Cron knows his power was a big part of the reason the Rockies signed him. But, after a back injury sidelined him in May, he went over a month without hitting a home run. As a team, the Rockies have only 67 home runs, the third-lowest in MLB, despite playing half their games at altitude.
For Cron, that changed June 14, when he hit his first of four over the seven-game home stand, including one grand slam. During his slump, he fought the urge to change a bunch of things. He's in his eighth major league season, and has learned that it's best to be patient and wait for things to click again.
"Baseball, you have to have fun," he said. "It's a stressful game if you let it be. Sometimes it's better to just clear the mind and know you are here for a reason and things are going to work out."
His OPS is .847, the best on the team, and he had 10 total hits and 10 RBIs during the home stand.
Foreign substance crackdown
Beginning Monday, pitchers can be ejected or suspended for using foreign substances, otherwise known as sticky stuff, to doctor baseballs.
Pitchers will be inspected by umpires either between innings or when they come out of the game. Austin Gomber already experienced it this past week, when he was told that, even though the rosin bag is legal, he'll no longer be allowed to use it on his forearm.
Combining sunscreen and rosin is also no longer permitted, something pitchers in Colorado use to help them grip the ball in the dry climate. Using just rosin will make it worse, Kyle Freeland said.
Freeland, and other Rockies' pitchers, have expressed that MLB needs to either create a new substance, or allow them to use something already made.
"I believe us as pitchers need something to grip the baseball so we can perform our job to the best of our ability," Freeland said. "Similar to a position player using lizard skin or pine tar on their bat so they can do their job to the best of their ability and swing the bat as hard as they can."