Leading up to the start of the 2011 season, the Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco Giants were usually spoken of as the main contenders for the NL West. The Giants, of course, entered the season as the defending World Series champions. The Rockies had rising stars in Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Ubaldo Jimenez to push them in a fight for the West.
And for the first month of the season, the Rockies looked like the team to beat--not just in the NL West but in the majors, too. With a 4.5 game lead on May 1, the Rockies are now in third place and three games behind the Giants. The Arizona Diamondbacks just took three of four from the Rockies, but that's not the worst of it for Colorado.
On Tuesday, Jorge De La Rosa tore the UCL in his left elbow, ending his 2011 season and part of his 2012 campaign. That's a game-changer for the Rockies, and now they'll need to determine how to proceed. While they aren't looking to make a trade yet, the Rockies will look at how Aaron Cook and Juan Nicasio do first.
The Giants hold a 1.5-game lead over the D'Backs for now, but they were just swept by the Florida Marlins in a three-game set. But the sweep is the least of the Giants' concern right now. They lost Buster Posey for the rest of the regular season, but he could return in time for the playoffs.
But for now? The Giants and the Rockies will need to find their first solutions to the problems facing them.
Full NL West standings: