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Of, by, and for Rockies fans. Every day.



Updated: 2017-11-20T08:00:04-07:00

 



MLB Free Agency: The Rockies should pursue Carlos Santana

2017-11-20T08:00:04-07:00

But they already have a first baseman, you might say. We’ll get to that. The Rockies contention window is open. Whether it’s ahead of schedule or not is irrelevant, because it means Jeff Bridich and the Colorado Rockies are faced with the same challenge as all but a few Major League teams: balancing the opportunity to win now with the need to continue to build for the future. The Rockies should be pursuing opportunities to make the team more competitive in 2018. That means looking to the free agent market to fills holes in the roster. One obvious hole is in the middle of their lineup and at first base. They should seriously consider filling it by signing switch-hitting first baseman Carlos Santana. What about Ian Desmond, you say? That is the question that will hang over this and other roster decisions for the next (gulp) four years. In this case, we’ll stick to business and call this what it is: the Rockies did in fact sign Desmond to be their first baseman last winter. One year later, they have an obvious hole in the middle of their lineup and at first base. Thomas Harding recently wrote that the Rockies are “kicking around options at first base.” If true, that means the club is willing to adapt as plans change. They showed signs of doing that in 2017 when Mark Reynolds proved he was a better option and got playing time over Desmond. The Rockies should follow that same mentality this winter. As currently constructed, the team will be relying on underwhelming options in the middle of the lineup: Trevor Story, Desmond, Gerardo Parra, and some younger guys such as Ryan McMahon. The Rockies might get by if Desmond bounces back or if younger players develop. They might get a breakout year from McMahon. But as a team that can win now, they should not enter the season just hoping that one of these options will work out. Desmond might rebound next year because it will be hard for him to be worse. Does a reasonable bounceback from him offer enough for the middle of an elite lineup? It probably does not. As for McMahon, that’s a lot of pressure on him to deliver right away. The Rockies would potentially put themselves in a hard spot by counting on him too much right away and not feeling like they can back off him a little bit for his long-term development. That’s where Santana comes in. The switch-hitting slugger is coming off a 2017 season in which he slashed .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 79 RBI. He posted a 117 wRC+ and was a Gold Glove finalist on the defensive side of things. For a Colorado lineup that sometimes acts allergic to drawing walks, Santana would bring a welcome approach at the plate. His solid 13.2% BB rate was actually a step back from even better showings in that area in previous seasons. Santana’s batted ball profile also makes him a good fit. He consistently puts the ball in play, as evidenced by his 14.1% K rate last season. It seems obvious to say so, but Coors Field rewards guys who put the ball in play. And as we’ve learned recently, it matters how a hitter puts it in play. Santana is a fit in that regard as well. Nobody is arguing that Santana is as good as Nolan Arenado, but he actually has a similar batted ball profile. He doesn’t hit a lot of groundballs and he does hit a decent number of line drives and a high percentage of balls in the air. Santana had a 20% line drive percentage and a 39.3% flyball percentage in 2017. His 40.8% groundball percentage was 15 percentage points lower than fellow free agent Eric Hosmer (55.6%) and a staggering 22 percentage points behind Desmond’s 62.7% mark. Chart by Eric Garcia McKinley The Rockies need another thumper in their lineup who actually consistently drives the ball, and Santana does just that. We know what a headache the lineup was this past season. The Rockies need more options and better options to build a lineup to match their pitching and hopefully to carry them at times. Slotting Santana in behind Nolan Arenado would significantly bolster the middle of the lineup, and it would still give th[...]



Call for writers: Be a part of Purple Row’s growth

2017-11-20T07:46:02-07:00

Want to write for Purple Row? Leave your name with us here. Want to write for Purple Row? Good news: We also want you to write for Purple Row. We’re looking to expand our writing our band of Rockies partisans. We have 1-2 paid positions available. The person or persons will receive a small monthly stipend. In addition, we also intend to bring on several new staffers as volunteers. Like all volunteer opportunities, writing for Purple Row is something that can and should go on future résumés because it will give you practice writing for a large audience, and you’ll get the support you need to grow as a writer. Purple Row is a community of Rockies fans from all over the world. As part of the SB Nation network, we have an advanced platform and a substantial audience for your great ideas. Here’s the skinny: Feature writers: We’re seeking creative Rockies fans who want to take advantage of Purple Row’s platform and make the best place on the internet for Rockies content even better. We’re particularly interested in folks with an interest in exercising more than one writing muscle—anything from commentary to analysis to satire to audio/visual storytelling to wherever else you’re drawn. Feature writers should have a strong rooting interest for the Rockies. Whenever necessary, these folks should be able to celebrate and criticize the Rockies fairly. We’re looking to add 3-4 feature writers, but that’s not a hard cap. We’re more than willing to be persuaded to bring on more than that. Staff writers: We are seeking two writers to focus on daily Rockpiles. That means visiting and synthesizing daily content from the regular places the Rockies are covered (the Denver Post, Rockies.com, BSN Rockies, and Rox Pile), where Rockies’ prospects get regular coverage (Baseball Census, Minor League Ball), SB Nation’s other NL West sites (True Blue LA, McCovey Chronicles, Gaslamp Ball, and AZ Snake Pit), and a smattering of national sites. Rockpiles anchor conversation at Purple Row—they’re vital to community conversation. Some daytime flexibility to help with quick-turn breaking news posts is also desirable. The staff writers focusing on Rockpiles will also have the opportunity to take advantage of the platform and write as much about the Rockies they want, though there won’t be writing quotas beyond Rockpiles. These positions would be ideal for college students looking to get experience with baseball writing who also want to grow as writers. While we prefer to fill the staff writer posts with Rockies fans, we’re more flexible here. No baseball writing experience necessary to be considered for either of these positions, and the call is open to anybody in the world. You don’t need to live in Denver, Colorado, the United States, North America, or the northern hemisphere to be considered (citizens of Earth will be given preference, however). All you need to apply is to provide your contact information, include a few sentences about why you want to write about the Rockies, and provide a link to a writing sample. The sample can be from and about anything at all. We strongly encourage women as well as persons from populations underrepresented in baseball writing to apply. Apply here or in the form below. src="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScaYGo3ZA7HASCi4VZv63lMVkQ-7bl3zbgqLZXIqI4RNlu-eQ/viewform?embedded=true" width="760" height="500" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0">Loading... [...]



MLB Free Agency: Rockies interested in Brandon Kintzler

2017-11-20T06:00:02-07:00

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Rockies news and links for November 20, 2017

Orioles seeking starting pitching for 2018 | MLB.com
Jon Morosi writes that the Rockies have shown interest in right-handed reliever Brandon Kintzler. Kintzler was the Twins' closer to start 2017, but they traded him to the Nationals when it looked like they were falling out of contention. While in Minnesota, he had a 3.69 ERA and a 159 ERA+, and he saved 28 games. He didn't close for the Nationals, but he still put up good numbers—a 3.46 ERA and a 130 ERA+.

It's undeniable that he gets results, but it's the way that he goes about it that might make him a poor fit for the Rockies. Kintzler is a pitch-to-contact reliever. He typically strikes out about five batters per nine innings. On the bright side, however, he doesn't walk a lot of guys either though.

Kintzler would be a low-risk free agent. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that he'll sign for two-years and $14 million. The Rockies could easily handle a contract like that. Kintzler would be a fine reliever to pursue, and it sure looks reasonable, but if the Rockies choose to do so, he's probably a better fit for late inning reliever rather than the closer role.

Could the Rockies trade for Dellin Betances? | Rox Pile
The Rockies could also find relief help on the trade market. Kevin Henry looks at Dellin Betances as a possible candidate. As opposed to Kintzler, Betances strikes out tons of batters, but he’s also seriously prone to losing the strike zone and walking a lot of hitters as well.

BSN Rockies Podcast: For love of food, music, and baseball
It's the offseason, so why not talk food and music (and also baseball)?




Giants submit trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton, terrify Rockies fans

2017-11-19T06:00:01-07:00

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Rockies news and links for November 19, 2017

The Giants submitted a trade proposal for Giancarlo Stanton | McCovey Chronicles
The hot stove has been tepid at best this offseason. Here's a nugget though. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants have submitted a trade offer to the Marlins, and that the Marlins have agreed to pay down some of Stanton's contract. Grant Brisbee picks apart what the components for each side might be in thorough and entertaining detail. In short: An offer's out there, but it's still unlikely that the Giants will land Stanton.

What Brandon Morrow could bring to the bullpen | Rox Pile
Kevin Henry looks closely at how Brandon Morrow could contribute to the Rockies’ bullpen in 2018. He sees him as a stabilizer, mostly working out of the eighth inning. Whether it’s Morrow or someone else, the Rockies will need somebody to fill that role.

Rockies job opportunities | Rockies.com
All you need to know is right here: “Perform, when needed, as Dinger, and Comfort Dental Characters.”

International Notes: Matsui, Ruf, Verrett, Jackson | MLB Trade Rumors
Old friend Kaz Matsui, now 42, is hanging on for another year with the Seibu Lions. They were Matsui’s first NPB team.

2017 Arizona Diamondbacks Review: #20, Jorge De La Rosa | AZ Snake Pit
Here's another old friend. Jorge De La Rosa had a decent year as a reliever for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-backs could use a pitcher like him again. If they want to bring De La Rosa back in the same role, they'd need to re-sign him. He's a free agent again.




Nolan Arenado keeps winning awards other than the MVP

2017-11-18T09:29:14-07:00

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Rockies news and links for November 18, 2017

Arenado snags two Esurance MLB Awards | MLB.com

Given the corporate inflation of awards season, it might be that the whole idea of a trophy case is an outdated one. If Colorado Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado does put all of his awards on display, however, things sure are getting crowded. Continuing the category of “awards you probably haven’t heard of,” MLB gave out a number of honors on Friday night.

Arenado earned the Esurance awards for “Best Play: Offense” and “Best Defensive Player.” It’s funny how one player can get all of the other awards but not MVP, while the guy who won the MVP actually comments that he thought Arenado finished too low. Great job though, BBWAA.

The BBWAA Did A Great Job | FanGraphs

They didn’t.

Giancarlo Stanton Rumors - Friday | MLB Trade Rumors

Speaking of the National League MVP, Stanton remains the focus of trade rumors so far this offseason. As noted in yesterday’s Rockpile and in other places, the San Francisco Giants are reportedly making a real push and have made an actual offer for the slugging outfielder.

Until we know the actual terms of the deal, it’s hard to say whether or not it would be a win for the Giants. When healthy (which he isn’t always, necessarily), Stanton is the kind of difference maker where most trades will be just fine. Now I’m thinking about the Rockies facing Stanton and Buster Posey in the middle of the same lineup, and that’s very unpleasant so I would like to move on.

Colorado Rockies: Trade DJ LeMahieu to the Los Angeles Angels? | Rox Pile

The Rockies are going to face a big decision with their core, and that decision is coming sooner than we would probably like to think. Of the Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and DJ LeMahieu trio, which players can they keep? If they don’t keep all three, what do they do then? James LaGrow considers a potential fit if the Rockies were open to trading their Gold Glove second baseman.




Former Rockies prospect Rosell Herrera signs minor-league deal with Reds

2017-11-18T08:17:57-07:00

Prospects, remember, will break your heart Prospects lie. Their lies are so believable that writers and bloggers both national and local accept and compound the falsehoods. These aren’t lies of intentional deception. Instead, they’re lies of action. Fantasies, always at least partially founded, emanate from things like “projectable frames” and “quick hands” and that triple slash in the Sally that then become numbers on a list. There’s no culpability on their part. Prospects, after all, simply work to prove their truth. But still, they lie. The Reds signed former Rockies prospect Rosell Herrera to a minor-league deal, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. Herrera, an infielder-turned-outfielder from Santo Domingo, signed with the Rockies as an international free agent in July 2009. While he didn’t exactly skyrocket up prospect lists, Herrera made an immediate impression and earned national attention because of it. His solid debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2010, when he was 17 years old, led to Baseball America ranking him as the Rockies’ 12th best prospect. A good but not great stateside debut with the Casper Ghosts of the Pioneer League, along with a reshuffled prospect deck, dropped him to 16th after the 2011 season. Herrera’s next two minor-league seasons were contrasts, and only one ended up foreshadowing the truth. In 2012, he split time between Tri-City and Asheville. But Herrera struggled against more advanced Class A pitching, slugging just .272 in 63 games. He fell off Baseball America’s Rockies top 10 afterward. Still, he was a 19-year-old playing full-season baseball for the first time, and he was going to get an opportunity to prove himself. In Herrera’s second try at Asheville, he seemed to do just that. At 20 years old, he broke out to hit .343/.419/.515 for the Tourists. It’s true that the hitting environment in Asheville is favorable to hitters, but it’s also true that Herrera gave no reason for anybody to disbelieve that the season was a sign of things to follow. In the Purple Row Prospects (PuRP) poll after the 2013 season, the community voted him the fourth best prospect in the organization. Purple Row readers are sometimes bullish on players coming off a great season, but Baseball America was as high as the Purple Row community. They named him the Rockies’ third best prospect (after Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler). Not only that, but he cracked BA’s top 100 prospects, landing at number 86. Then, Herrera’s upward trajectory first flattened and then took a dip. He had an injury-plagued and unimpressive first try at High-A Modesto in 2014, and then he had an injury-free but equally unimpressive second try in 2015. After 2013, the Rockies acted to protect Herrera from the Rule 5 draft by placing him on the 40-man roster; after 2015, they released him and exposed him without restriction to the other 29 teams. The Rockies re-signed him to a minor-league deal the next day. Rosell and the Rockies performed that very same dance after the 2016 season. Not this year though. The Rockies granted Herrera free agency on November 6th, and on November 17th the Reds signed him to a minor-league deal and an invitation to Spring Training. The prospect who was with the Rockies’ organization for eight and a half years and who received PuRP votes in every round from pre-season 2010 to mid-season 2017 never was able to crack the major-league roster. Herrera could very well do it for the Reds though. He’s still just 25, and he’s been able to hold his own in Triple-A. It also helps that the Reds are in rebuild mode and may have room for him in their outfield. I hope he does it. I’d love to see Herrera playing in the majors, finding a comfortable truth opposed to the lies we told. [...]



MLB Offseason 2017: What to expect from the Rockies before Monday’s reserves deadline

2017-11-17T11:44:49-07:00

The Rockies have plenty of roster space to work with The Rockies will have to make roster decisions this weekend. In particular, they need to decide which players to add to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from being taken in the Rule 5 draft. The reserves deadline is Monday, November 20. It’s the next date on the MLB offseason calendar. While not as well-known or publicized as much as many of the other deadlines on the offseason calendar, the reserves deadline play a very important part in a team’s offseason plans. If a team wishes to protect an eligible prospect from the Rule 5 draft at the upcoming winter meetings, they have to move them to the team’s 40-man roster by Monday’s deadline. A player is eligible to be drafted by another team in the Rule 5 draft if they have played in professional baseball for four years if they were 19 or older at the time of their signing. If a player was 18 or younger at the tie of signing, then they are eligible after having played for five years; however, all players on a team’s 40-man roster are exempt. Teams will move their top eligible prospects to their 40-man roster to prevent them from being taken in the Rule 5 draft. Last year, the Rockies added Yency Almonte, Shane Carle, Rayan Gonzalez, Zach Jemiola and Sam Moll to their 40-man roster to protect them. Only Carle played for the big-league team last year. Gonzalez was expected to before his injury, but the Rockies were extremely cautious in making sure they didn’t lose any of their MiLB pitching depth. Due to their cautious approach the Rockies only lost Josh Rutledge, whom they had signed as a minor-league free agent, in the 2016 Rule 5 draft. The Rockies having seven open roster spots on their 40-man roster heading into the deadline, and they could be equally cautious protecting this year and use all of those spots or even more if they want to remove other players from the 40-man roster. If you want to look at the full list of Rule 5-eligible prospects, Rockies Roster has a great list. The vast majority of those prospects, if you want to call them that, are in no danger of being selected, and even if they were would be no loss to the organization. Of that list, Purple Row roster expert Sage Farron identified the following candidates as players the Rockies may protect: Definite: RHP Sam HowardC Dom Nunez Likely: RHP James FarrisRHP Austin HouseLHP Harrison MusgraveOF Wes Rogers Fringe: RHP Shane BroylesOF Yonathan DazaRHP Julian Fernandez1B Roberto RamosRHP Jesus TinocoLHP Jerry Vasto For the most part I agree with Sage’s list; however, I’m not sure that Musgrave should be considered likely and would probably put him in the fringe category myself. Of the players on the fringe category, Shane Broyles is most likely to be protected, followed up by Jerry Vasto and Yonathan Daza. The Rockies do have at least seven spots available, so they should have no issue protecting their most valuable assets and preserve their notable minor-league depth. Unless the Rockies are currently working on a trade, there is no advantage in waiting until the deadline to protect the players. The moves could happen any time between now and Monday. Who do you think the Rockies should protect? [...]



Nolan Arenado was at his absolute best in 2017

2017-11-17T11:00:05-07:00

Arenado had the seventh best season in Rockies history Welcome to the 2017 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at the in-season contributions of every player to don the purple this past season. The goal wasn’t and isn’t to quibble with order. Instead, it’s to get a snapshot of a player along with a look forward. For that reason, we simply sorted by Baseball-Reference’s Wins Above Replacement (rWAR) and will start at the bottom and end up at the top. No. 1, Nolan Arenado (7.2 rWAR) There are only a few ways that the 2017 season could have gone better for Nolan Arenado. He could have hit better in the World Baseball Classic. He could (should?) have won the National League Most Valuable Player award. And the Rockies could have advanced further in the playoffs. There was a lot more that went right. First, Nolan cemented his place in the hearts of Rockies fans forever with a little comment in a Players Tribune article on the World Baseball Classic: And, as a Colorado Rockie through and through, I still don’t like the Giants at all. The way to (most) Rockies fans hearts: dissing the Giants. That Nolan would go on to have a tough tournament (though, he did go 2-for-5 with two runs in the final against Puerto Rico) ultimately mattered little. Team USA still brought home their first WBC title (and may have contributed to the Rockies landing Jonathan Lucroy and Pat Neshek—thanks to Nolan, of course). Then the season started, and the Rockies started winning (and the Giants started losing). A lot. After long playing for an also-ran, Nolan finally found himself in the middle of a playoff race. The high water mark, both emotionally and for games over .500, came courtesy of Nolan (with a little help from Celine Dion): Nolan Arenado's three-run walkoff home run to complete the cycle, My Heart Will Go On Edition pic.twitter.com/p3mFKJlMWq— reo☠️ (@reoisrad) June 19, 2017 No, they did not win the NL Wild Card Game, but don’t blame Nolan: he hit an eighth inning home run in his playoff debut. It was the best season of Nolan Arenado’s career. It seemed that (almost) every good moment around the Rockies this season centered on Nolan. Sure, he got snubbed for the MVP award. But he’s on a Hall of Fame trajectory, and, most importantly, he’s ours. 2018 Outlook In 2015, Nolan Arenado was an All-Star, won a Silver Slugger, a Gold Glove, and finished eighth in MVP voting. In 2016, Nolan Arenado was an All-Star, won a Silver Slugger, a Gold Glove, and finished fifth in MVP voting. In 2017, Nolan Arenado was an All-Star starter, won a Silver Slugger, a Gold Glove, and finished fourth in MVP voting, and went to the playoffs. There is no indication that the trend shouldn’t continue. The only question is: When are the Rockies going to sign him to a long-term extension? [...]