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

Updated: 2018-03-20T13:09:02-06:00


Spring Training game thread: Rockies vs. Brewers



There’s just about a week left in spring training! Follow the Rockies/Brewers game here.

The Colorado Rockies will host the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon at Salt River Fields. The Milwaukee radio feed is available through Rockies fandom available in the comments.

Time: 2:10 pm MT

Location: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale, Arizona

TV: None

Radio: (MIL)


Season preview: The Rockies are fraught with expectations


The 2018 Rockies are fraught with expectations “Blessed is he who expects nothing,” Alexander Pope wrote, “for he shall never be disappointed.” If only it were so easy to be blessed in this way. The Rockies will begin the 2018 season with high expectations for the first time since 2011. A Wild Card appearances and 87 wins will do that to a baseball team. With those expectations, however, comes the forewarned possibility to be disappointed. And for the Rockies, that possibility is fairly high if the expectations aren’t properly calibrated. Don’t get me wrong. The team is equipped to turn in a truly great season if things break right. But there are plenty of other reasons to add a good amount of caution to the optimism for 2018. There are even more reasons to add caution beyond 2018. One reason is natural: There’s just more uncertainty the further into the future we look. It’s not just who will be on the roster at that time, but what kind of players they’ll be and what kind of potential they’ll have. The Rockies are in a position to compete in 2018, even if they are far from safe bets to make the postseason. But the club may be in transition as soon as 2019. 2018 Outlook The Rockies signed four free agents during the offseason. There was a theme to the signings: RHP Wade Davis, 3 years/$52 million RHP Bryan Shaw, 3 years/$27 million LHP Jake McGee, 3 years/$27 million (re-signee) C Chris Iannetta, 2 years/$8.5 million OF Carlos González, 1 year/$8 million There was also a theme to the players from 2017 who won’t be returning. On the one hand, there are the 30-something position players (Mark Reynolds and Ryan Hanigan), but on the other hand there were the late-inning relievers (Greg Holland and Pat Neshek). The Rockies focused their offseason energy on mitigating the losses from the best bullpen in the National League in 2017 by pulling in new free agents and re-signing McGee. The three signees will join former closer Adam Ottavino, fireman Chris Rusin, and the big potential but haven’t put it together yet duo of Scott Oberg and Carlos Estévez in the ‘pen. Relief does not look to be a problem for the 2018 Rockies. But there are a few things that have to happen for the Rockies to fulfill raised expectations. First, the Rockies need their three core position players—Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and DJ LeMahieu—to turn in quality seasons again. They’ll need Trevor Story to combine an approximation of his 2016 year at the plate with his 2017 defense at shortstop. Ian Desmond will need to bounce back to at least a league average player, and at least two of their three young position players—David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, and Raimel Tapia—will need to begin reaching their abundant potential. And, finally, the still green members of the Rockies’ rotation will need to at least repeat their 2017 performances in order to allow the sturdy bullpen to do its thing. Some of these needs are safer bets than others. The core three have demonstrated remarkable consistency over the years. Even if Blackmon returns a little closer to earth in 2018 (just as LeMahieu did after his career best season in 2016), the Rockies can still count on him to be a major contributor. Desmond’s bounce back from a miserable 2017 is also a pretty safe bet (the bar is low). A lot relies on the most volatile of players: young players, and young pitchers in particular. Of the position player trio, only Dahl has shown that he can handle major-league pitching consistently, but he’s also shown that he’s injury prone. Tapia and McMahon have much wider ranges of possible outcomes. From the pitching side, Kyle Freeland and Germán Márquez both turned in excellent rookie seasons. The Rockies will need a lot of high quality innings from them. Luckily, the Rockies have pitching depth, so they don’t have to entirely rely on sophomore successes. Some parts of the depth are more reliable than others. Among the “things that didn’t go as planned” in 2017 were Jon Gray’s two-mo[...]

Tuesday Rockpile: Rockies hoping for results from Ian Desmond’s new swing


Rockies news and links for March 20, 2018 Ian Desmond’s modified swing beginning to yield better timing and results | Mile High SportsIan Desmond’s first year with the Colorado Rockies was a struggle. He set career lows in WAR, slugging percentage, ISO, and wRC+. With a career-low 20.8% fly-ball percentage and a career-high 62.7% ground-ball percentage, Desmond was an outlier in a year when players were hitting the ball out of the park at astonishing rates. That ground-ball percentage was the highest in all of baseball in 2017 for players with at least 300 plate appearances, and would have led MLB in 2015 and 2016 as well. Looking further back, that ground-ball percentage is the 10th worst in the past ten years, as was written in FanGraphs’ preseason player profile on Desmond. Desmond does have power, with four seasons of 20+ home runs on his résumé. This would look more impressive if Desmond’s main position was still shortstop, rather than first base, but it would still be a welcome sight following an underwhelming 2017. Desmond also has some wheels, as each of his 20-homer seasons were accompanied by 20 stolen bases. So, how do we get the 20/20 Desmond of 2012-2014 and 2016 back, or even see him use Coors Field to his advantage to reach or exceed his career high of 25 home runs in 2018? The first step is to admit we have a problem. And Desmond admitted that he hit the ball on the ground way too much in 2017, as chronicled by Aniello Piro of Mile High Sports. Desmond cites this as a timing issue because he wasn’t finding “the barrel.” To help Desmond feel more comfortable at the plate, he and the Rockies are going to switch up his batting stance, by starting his hands lower on the bat. This is intended to help Desmond get the bat on the ball in “a more direct manner,” writes Piro, “as opposed to having to travel from higher up.” Desmond won’t be using this swing for the first time, however. The swing was a big part of his success in 2014, he says. After the Nationals clinched the best record in the league, full-time players, including Desmond, got a few more days off to rest up a bit before the postseason and then had a bit of a layoff after the regular season ended before the beginning of the National League Division Series. When Desmond returned, he struggled in the postseason and abandoned the swing altogether, despite the success he had to end the regular season. I looked up Desmond’s stats from August 7 until the end of the 2014 season, which seems to be the time frame Desmond is talking about for his success. In that stretch, he hit .280/.351/.464 with 7 home runs, good for a 129 wRC+ over the span of 188 plate appearances. If we extrapolate those numbers to a full season, we would be talking 35 homers. He also had 14 stolen bases in that roughly month-and-a-quarter sample. A 30+ home run season is by no means a prediction on my end, but it is a feasibility of Desmond’s capabilities if things are clicking right. Desmond has shown better results as of late after a rough start to Cactus League play this Spring, and for Desmond, he says the biggest positive takeaway he has had is that he “feel[s] natural.” Colorado Rockies: Answering 4 big questions coming into 2018 | Rox PileRox Pile’s JD Jensen predicts the biggest surprise and disappointment for the 2018 Rockies, the possibility of buying or selling at the trade deadline, and expectations for season standings. The biggest disappointment prediction is interesting as it is presumed Opening Day starter Jon Gray. Jensen doesn’t think Gray will have a poor year, but perhaps not the one that fans are expecting. I think I would agree with this assessment. I think it’s more likely that German Marquez or Tyler Anderson will have truly “ace” caliber seasons, but we still can expect more of what we’ve been seeing from Gray, which won’t be a bad thing at all. Colorado Rockies: Potential roster quibbles heading into the season | Rox PileNoah Yingling of Rox Pile[...]

Spring Training game thread: Rockies at Rangers



MLB Network has tonight’s Rockies/Rangers matchup

The Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers play an night game today. MLB Network will televise the contest from Surprise, Stadium, in, no surprise, Surprise, Arizona.

Time: 7:05 pm MT

Location: Surprise Stadium, Surprise, Arizona

TV: MLB Network

Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM