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Updated: 2017-05-26T21:13:50-06:00


Colorado Rockies Antonio Senzatela and Slick Defense Shut Out St. Louis Cardinals 10-0


Rockies get a lead, hold it, then decide they like that feeling and bat around The Colorado Rockies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-0 thanks to some fine pitching by Antonio Senzatela and a defense that vacuumed up any stray runners with double plays There wasn’t much offense in this game in the early going as both starting pitchers appeared to be on their game. There were six double plays in the game, three coming in the first three half innings. For the Cardinals, Carlos Martinez completed seven innings, giving up three runs on just six hits and two walks. The first run came in the bottom of the third inning as Tony Wolters walked in the bottom of the third inning, then scored on a Charlie Blackmon triple. The second run came in the bottom of the fourth. Nolan Arenado led off the inning with a double, then moved to third on a Carlos Gonzalez groundout to first base. Arenado later scored on a single from Mark Reynolds. Blackmon chased Martinez from the game with one out in the bottom of the eighth by hitting a home run deep into the right-field stands. That was the extent of the Rockies’ damage against Martinez who struck out eight on the night and got some assistance from two double plays. At that time, the score was 3-0. However, the eighth inning wasn’t over yet. The Rockies tacked on an extra run after Martinez left thanks to a single by DJ LeMahieu and a follow-up double by Arenado, pushing the score to 4-0. Mark Reynolds then hit a two-run home run, racking the score up to 6-0. Ian Desmond looped a single into short right, then showed off his speed as he scored from first base on a Trevor Story double. Parra came up, his second time pinch hitting for Senzatela in the inning. and singled to center scored another two runs. Blackmon wrapped up the scoring with an RBI single. The crowd gave a standing ovation after that impressive effort. Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela was effective and efficient, tossing eight shutout innings with only 98 pitches thrown. Walks had been an issue for him in recent starts but there were no free birds in this game. Senzatela struck out three batters and gave up just five hits which were mostly mitigated by the four double plays the Rockies turned while he was on the mound. Only one Cardinals runner got to second base, with Randal Grichuk wisely hitting a double to reduce the double play possibilities. Senzatela induced eleven groundouts as he became the second Rockies pitcher after German Marquez to throw eight shutout innings at Coors Field this year. Jordan Lyles came on in the ninth and cleanly closed it out. Beyond the double plays, there were multiple defensive gems in the game. Desmond dove for a ball in left field, making a nice catch. Senzatela and Desmond turned a nifty play over at first base. Also, Nolan knows he’s good.— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 27, 2017 It’s a bit ironic that in a game with great defense and an inning where the Rockies batted around, the shutout was almost second fiddle... For the second game of the series tomorrow, Kyle Freeland will go for his fifth major league win against Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright. The Saturday game starts at 7:10pm MST. [...]

Rockies need Antonio Senzatela to bounce back from consecutive rough starts



The rookie hurler hit a rough patch his last two turns through the rotation.

DENVER—Colorado Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela brings a 6-1 record and a 3.67 ERA into his Friday start against the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field. By simply looking at those numbers, it’s tough to imagine the 22-year-old right-hander having any struggles.

But in his last two starts he logged just five innings in each, allowing eight earned runs on 12 hits and seven walks. Fortunately, neither outing resulted in a blemish on Senzatela’s record, thanks to the Colorado offense scoring a total of 17 runs. The team split the two games.

He’ll need to be better against an experienced and successful lineup Cardinals lineup tonight. What he needs to do in order to achieve that improvement isn’t rocket science, according to Rockies manager Bud Black.

“He’s gotta command the fastball. He pitches with his fastball a great deal, so he’s gotta get it in good spots, which he’s very capable of,” Black told reporters Friday afternoon at 20th and Blake. “He’s got a slider that’s shown solid break at times this season, and we’d like for that to show up again tonight. The changeup has got to come into play for some of their hitters.”

Senzatela used his changeup more in his last start than he had in any other regular season outing. Reds hitters went hitless against the pitch, according to, a positive step forward considering batters are hitting Senzatela’s changeup at a .364 clip in 2017.

Still, the usage and development of the pitch are necessary to keep hitters off of the fastball, which is Senzatela’s best pitch but also can become predictable.

“With him, it comes down to fastball command and mixing in secondaries effectively,” Black explained. “If he does that, he’s gonna be fine.”

The manager is confident that will happen.

“He’s gonna pitch a good game,” Black quipped.

The Rockies will need it. Despite going 7-3 on their recent road trip, the Rox are still just one game ahead of the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks, who enter play Friday 30-19.

Rockies GM confidence poll: How is Jeff Bridich doing?



Do you approve of the job Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich is doing building the club? Vote and weigh in.

Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich is in his third year as the team’s architect, and the 2017 version of the club feels completely different than the one he took over after a hugely disappointing 2014 campaign.

Sure, Bridich inherited stars (and, at the time, budding stars) like Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, and DJ LeMahieu. But it wasn’t until after the Harvard grad took the reigns that the Rockies started to show significant player development strides at the major league level.

The pitchers—notably Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and the crop of impressive rookies this year—finally started to break through after years of unfulfilled promise. Hitters such as David Dahl, Trevor Story, and Tony Wolters—an out-of-nowhere waiver claim for whom Bridich deserves a ton of credit—have followed suit while they’ve been on the field. Free-agent signing Mark Reynolds has been a god send, and a presence to cover up the failures of other signings (namely, Gerardo Parra) during Bridich’s tenure.

Oh, and the picture painted from the He Who Shall Not Be Named trade is also a little clearer, though still far from complete. That’s in addition to the Corey Dickerson trade, which looks good for the Rockies so far due to the performances of German Marquez and Jake McGee.

We haven’t formally asked the readers and community for a quite a while. In fact, the last time we ran a poll was after the Rockies sat inactive at the 2016 trade deadline. Here’s the last update:


Now it’s once again your turn to weigh in—and we’ll make sure you get a chance to do so up through this year’s trade deadline, at the very least. The reason? This Rockies team looks good, but it’s not perfect. But for the first time in years, it appears they’ll be in position—and will be expected—to make moves to bolster the major league club.

We’ll keep you informed along the way about what potential players and deals will be out there and available to the Rockies. Your job is to express your level of confidence in Bridich and his staff to get those moves done, as well as take into account what the regime has already accomplished.

So, without further ado—make your choice, let us know in the comments why you made said choice, and we’ll round up the results and best responses and throw them in a post early next week.

Rockies Draft 2017: Recent team draft history and tendencies


What we can expect from the Rockies when they go on the clock in two weeks The 2017 MLB Draft is a few weeks away, we want to know: how have the Colorado Rockies approached the last few drafts and what does it tell us about how they might approach this year? Yesterday we reviewed the 2016 draft class. Today: we are summarizing our findings from the series. It’s often difficult to glean any overall themes or trends in a baseball front office; not all teams are as explicit in their preferences as Dave Stewart’s “scrapy” Diamondbacks. It gets even more difficult when you’re trying to discern trends over multiple regimes. We can, however, draw general conclusions from each draft and see how they compare. Over the past four years we’ve seen the Rockies go from a low-risk approach under Dan O’Dowd to a more high-upside strategy in Jeff Bridich’s first year. In between, O’Dowd took some risks on high schoolers Forrest Wall and Ryan Castellani who, other than first round pick Kyle Freeland, might yet work out. You would think this would justify a further trend toward valuing high upside guys. Then, last year, Bridich got much more conservative in his picks. This switch from Year One to Year Two in the Bridich Era prompted a little bit of confusion. In the comments of yesterday’s review of the 2016 class, we discussed what this switch could mean. It could be a response to the overall talent pool, in which case it would be hard to count on it telling us much about what the team is likely to do in 2017. It could also be an effort to maintain balance in the system between high ceiling/low floor and low ceiling/high floor guys. There’s also the consideration of the overall talent already in the organization, specifically the international signees. User mattrob brought up an excellent point which I’ll quote here in full: I think they do work to keep some balance throughout the system and may not draft too heavily in one area if they have some international talent on the way there. For example, I know there’s some thought they may draft a catcher this year, but with Scott Serven last year and as many as 3 or 4 catchers set to come stateside from the DSL over the next couple of years, I’m not sure there’s a lot of room for a catcher. Obviously, BPA [Best Player Available] may dictate a catcher at some point, but all things being equal, they may decide to spend this picks elsewhere. It’s easy to forget the work the Rockies do on the international front. And, as mattrob so rightly points out here, that has an impact for how they use the draft. One thing that has been consistent is the team’s emphasis on power arms. From Riley Pint and Jon Gray, to Ryan Castellani and Mike Nikorak, all the way to Jerry Vasto and JD Hammer: the Rockies have been intent on stacking guys who have big fastballs and at least one good secondary offering. If that secondary pitch is a slider, so much the better. Considering the success they seem to be having so far, there’s no reason to expect them to change that. Outside of that, it’s hard to draw too many hard and fast conclusions. With the new draft slot rules there seems to be less emphasis on signability for guys, leading more teams to go best available on their board. The Rockies are no different. It’s just a matter of whether this year more of their “best player available” will lead them to more of those young prep talents you can dream on or some reliable older players that don’t take too much squinting to see major league talent. [...]

We’ve been here the whole time


Rockies fans discuss why this team being good matters and why it feels good to win. Fandom is, for all intents and purposes, irrational. It is emotion based. It is rooted in idealism. Fandom isn’t something easy to explain or argue in defense of. It just, simply put, is. If someone asked you “Why do you care?” would you have the answer off the top of your head? If someone saw you disappointed in a bullpen meltdown, would you be able to adequately explain why it hurt so much? Or why it hurt at all? Charlie Blackmon launched a two run home run into the Target Field seats on May 16 when I asked myself this question. I remember being so excited I couldn’t sleep; my adrenaline had pumped into my veins and I was wide awake. I remember staring at the ceiling with just “10 games over .500” rolling through my head. It was all I could think about. Then it hit me. “Why does this matter so much?” I didn’t ask it in a condescending way, I asked myself earnestly why is felt so good to watch the Rockies win. I felt this question deep in my bones. This wasn’t just a “why am I a fan?” question. We’re fans for thousands of reasons. This was more emotion based. Not “Why do we waste our time?” But, “Why does this May 16 game make me feel so f’ing good?” I had to ask the people. I don’t just see it in myself, I see it in every fan that’s followed this team. This means something to us. I had to find out exactly why. So I asked for experiences, I asked for reasons, I asked for emotions. I had to know why this mattered. You sent me your experiences, you sent me your reasons why this matters to you. They’re all great. Here are some of my favorites: Call me a bandwagon fan if you want, but I became a full time Rockies fan until 2007. I grew up moving around a lot, and none of the places had a local team until I moved to Denver as a freshman in high school. I watched a lot of Braves on TBS, but never had a real connection. My family is from KC and the Royals were always garbage and not really an option to watch. I have always been a baseball fan but before it was tough to keep up without a local team. I moved away from Denver for the last two years of high school, but moved back to Colorado to go to college in the fall of 2007. The excitement and emotion of Rocktober swept me in. It was game over—I was hooked. I lived in Colorado until 2012 and continued to watch the Rockies and over those years it felt like they were on the edge of being competitive, but they just could not get over the hump. After moving away in 2012 I have been able to keep up with the rockies via, Purple Row, and the Purple Dinosaur Podcast. In today's world it is so much easier to follow a non-local baseball team. As you know the last few years have been tough, but with all of the great coverage available it was easy to see the team was on the upswing. When you struggle with a team through incompetence, and rebuilding it is much more fun when they start to succeed. Those fans who parachute in during the good times but check out during the bad times do not get to experience the same joy as those of us who stuck it out. -Thomas N. Thomas is a loyal follower on Twitter and I could never call him a bandwagon fan. The second you stick it out for a bad season, you’re one of us. Thomas makes one of my favorite points. This idea that we’ve seen the worst, so the best feels that much better. We saw Jair Jurrjens and Gonzalez Germen make spot starts and a bullpen that tried to convince us Justin Miller and Simon Castro were good enough to compete. For all these moments now, these moments where the Rockies bullpen calmly finishes another inning, we were there when they didn’t, we were there when every night was another depressing disappointment. That’s why it matters to us. Because we know what it feels like to suck. I grew up in Colorado, playing baseball almost year-round. I a[...]

Colorado Rockies prospect Ryan McMahon homers in Yard Goats loss


Prospect news and game results from the Rockies minor league affiliates from Thursday May 25, 2017. Ryan McMahon (No. 7 PuRP) continued his resurgence during his second trip through the Eastern League, going 3-for-4 with a double and a home run in the Hartford Yard Goats’ 10-5 loss to the Bowie Baysox. After struggling with the Yard Goats last season with an OPS of just .724 and a dozen home runs, McMahon is hitting .325/.391/.546 with six home runs in 44 games with Hartford in 2017. He has also doubled 14 times, tripled twice and stolen seven bases. Not only has McMahon hit well for Hartford this season, he has done so while playing three different positions. Of his 42 starts this season, 20 have come at first base, with 11 each at second base and third base. With the Rockies’ increased emphasis on versatility under Jeff Bridich, McMahon is proving himself as a player that can succeed all over the infield. Game Recaps Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 11, Oklahoma City Dodgers 5 Jordan Patterson (No. 13 PuRP): 2-for-5, RBI Sam Moll (No. 28 PuRP): 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER Double-A: Bowie Baysox 10, Hartford Yard Goats 5 Ryan McMahon (No. 7 PuRP): 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI Dom Nunez (No. 14 PuRP): 2-for-4, RBI Parker French (No. 26 PuRP): 4 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 0 K High-A: San Jose Giants 4, Lancaster JetHawks 2 Brendan Rodgers (No. 1 PuRP): 3-for-4, 2B, RBI Garrett Hampson (No. 22 PuRP): 0-for-4. K Peter Lambert (No. 11 PuRP): 8 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K Low-A: Asheville Tourists 5, Hickory Crawdads 3Purple Row’s Charlie Drysdale was at Asheville’s 5-3 win over Hickory and provided these notes from the game: (Starting pitcher Antonio) Santos struggled early in the game, giving up a leadoff walk in the second followed by a home run off a fastball he grooved down the middle of the plate. He found his release point shortly afterwards and scattered three hits through the remaining three innings. Santos worked down and in with a 2-seam fastball sitting at 92 with a changeup at 81 and a slider around 86. He threw a pair of curveballs in the game that had good movement at 76. J.D. Hammer closed out the game with a 1-2-3 inning utilizing a 97 mph fastball complemented by a change and slider. Hammer’s ERA fell to 0.84 after earning his 3rd save of the season. Offensively the Tourists did well, collecting 15 hits. They struggled on the basepaths however, getting caught stealing three times and picked off once. Colton Welker (No. 19 PuRP) went 2-for-5 at the plate, raising his average to .340 on the year. Stats: Colton Welker (No. 19 PuRP): 2-for-5, RBI Jose Gomez (No. 30 PuRP): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R [...]

Rockies starter Chad Bettis is determined to return to the team in 2017


Rockies news and links for Friday May 26, 2017. Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis opens up about his ongoing battle with cancer | FOX SportsChad Bettis spoke with Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports about his cancer treatment and determination to re-join the Rockies in 2017. Rosenthal writes that, if he's cleared to do so, Bettis will fly to Colorado a week from today to establish a plan. He’ll have a blood test and CT scan on Monday. This article has much, much more than an update on Bettis's baseball plans though. Rosenthal spoke with Bettis's wife and father, and he also checked in with Jeff Bridich, who recalls meeting with Bettis for the first time after Bridich and the Rockies drafted him in 2010. Read this, and you will not doubt that Bettis will return this season. And you will not doubt that it's going to be an incredible sight. Baseball’s Toughest (and Easiest) Schedules So Far | FanGraphs Baseball Eno Sarris uses one of my favorite strength of competition statistics, Baseball Prospectus's oppRPA+, to rank the teams with the strongest and weakest schedules in baseball. It's a park adjusted metric that weighs a team's quality of opposition based on previous results. It works like wRC+, where 100 is average. Based on this evaluation, the Rockies have faced competition that is very close to league average on the whole. It comes out to 98.8. But that's a meeting in the middle based on the strength of pitching and offenses they've seen. According to this view, the Rockies have faced below league average pitching (94), but above league average hitting (103.6). I would have guessed the opposite because the Rockies have been winning on the strength of their pitching, while the hitting hasn't gotten going until recently. Mark Reynolds' resurgence has helped put Rockies back on playoff path | Sporting News Add this one to the growing pile of Rockies-centric articles from national outlets. Keep 'em coming! This one is about Mark Reynolds and his odd late-career reinvention at the plate. Author Max Wildstein also notes that Reynolds has caused a minor roster crunch since he returned that will only get crunchier when David Dahl comes back. Rockies pitchers are bunting better, and Charlie Blackmon is reaping the rewards | The Denver Post This is one of two articles from yesterday about the Rockies pitchers ability to bunt well. The Rockies currently lead the league with sacrifice bunts from pitchers, and Patrick Saunders suggests that it has played a factor in Blackmon's high RBI total thus far. Credit should also go to the players who hit before the pitcher, because if they don't get on base with one or zero outs, the pitchers wouldn't have anybody to sacrifice over. Rockies pitchers are doing the little things needed to win ballgames | BSN Rockies This is the other article about Rockies pitchers at the plate. Ben Karp also discusses the defense of Rockies pitchers, as well as how well they control the running game. How a fastball happy pitcher has tamed Coors Field (so far) | The Score Jesse Spector dives into Antonio Senzatela’s simple recipe for success so far: throw a lot of fastballs, and make sure they go where you want them to. Perhaps what comes across most from Senzatela is just how unintimidated he is by pitching at Coors Field. Ultimately, Senzatela told Spector, “it’s the same baseball.” Arenado on team success: We are proving people wrong | ESPN Video Nolan Arenado spoke with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt about the Rockies' great start to 2017. The Rockies were one of the most popular dark horse picks prior to the season, to the point where it was no longer clear whether or not the label actually fit, but hardly anybody was picking the Rockies to be as good as they've played so far. [...]

Rockies prospect Forrest Wall injured and out for season, per report



The bounce back season for the Rockies prospect will have to wait another year.

Rockies prospect Forrest Wall will be out for the remainder of the season, according to Bobby DeMuro of Baseball Census. DeMuro, whose name sounds vaguely familiar, writes that the 21-year-old Wall dislocated his left shoulder earlier this month while diving for a ball in the outfield.

Wall, currently Purple Row’s 15th ranked Rockies prospect, struggled in Class A Advanced Modesto in 2016. The power and on-base ability that he displayed in Class A Asheville diminished as he jumped to the California League. The Rockies decided that it would be best for Wall to repeat the level rather than move on to even more advanced pitching in Double-A.

Wall was drafted as a second baseman, but the Rockies had played Wall in center field most of this season. He got off to a good start, hitting .299/.361/.471 in 98 plate appearances, all while learning a new position. His prospect status lagged along with his development. Prior to the 2016 season, ranked Wall as the game’s 90th best prospect, and he snuck in Baseball Prospectus’s list at 101. This injury will be another setback.

It was a quick end to the season for someone who, based on DeMuro’s piece, is well liked in the clubhouse and was working hard to return to form. The hoped for bounce back season will have to wait until 2018.