Rockies news, notes and links for Sunday, March 26th.
This one is from a few days ago, but it’s a pretty interesting read. Nolan Lees from the RoxPile interviews writers for the Orioles and Cubs FanSided sites to discuss Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant and Manny Machado. Right now, both of the other writers seem to give Arenado though both also suggest that Bryant and Machado have more room to grow. This debate might continue on for the next decade, or at least until Bryant and/or Machado switch positions permanently.
Scott Spratt from Baseball Info Solutions claims that Nolan Arenado has separated himself from Manny Machado as the best third baseman in Major League Baseball. Tucked inside the article are some other Arenado observations that describe the kinds of plays that he excels at. Yet, he isn’t the only Colorado Rockies player to get some notice. It turns out Carlos Gonzalez was the fourth best right fielder in the league last year in throwing out baserunners without needing a relay man.
Susan Slusser drops a tidbit about how A’s top prospect Matt Chatman went to high school with Nolan Arenado. Now that both have gone pro, they work together during the offseason. Meanwhile, I worked to get you to read a San Francisco Giants writer. Enjoy your Sunday.
Rockies news, notes and links for Saturday, March 25th.
Rockies manager Bud Black says the team is not too worried about the sore left foot that saw likely Opening Day starter Jon Gray pulled early from his start yesterday. Gray originally injured the foot coming out of the batter’s box in his previous start, but Black says the injury has improved since then. Gray tweaked the foot on an awkward looking move to first base in the third inning, and was removed from the game shortly after. Gray will have the foot examined by team doctors, but should be back on the mound sooner rather than later.
2017 Positional Power Rankings: Center Field | FanGraphs Position
The Rockies come in at number 21 on this list, which determines the ranking by a team’s cumulative WAR at the position. Charlie Blackmon is situated firmly into the starter position, followed by Alexi Amarista, Ian Desmond, David Dahl and Raimel Tapia listed as depth. Blackmon has had a way of exceeding expectations in his career. The 30 -year old won his first Silver Slugger at the end of last season, and stole 43 bases a year before. A key piece of the Rockies’ core, Blackmon will need to be on top of all facets of his game this year to turn the team toward contention. And if the Rockies aren’t gearing up for the post-season come July, Blackmon could be a big ticket name at this year’s trade deadline.
Joe Peta of ESPN.com isn’t exactly waxing optimistic about the 2017 Rockies. Though their 845 runs scored topped all of the National League, Peta cites ineffective pitchers and a sub-par defense in his assessment. The final prediction comes in with the Rockies finishing 76-86, landing fourth in the NL West.
Purple Row will be hosting a baseball discussion over breakfast at Wynkoop Brewing Company on Friday, April 7 from 8-10 a.m.
Purple Row is excited to announce our first-ever Opening Day Breakfast, to be held prior to the Colorado Rockies’ home opener on Friday, April 7. The event—the continuation of a tradition started by the Denver Post—will take place from 8-10 a.m. at Wynkoop Brewing Company (1634 18th St. in Denver).
In attendance to talk baseball will be Rockies radio announcer Jerry Schemmel, Purple Row’s Bryan Kilpatrick, and Drew Creasman from BSN Denver. Ryan Spilborghs of ROOT Sports and the Denver Post’s Nick Groke are also tentatively scheduled to participate, work commitments pending.
The cost of attendance is $25 per plate and includes a hearty breakfast (plus juice, coffee, etc.; alcohol is extra), and a Q&A session with the above Rockies media members. The event will also feature giveaways—including autographed memorabilia and more.
Start off your Rockies Opening Day celebration in LoDo with us! To purchase tickets to the event, click here.
We look forward to meeting you, talking baseball, and having an overall blast.
Rockies’ Opening Day starter was escorted out in the third inning against the Giants
Update: 3/24, 3:35 p.m. MT
The Rockies have announced that Jon Gray was removed from Friday’s game due to left foot soreness, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. Considering the alternatives this is a welcome relief for the Rockies, who are counting on Gray to anchor the starting rotation as the team seeks to be competitive in 2017.
★ ★ ★
Jon Gray was removed by a trainer from the Rockies spring training game in the third inning on Friday. Gray had just given up seven straight hits to the San Francisco Giants before he was removed. According to Thomas Harding, there wasn’t an immediately apparent injury, but he was removed from the game by a trainer nonetheless.
After getting a strikeout to start the third inning, the Giants went triple, double, single, home run, single, double, single. He was about to face Jarrett Parker with two runners on when assistant trainer Scott Gehret visited the mound and removed him. Gray’s velocity in the game was sitting around 93-95 mph on his fastball and hit 96 before being removed. He averaged 95.1 mph on his fastball in 2016.
The rotation will miss Chad Bettis for an undetermined amount of time. Right now, Germán Márquez, Kyle Freeland, and Antonio Senzatela are vying for what look like two remaining spots in the rotation. At least right now, it doesn’t look like Gray was removed due to anything serious. And that’s a good thing, because losing Gray would be a major blow to the team’s competitive hopes.
We’ll keep you updated when we hear more.
2017-03-24T11:00:02-06:00The story behind few simulated playthroughs with our favorite team in the new version of the acclaimed series I’ll admit I like spreadsheet-type simulator games. Out of the Park Baseball 18 is, hands down, the best one I’ve ever played baseball-wise... and I’ve played a lot of it. I started around OOTP 5 and have played pretty much every year since. The new version is being released today for Macs and PCs as well as being available on Steam, I was fortunate enough to get a preview copy earlier this week and have already given it quite a few playthroughs, just to see how our Colorado Rockies play out. For those unfamiliar to OOTP, you take the role of a commissioner, general manager and/or manager of an entire organization down to the minor leagues, either as a single player or in an online league. You can choose any kind of team, including a historical team from the 1880s, a minor league team, a Japanese league team or a completely fictional team. The owner of that team will give you a set of goals and a budget that you have to adhere to. If you don’t follow them, you can even be fired. Decisions on player transactions involve more than just dollar amounts, though; they also take into account the desires and personalities of those players. If a guy wants to play for a winner and your team hasn’t won lately, he won’t sign with you... and if he does and your team starts losing, he’ll make everyone else in the clubhouse unhappy. Transaction rules, including the new 10-day DL, are replicated. I learned waiver wire rules just from playing OOTP. You also need to hire managers, coaches, scouts and trainers, each with their own traits. But that’s just an inkling of the kind of detail the game goes into. If you don’t want to play that deep, you can let the AI set up your organization, your lineups, or any other aspect you don’t feel like controlling. You can get down to the nitty-gritty of a pitcher’s slider rating or an outfielder’s arm quality, or use the handy 1-5 star rating that your scouts apply to each player. And if they’re not good, well-funded scouts (or you select the in-game option), the scouting might not actually be accurate. Not only can you simulate at the macro level by auto-playing games and seasons, but you can watch and/or manage individual games play-by-play with all the tactical situations such as shifting and bunting that Bud Black might consider. Each ballpark is replicated not only visually but the park factors, metropolitan size and fan loyalty also can affect your decisions. On that note, not only is Bud Black in the game, but the rosters are patched up-to-date with the latest statuses and injury news. As an example, Ian Desmond and Tom Murphy’s broken bones are represented. Chad Bettis is also out for four months to begin the year, though charitably, his injury is considered “Not Diagnosed”. Before getting hands on with each new version of the game, I run through a few single season hands-off simulations so I could get a better idea of how the players actually “play”. Maybe it’s cheating in a way, but I chalk it up as “I’m roleplaying like I’ve had the analytics department run projections.” The fun thing about OOTP is that there’s just enough unpredictability where, while some things act standard, sometimes the dice rolls give hilarious results. That’s what the first season simulation brought me as the Rockies finished with a .350 winning percentage. Oh, the carnage was glorious. Gerardo Parra led the team with a .877 OPS, David Dahl was injured six times and my predecessor’s rebuilt bullpen was traded off by the end of June. Jairo Diaz, doing his best (or worst?) Jumbo Diaz impression, ended the year as the closer with an unsightly 8.11 ERA. To add further injury to the insulting season, Chad Bettis came off the DL just long enough to take an arrow to the knee, the torn ACL ending his season. #Thatssorockies The other simulat[...]
2017-03-24T10:00:03-06:00Let’s take a few moments to get our concerns out in the open. The Rockies have already experienced a kind of depressingly unexpected spring training. Injuries abound and ineffectiveness has many worried. It seemed like an appropriate time to reach out to the Purple Row community and have a little airing of the grievances in the FanPosts. Last week our FanPost Friday prompt was “What is your biggest worry/fear about the Rockies right now?” Apparently y’all feel pretty good about the upcoming season; we had just three responses to the prompt. One concern that did come up is probably the most common—and completely unpredictable and uncontrollable—concern among baseball teams everywhere: injuries. Ian Desmond, David Dahl, and Chad Bettis are going to miss Opening Day. Fortunately many of those injuries won’t keep them out long, and Bettis may even return from chemotherapy to pitch later this year (which would be awesome and incredible). But what if the injury tick continues to suck the life out of the Rockies? Arimaris detailed some of the trickle down effects of such a rash of injuries, if we were to lose someone from the top of the rotation: Losing any one of them for an extended period of time would take the depth we already are having to dip into and almost ensure that we are hoping for another .500 season. If we lose or see lower than expected performance from 2 of the 3, it's going to be a long summer unless a surprise happens. RoxRock4 and RockiesLifer has a more pointed concern when it comes to the pitching: what if it’s not as good as we all hope? As RockiesLifer pointed out, “We have exactly one pitcher in our rotation with more than a year of Major League experience.” When you put it like that, the increased upside/talent makes you realize that guys like Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, and even Tyler Anderson still carry quite a bit of risk. RockiesLifer: If youth doesn't serve, we are the same team we have always been. What if Tyler Anderson takes a step back? What if none of our four rookies have success, and we're forced to continue to play two of them at the major league level all year, or even worse, rotate them all through AAA? If the rotation struggles, we are in for yet another season where I'm deluding myself into thinking the Rockies matter. While the axiom used to be something along the lines of “As Tulo and Cargo go, so go the Rockies,” RockiesLifer makes a good point that it really comes back to the rotation. If this team can’t pitch, they can’t win, same as always. RoxRock4 shares this concern: However, the ideas of severe regression (which has happened too often in the past), busts (a la Eddie Butler), or just simply young guys who aren't ready yet but brought up too soon to try and patch a falling apart rotation all worry me. It's enough of a swing that I could see the Rockies winning as many as 95 games or losing 90 if the worst happens. I admit I share this concern. The rotation may be the new face of the franchise, and the talent in this rotation is really criminally underrated and undercovered. But when you put your hopes and dreams on a few elbow ligaments, your dreams can fray and snap without a moment’s notice. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Just ask the Phillies. In other words, we have every reason to expect that this season will be better than previous seasons. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some existential dread at the thought of it not being so. There you have it! Thanks again to our FanPosters this week. We’re tantalizingly close to the start of the season now, so that means it’s prediction time. Check out the rules for this week’s prompt about five predictions for the Rockies this season. Any of the above worries have you bogged down? Is there something else we should be concerned about? [...]
What do you think is going to happen in the 2017 Rockies season?
Spring training is winding down. The World Baseball Classic has come to a close. The 2017 season is almost here.
This is the time that everyone in the world starts making their predictions—apparently the need for content overcomes the risk of looking foolish when baseball eventually baseballs—and putting on their best Carnac impression to tell us what will happen in 2017. But why should they have all the fun?
Be as bold or as timid as you like, but know that part of the rules of preseason predictions is that we all make fun of ourselves in October when we’re inevitably trying to explain why the Braves won the AL West and Barry Bonds comes out of retirement to pitch.
All you need to do is make five predictions for the Rockies in 2017. The more specific you are the more fun it is, but you can be vague if you prefer to try to be right (again, see above). As long as you have five Rockies specific predictions for the 2017 season, you can write up as many other predictions for the 2017 MLB season as you like.
Write up a FanPost with your predictions and be sure to back them up a little bit, too. And include “FPF” in the title. Next week, on the final Friday before the regular season, we’ll round up all the predictions in our weekly FPF recap.
Start your FanPost today!
Antonio Senzatela takes the mound against former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber
The Rockies visit the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Park for today’s Cactus League matchup. Antonio Senzatela is making a final push for a spot in the Opening Day rotation after Jeff Hoffman was assigned to Triple-A earlier in the day. Senzatela has been stellar this spring, posting a 15:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 15 innings pitched. He’s allowed seven runs (all earned) on 18 hits across five appearances entering today’s game.
No local TV or radio today, it would appear. Follow along with Connor on Snapchat (snapcode purplerow) or on the Purple Row account. It’s also available on MLB Gameday.