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Updated: 2017-07-22T09:26:01-06:00


MLB Trade Deadline 2017: Rockies face different markets for bullpen and position players



Rockies news and links for July 22, 2017

Long List Of Teams Interested In AJ Ramos | MLB Trade Rumors

The Rockies are listed among those who could add Ramos, an electric bullpen arm who has sometimes struggled with inconsistency like almost any relief pitcher who has ever thrown a baseball.

On the one hand, you can look at the cost of relievers so far and take heart that Colorado can bolster that struggling unit on the cheap. On the other hand, that’s an awful lot of teams looking at the services of a reliever who might offer more value. The Rockies have internal options, sketchy though they may seem, and will presumably weigh things accordingly as they think about trades for the volatile beast known as the bullpen.

Jon Heyman had the scoop on the list of Ramos suitors.

Life on the bubble: MLB teams at trade deadline see fortunes turn in a hurry | USA Today

Despite an ugly loss Friday, the Rockies seem to have battled back from the stretch that might have turned their fortunes in terms of whether they will be buyers or sellers. Now they can keep an eye on the other teams on that bubble and see if any trade targets emerge.

Looking at the teams that will feel pressure to decide one way or the other, the Baltimore Orioles jump out, given recent rumors about the Rockies looking at potential deals to add one of their young pitchers to the fold.

Trade Market For Shortstops | MLB Trade Rumors

If the Rockies want to give a temporary boost to the shortstop position, it looks like there will be less competition there. None of these options are overly exciting, with Zack Cozart leading the list as the most obvious fit. Rentals never seem to interest the Rockies much, but if they were concerned enough about Trevor Story’s struggles to consider that route, it looks like help could be had on the cheap.

Colorado Rockies injury updates: Tyler Chatwood and Tyler Anderson | Rox Pile

The veterans, relatively speaking, are both working their way back to the rotation from their respective leg injuries. From this update from Kevin Henry, it sounds like Chatwood is closer to returning after throwing a simulated game on Friday.

There are two people responsible for the Giants likely signing Pablo Sandoval | McCovey Chronicles

We get to laugh now, but just wait until the Rockies are bringing what’s left of Troy Tulowitzki back to Colorado in a couple years.

Colorado Rockies Prospects: Castellani stellar for Yard Goats


Brendan Rodgers hits 5th Double-A home run Last time Ryan Castellani was featured in a Saturday Pebble Report, I claimed that he had “found his stride” after a rough beginning to the season. He had just thrown eight shutout innings, coming after two excellent starts involving just three runs over 14 innings. However, my prediction didn’t hold, as Ryan put up a few bad starts in a row, including a 32⁄3 inning clunker with eight earned runs. Since those bad starts, however, Castellani really has found his stride. He’s allowed just 9 runs over his last 302⁄3 innings spanning five starts. Yesterday, he spun a seven-inning shutout in the first game of Hartford’s doubleheader against Portland. He allowed just three hits, walked none, and struck out six. His ERA of 4.77 doesn’t look excellent, but once again his underlying metrics (strikeout rate, walk rate, groundball rate) are all above-average for an Eastern League starting pitcher. Plus, he’s just 21 years old, putting him on track to make a major league cameo as a 22 year old. In the second game of the doubleheader, Brendan Rodgers had a much-needed breakout game. Coming into the game, he was in a 2-for-21 slump, but he did enough damage yesterday to put that to rest. He had two doubles and a home run in five at-bats, and scored three of Hartford’s seven runs. Top 30 Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs) Triple-A: Salt Lake Bees 7, Albuquerque Isotopes 4 Jordan Patterson (No. 13 PuRP): 2-for-4, R, 2B, 3B David Dahl (Rehab Assignement): 1-for-4, 2B Tom Murphy (No. 6 PuRP): 2-for-3, R, 2 2B, RBI, BB Double-A: Game 1: Hartford Yard Goats 2, Portland Sea Dogs 0 Ryan Castellani (No. 9 PuRP): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K Brendan Rodgers (No. 1 PuRP): 0-for-3, BB Omar Carrizales: 1-for-3, BB Double-A: Game 2: Hartford Yard Goats 7, Portland Sea Dogs 1 Brendan Rodgers (No. 1 PuRP): 3-for-5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, RBI Brian Mundell (PuRP HM): 1-for-2, R, 2 BB Konnor Wade: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, BB, 7 K High-A: Lancaster JetHawks 10, Lake Elsinore Storm 7 Garrett Hampson (No. 22 PuRP): 3-for-4, R, 4 RBI Sam Hilliard: 3-for-5, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI J.D. Hammer: 11⁄3 IP, BB, 2 K, Save Low-A: Asheville Tourists 9, Hickory Crawdads 4 Riley Pint (No. 3 PuRP): 51⁄3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K Bobby Wernes: 2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI Manuel Melendez: 1-for-4, R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB Short-Season-A: Everett AquaSox 10, Boise Hawks 4 Sean Bouchard: 1-for-3, R, 2B, BB Daniel Jipping: 1-for-4, R, 2B Ryan Metzler: 2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI Rookie: Billings Mustangs vs Grand Junction Rockies: Postponed (Rain) DSL: DSL Mets 6, DSL Rockies 1 Steven Fana: 1-for-2, R, 2 BB Bernnie Alaniz: 2-for-4 Helcris Olivarez: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K Saturday probables: Triple-A: TBD Double-A: TBD High-A: Ty Culbreth Low-A: Erick Julio SS-A: Ryan Luna Rookie: Lucas Gilbreath [...]

Jeff Hoffman and the bullpen struggle in Rockies 13-5 loss to Pirates



Nothing went right for the Rockies in Friday night’s loss

The Colorado Rockies lost 13-5 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, ending the team’s four-game winning streak. Jeff Hoffman struggled through three innings. And while the Rockies scored five runs off of rookie starter Trevor Williams, by the time they scored their fifth run the Pirates had already posted 12. That’s because the bullpen struggled mightily as well. Jordan Lyles and Scott Oberg combined to allow five runs in four innings pitched. It was one of those nights.

Not only was Hoffman’s outing rough in the hits and runs department, but he also walked four and hit a batter in his three innings. Even if some of the hits he gave up were BABIP products, a night like Friday’s is rarely going to lead to success.

The Rockies did have one big highlight. Nolan Arenado blasted his 22nd home run of the season in the sixth inning. It sent Twitter into “Arenado for MVP” mode that was roughly 100 percent more serious than the “MVParra” and “MarkVP” tweets we’ve seen.



Welcome to Football Friday (Season Two). The wildly popular weekly column has returned for a second year of diving into the theories, analysis, and fun of baseball. Every week we here at Football Friday will use all of our integrity and other things that sound impressive to deliver the best baseball column you’ve ever seen or ever will see. We at Football Friday, Inc. are honest, truthful, and most of all we’re serious journalists. Every single one of us. Welcome back to Trade Cops. We’re back in Denver, Colorado, where we’re hearing about a team looking to make some trades again. This time, for real. Last year on Trade Cops we broke down the pieces the Rockies could potentially sell and made sure they didn’t make any missteps in these moves. We might have scared them off from making any big trades at all but that’s better than losing a trade in our eyes. We keep the peace. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. That someone is us. We are Trade Cops and we’re back on the beat. Trade #1: Acquire a Reliever The Situation: The Rockies need middle relief help. With a young starting rotation, the Rockies are more likely than other contenders to be relying on middle relievers to carry them through a couple of games per week. This has hurt the team on a few occasions both in losses and wins that should’ve been blowouts but ended up being close games. Greg Holland and Jake McGee are good but behind them there is only inconsistency in pitchers like Scott Oberg and eternal pain in pitchers like Jordan Lyles. With that in mind, the Rockies should (and have admitted to) be looking for relief help at the deadline to bolster their chances this fall. The Partners: Miami, Detroit, San Diego, Philadelphia. From Pat Neshek to Brad Hand, the Rockies have some options to grab a good, reliable reliever in the next week and a half. There are small rumblings of an AJ Ramos or Justin Wilson grab but the way the Rockies have worked in the past would suggest a couple smaller moves over a big splash. Neshek sort of fits that mold, he’s an effective reliever but may not be a high priced commodity on the market. The Return: Relievers are becoming more and more expensive as more playoff series are determined by bullpen effectiveness. That being said, I have no idea what the market prices are these days. The Nationals just shored up their bullpen with two stout relievers and didn’t really give up anything of consequence. So you could say, “The Rockies need to give up as much as Ryan Castellani to get a good reliever,” and you could also say, “The Rockies need to make a really good broom and paint a face on it and that would be good enough to get a reliever,” and either way I would probably agree with you. Trade markets are weird, I don’t make them. How to Not Lose the Trade: Pray to the gods that the reliever you acquire is effective. No matter what price you pay to acquire this arm, you’re going to be in a situation where if he sucks big time people will be upset. Look at last season where people hand wrung over Kevin Padlo (guy hitting .240 in A+ ball) all season because Jake McGee was terrible. It literally doesn’t matter what you give up, people will be ticked if the purchase doesn’t contribute. So, doing the research is important. The Crime for Losing the Trade: A whiff on a reliever in a contending year is a Class E Felony. You’ll be in jail up to a year. Trade #2: Acquire a catcher The Situation: The Rockies have (not so) quietly had a terrible season from their catching duo/trio/quartet. It was quiet until about a month ago when people started to notice that the Rockies catchers have a combined OPS+ of like 13. On top of that, Tony Wolters’ framing stats have cratered and now the club can’t even rest on the idea that at least they at least have good defense. Tom Murphy’s wrist injury has likely cost him an entire season so it wouldn’t be a terrible idea (heck it might eve[...]

Rockies vs. Pirates preview: Probable pitchers, game times, and analysis


What you need to know about the Rockies and Pirates series After a perfect start to the homestand, the Colorado Rockies (56-41, 3rd in the NL West) will host one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates (48-48, 3rd in the NL Central). The Rockies are fresh off a sweep of the Padres in which they scored 36 runs to help erase the memory of a forgettable trip to New York. Everything was clicking for the Rockies in the series except maybe the bullpen which gave up six earned runs in nine and a third innings. The Rockies continue to be linked to relievers in the trade market as a result and we may see a deal in the next few days prior to the trade deadline on July 31. The offense has been the story lately however, and they’ll try to carry their momentum into a tough matchup this weekend. The Pirates have been one of baseball’s hottest teams, going 11-3 over their last four series. Their success is almost entirely due to their pitching. As a team, they’ve posted a 3.49 FIP, third best in baseball for the month of July. However, they come into Coors Field after sweeping the Brewers in four games but scoring just 15 runs in the series. They sit only three games back of the Brewers, two back of the Cubs, and seven back in the Wild Card race. Starting Pitching Notes The Rockies catch a break in this one as they will avoid Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole, the big names on the Pirates staff. However, the Rockies will face the staff leader in WAR and ERA in game one in Ivan Nova. Nova has put up good numbers so far but his batted ball profile leaves a lot to be desired. His soft contact rate of 17.6 percent is the second lowest rate on the staff and his 5.19 K/9 is far and away the lowest on the team. In fact, it’s good for seventh worst league wide among pitchers who have thrown at least 50 innings. All this suggests he has probably benefited from some good fortune, an assumption backed up by his mediocre 4.10 FIP. As a pitch-to-contact type, Nova may have a hard time keeping the Rockies offense in check. The Rockies will also face two young starters in rookie Trevor Williams and sophomore Chad Kuhl. Williams is a control over stuff righty who doesn’t strike out many but won’t walk many either. Kuhl has better pure stuff but struggles with control. They are the two guys you hope to see in a series against the Pirates. Bullpen Notes The Pirates bullpen has been excellent throughout the season. They are led by their dominant closer Felipe Rivero who came over in the Mark Melancon trade with the Nationals last July. Rivero took the job from Tony Watson earlier in the year, but Watson has remained a strong setup man and the two form an excellent one-two punch. The other top options are former Rockies player Juan Nicasio and former Diamondback Daniel Hudson. Offensive Notes The Pirates have struggled offensively all season and have not improved much even through their hot stretch in July. The team was relieved to welcome back Starling Marte just two days ago from his 80-game banned substance suspension. He has two hits since his return and should help pick up an offense that has struggled with consistency. Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison have carried the team offensively and Josh Bell has provided valuable power to an offense sorely lacking in the department. Their .146 ISO and .391 SLG both rank in the bottom five league-wide. The struggles of Gregory Polanco are a big reason for the team’s poor offensive season, although he has slashed .390/.410/.644 in July. The combination of Marte’s return and Polanco’s return to form may boost the offense in this series. Defensive Notes The Pirates have a good defense and the return of Starling Marte should be a big boost. In his absence, Andrew McCutchen spent most of his time in center field and cost the team 16 runs according to DRS. No one stands out particularly on defense but there are no big holes now that McCutchen will be manning rig[...]

Rockies pitching guru Mark Wiley emphasizes attitude, repertoire expansion


The Rockies’ Director of Pitching Operations talked with Purple Row about the current staff and the development of some top prospects. DENVER — Since the inception of the franchise in 1993, pitching has been a challenge for the Colorado Rockies. After the disastrous Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle signings in 2001, bringing free agent pitchers to Denver has rarely been an option, so the Rockies have had to develop their own. One man key to the development of the Rockies’ pitchers has been Mark Wiley, the Rockies’ Director of Pitching Operations. Wiley was hired by former general manager Dan O’Dowd after the disastrous 2012 season to oversee pitching throughout the Rockies organization, from the big league club to the amateur draft. Since Wiley joined the organization, the Rockies have drafted and developed Jon Gray and Kyle Freeland as well as traded for Jeff Hoffman and Germán Márquez as minor leaguers. Antonio Senzatela signed with the Rockies in 2011 but did not make his way to the United States until 2013. All five have contributed to the Rockies’ big league rotation this season, all besides Gray doing so as rookies. “It’s very rare to have that many rookie pitchers in your rotation,” Wiley said. “It’s just a tribute to them on the kind of kids they are. They have no fear.” The challenge of pitching in the big leagues can be as much mental as it is physical. Wiley gave the Rockies’ young staff credit for overcoming that mental challenge as they enter their first playoff race. “In baseball, fear will creep in,” Wiley said. “These guys haven’t allowed that to happen and that’s a tribute to them and their ability to make the pitch instead of worrying about the whole situation.” That said, Wiley and the Rockies have developed a philosophy for developing their pitchers, starting when they first enter the organization. “We put an emphasis, like a lot of people do, on when they first get into pro ball, getting them to establish their fastball on both sides of the plate,” Wiley said. One pitcher currently in that first stage of development is 2016 first-round pick Riley Pint, who has a 4.02 ERA and 1.58 WHIP with 53 strikeouts in 622⁄3 innings in his first full professional season at Low-A Asheville. “(Pint) has tremendous physical talent,” Wiley said. “He has all the pitches, really good curveball, really good changeup, even throws a slider. We’re just trying to get him, first and foremost, commanding the fastball and improving on that. We’re not as caught up right now in too much of the secondary stuff. He’s got time.” Wiley’s mention of the changeup, which doesn’t usually get headlined in scouting reports of Pint, is no accident, as the Rockies have made the change a point of emphasis in their development of pitchers during his tenure. “Most kids coming out of college and high school, with a few exceptions, don’t have much of a changeup, so we want to indoctrinate them into having value in a changeup,” Wiley said. In fact, every homegrown member of the Rockies’ big league pitching staff in 2017 has thrown a changeup, from Tyler Anderson, who has used it more than 30 percent of the time, to Gray, who has thrown a changeup just two percent of the time. In addition to the fastball-changeup combination, Wiley said the goal for the Rockies is to have their pitchers master one breaking ball, as we have seen with Gray’s slider and Hoffman’s curveball, among others. “We like to get one breaking ball that we can get consistent with, that we can throw behind in the count,” Wiley said. “We don’t get our catchers having their hands tied to where they don’t have weapons or areas of the plate that they can’t go to.” One prospect who has moved on to that stage of development is the Rockies’ second-round pick in 2015, Peter Lambert. “Peter has always been a pretty good command guy,” Wiley said. “T[...]

Rockies minor league pitchers have a rough day on Thursday


Colorado Rockies minor league news and notes from July 20, 2017. When the High-A Lancaster JetHawks give up eight runs at The Hangar and it is only the fourth-most runs allowed by a Rockies affiliate, you know it was not a pretty day. In seven games Thursday, Rockies minor league clubs allowed a combined 57 runs, or 8.1 per game. Perhaps the most notable struggle for a pitcher came from Hartford Yard Goats starter Parker French (No. 26 PuRP), who allowed 11 runs, all earned, on nine hits, four of them home runs, in 2 2⁄3 innings, walking one and striking out three. French, who has pitched 98 1⁄3 innings for the Yard Goats this season, saw his ERA rise by nearly a full run in one day. His counterpart at Triple-A Albuquerque, Zach Jemiola, did not fare much better. Jemiola got through four innings, allowing nine earned runs on 10 hits and three home runs with three walks and three strikeouts. Game Recaps Triple-A: Tacoma Rainiers 14, Albuquerque Isotopes 11 Raimel Tapia (No. 4 PuRP): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R David Dahl: 0-for-4, BB, R Ryan McMahon (No. 7 PuRP): 2-for-5, 2 R, RBI Jordan Patterson (No. 13 PuRP): 2-for-5, HR, R, 2 RBI Double-A: Portland Sea Dogs 12, Hartford Yard Goats 6 Brendan Rodgers (No. 1 PuRP): 1-for-4, BB Dom Nunez (No. 14 PuRP): 1-for-3, R, BB Parker French (No. 26 PuRP): 2 2/3 IP, 9 H, 11 R, 11 ER, 1 BB, 3 K High-A: Lake Elsinore Storm 8, Lancaster JetHawks 4 Garrett Hampson (No. 22 PuRP): 1-for-4, 2B Low-A: Asheville Tourists 6, Hickory Crawdads 2 Tyler Nevin (No. 23 PuRP): 0-for-4 Short-Season A: Everett AquaSox 13, Boise Hawks 11 Bret Boswell (2017 8th Round Pick): 2-for-6, 2 R, RBI Sean Bouchard (2017 9th Round Pick): 1-for-4, R, RBI, BB Daniel Jipping (2017 10th Round Pick): 1-for-4, RBI Rookie: Grand Junction Rockies 6, Billings Mustangs 5 Pedro Gonzalez (No. 16 PuRP): 0-for-3, BB, R Ryan Vilade (2017 2nd Round Pick): 0-for-3, BB Chad Spanberger (2017 6th Round Pick): 0-for-3, RBI Tommy Doyle (2017 2nd Round Pick): 1/3 IP, SV DSL: DSL Yankees 3, DSL Rockies 2 Friday Probables Triple-A: Barry Enright at Salt Lake, 6:35 p.m. MT Double-A: Ryan Castellani (No. 9 PuRP)/TBD at Portland, 3:00 p.m. MT (DH) High-A: Brandon Gold vs. Lake Elsinore, 7:35 p.m. MT Low-A: Riley Pint (No. 3 PuRP) at Hickory, 5:00 p.m. MT Short-Season A: Garrett Schilling at Everett, 8:05 p.m. MT Rookie: Lucas Gilbreath (2017 7th Round Pick) vs. Billings, 6:40 p.m. MT DSL: TBD at DSL Mets1, 8:30 a.m MT [...]