2017 Is Here!

2017 Is Here!

This is volume II of the Hot Stove thread started by sdcarp.  A review of what has happened so far:

Bud Black hired as new manager; coaching staff named.

Ian Desmond biggest signing so far and supposedly will play first base.

CarGo and Chuck_Nazty has been dangled as baits but no takers yet that meet JB’s demands.

Jose Quintana will be traded, but to whom?  Rockies are rumored to be in on it with a trio of prospects (anyone’s guess which ones)

Mike Dunn is the biggest bullpen addition; mixed reviews by RWOers.

I turned in my ballot for the Purp30 list on Purple Row and here’s my list:

1. Brendan Rodgers – Will always be there until he gets knocked off my list.
2. Jeff Hoffman – He is following Jon Gray-like path.
3. Riley Pint
4. Raimel Tapia – #71 on MLB.com top 100 prospect list
5. German Marquez – #100 on MLB.com top 100 prospect list
6. Ryan McMahon – I’m still high on him as he is still young for league level.
7. Ryan Castellani – best pitcher closer to majors other than Hoffman and Marquez.
8. Tom Murphy – he can hit in the majors; his last appearance here on the Purp30
9. Kyle Freeland
10. Forrest Wall
11. Jairo Diaz – the forgotten man; by mid-summer he will re-establish his 60 grade fastball
12. Colton Welker
13. Yency Almonte
14. Dan Montano
15. Dom Nunez
16. Tyler Nevin
17. Peter Lambert
18. Sam Howard
19. Antonio Senzatela
20. Jordan Patterson
21. Willie Abreu
22. Ben Bowden
23. Robert Tyler
24. Mike Nikorak
25. Harrison Musgrave
26. Parker French – love his low, low BB/9 rate
27. Jack Wynkoop – I will always have a soft spot for him; all he does is pitch, pitch while keeping the team in the game
28. Rayon Gonzalez – I saw one AFL game on MLBN and he throws a mean 12-6 hook
29. David Hill
30. Breiling Eusebio

31. Garret Hampson
32. Pedro Gonzalez
33. David Hill
34. Javier Medina
35. Sam Moll
36. Brian Mundell
37. Jerry Vasto
38. Corelle Prime
39. Wander Cabrera
40. Luis Noguera

Posted by Rocky Mountain High on Dec 26, 2016 | 11:58 AM
The 2017 roster will look more or less like this:
Rotation – Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, Tyler Chatwood, Chad Bettis, and Jeff Hoffman (or whoever wins the #5 spot in ST)
Bullpen – Chris Rusin, Jordan Lyles, Mike Dunn, Carlos Estevez, Zero, Jason Motte, Chad Qualls (or somebody forces Rox to DFA Qualls), Jairo Diaz (mid season), Miguel Castro
OF – CarGo, Blackmon, Dahl, Parra
IF – Desmond, DJLM, Story, Arenado, Patterson?, Adames? (or signee like a Stephen Drew)
C – Wolters and Murphy

rockymountainhigh

Hometown - Champaign, IL College - Northern Illinois University, 1988 Sports Editor for my high school newspaper. Travels frequently - I can be found anywhere in the world.

68 Comments

    • sdcarp

      December 26, 2016

      Thanks RMH – the Hot Stove thread was getting too long.

      My Mom always told me “if you can’t say something nice, say nothing.” So….no comment from me on Alexi Amarista (yet. I was sort f notorious for not listening to my Mom).

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      December 26, 2016

      I didn’t like the signing at all. He had something like the worst fWAR or whatever analytics they use. Ag can confirm this.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      December 27, 2016

      To me, these last two signings (Dunn and Amarista) indicate we’re stuck in neutral, at best.

      Dunn replaces Boone Logan. Keep in mind, even though Logan sucked in 14 and 15, he was basically the lone bright spot from the Pen in 16. So Dunn will be doing well to match Logan’s 16 performance.

      Amarista will essentially replace either Delcalso gone) or Adames (or some combination of both). Historically, he’s not as good as Delcalso (ouch). He’s probably better than the 16 version of Adames….but Adames is young and has some very minimal upside. So assuming some normal young player maturation, a 17 version of Adames is probably equal to Amarista. So when I look at incremental differences between those two players I see two key differences. Amarista has more position flexibility and (based on past history) does appear to be a legitimately opportunistic base runner.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        December 27, 2016

        I guess the biggest head scratcher to me is not the signing as much as it being a Major League (40 man roster spot) vs. Minor League with invite to Major League camp at Spring Training (not currently requiring 40 man spot).

        Reply
    • mucs10

      December 27, 2016

      RMH, I didn’t see Jake McGee on this 2017 bullpen roster. I am sure he is still on the team. Unless, of course, you feel like they will include him in some future trade. If you add him who do your then remove from your list?

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      December 27, 2016

      I knew I was missing somebody in BP. Yes, adds McGee and whoever is worst performer in ST is out. Hopefully Qualls.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      December 27, 2016

      I don’t get it the hot stove activities. Now all of a sudden everyone is bidding via trade for Brian Dozier. But nobody interested in Blackmon or CarGo???

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      December 27, 2016

      RMH – Cargo is minimally valuable for several reasons. First…..he’s just not that good (sorry Rockies fans – he’s only about a 2 WAR player). Second….he’s expensive (20M – keep in mind very rough rule of thumb 1 WAR = 8M – so his true break even value is more like 16M). Third – there are plenty of corner OFer’s/DH types available in the market. IMO – the only true match for Cargo is Baltimore, and only if they lose Trumbo. In that case, a simple Cargo for Brad Brach trade makes perfect sense for both sides.

      IMO Blackmon has relatively significant value and is a great “sell high” candidate. With that said (IMO once again), the Rox are asking for too much in return. If I’m the Blue Jays GM and get a call asking for Marcus Stroman for Blackmon straight up, I laugh and hang up the phone. Front line starters are EXTREMELY valuable.

      Regarding Dozier – reasonable contract, “need” position (especially for the Dodgers), coming off 42 HRs. A little younger (29). Perhaps Minnesota’s real asking price is more reasonable ???

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      December 30, 2016

      I saw on MLBN last night from Ron Darling: if Rockies sign Trumbo and Holland while trading away one OF to make room for Desmond in OF he will get on the Rockies’ bandwagon as contenders. Don’t stop, JB!

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      January 1, 2017

      Ladies and Gents – Happy New Year!

      The Hot Stove typically turns cold over the Holidays – this year has been no different. So expect a January flurry of activity beginning tomorrow. There’s a small flotilla of 1B types available. Napoli (likely to Rangers), Trumbo, Carter, Morrison, Lind, Reynolds, Alvarez, etc. Jose Bautista has to figure out what to do. Looks as though the Twins are on the verge of trading Dozier. The White Sox got off to a screaming start with their fire sale, but they still have really desirable pieces (Abreu, Frazier, Robertson, Jones, etc). that they can, and should, move.

      Nothing has changed from the Rox perspective in my mind. One more RP (Holland?), a 1B (Carter?), and unload Cargo for a RP if we don’t sign Holland, unload him for a Prospect if we do sign Holland.

      As RMH notes above, let’s go JB. Get this done!

      Reply
      • Pooter

        January 4, 2017

        Why do the Rockies need to trade an outfielder? Why so quick to unload Carlos Gonzales from a team that has playoff aspirations? I have fallen in love with the idea of adding Holland and Carter/Trumbo, not dealing an outfielder and having Desmond serve as a super utility guy giving CF, LF, RF, SS, 2B, and 1B days off to avoid high altitude wear and tear. If Desmond does end up being the primary 1B then that is fine with me, however, I will be disappointed if Holland or another stud BP guy is not added. Focus on trading Cargo at the All star break if team is under performing.

        If an outfielder is to be unloaded I would much rather have it be Charlie, in my opinion he has peaked, whereas Cargo is a MVP, hot season waiting to happen and an absolute lineup changer.

        Reply
        • sdcarp

          January 11, 2017

          We’ll just have to agree to disagree on our Cargo assessment.

          Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 13, 2017

        Wow – not sure what to make of this. All-in-all, seems like a really good deal for the Rockies. Also seems like NoDo is giving the Rox a little wiggle payroll wiggle room for 2017 by deferring some of his salary to 18.

        Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 14, 2017

        Both of these come in ever so slightly under projections. Arenado defers some money to next season. Desmond and Dunn’s contracts were “light” on 2017. There is definitely a collective effort to defer money away from 2017. The players (and their Agents) are buying into it. Obviously the bulk of this is necessitated by the final Reyes year (22M in 17). But I’m holding out hope there’s still room to take on one more significant contract. Either Holland in the Pen or someone at 1st.

        Reply
        • sdcarp

          January 14, 2017

          I find the NoDo and DJLM 2-year deals extremely intriguing (and Otto’s deal sort of falls into this category as well). From Otto’s standpoint, coming off TJ, I get it. From DJLM’s standpoint as not yet an established (and borderline star) player coming into 2015, I also get it. NoDo though……he seemingly really did the team a favor.

          When I look at these deals from the Rockies standpoint, I’m about 90% onboard with the concept. It certainly leaves the Club with lots of flexibility. Pretty shrewd stuff. But then I scratch my head and wonder why the hell did they give Qualls 2 years and Parra 3 years. Does Bridich have multiple personalities?

          Reply
          • rockymountainhigh

            January 16, 2017

            JB doesn’t have multiple personalities. He thought last year at the time he would have cheap veterans hold down the bullpen for two years until the window opens in 2018. He didn’t anticipate the window opening that soon. As in 2017.

            Reply
    • Bob K.

      January 17, 2017

      Amarista signing is now official. I assume the signing was as a favor to Bud Black but it is a signing that does not inspire confidence in upper management. In my opinion there was no reason to waste a 40 man spot on him. As a minor league signing with an invite to spring training it would have made some sense but not as a major league signing.

      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/01/rockies-to-sign-alexi-amarista.html

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 17, 2017

        Agree regarding minor league contract (similar to what was given Denorfia). Those are “no risk.”

        I see the Amarista signing being similar to the Dunn signing. It’s another “push.” Dunn replaces Logan. Amarista replaces Descalso. Amarista has less power than Descalso, but runs better. He IS a bit cheaper than Descalso.

        I think we’re in a holding pattern, waiting for Greg Holland. If he chooses the Rockies, I think were otherwise done for the 2016/17 Hot Stove. If he goes elsewhere, we may not be done. I can see any number of possible scenarios if we don’t get Holland.

        FWIW – I think we have a 50/50 chance at Holland.

        Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 18, 2017

        RMH – I think you can make a really, really strong case for the best “realistic” (meaning considering the Monfort factor and allegiance to declining older players) offensive team the Rox can assemble (given where we are now, 1/18/17) is to sign Chris Carter, unload Geraldo Parra, and make Ian Desmond the roving Ben Zobrist super-sub who’s in the lineup 6 days a week.

        There’s a guy on Purple Row that keeps a meticulous spreadsheet of Rox salary commitments for upcoming years. We’re currently at 117M for 2017. I’ve read some unconfirmed reports that the payroll could be 125M for 17. “If” this is true, we have about 8M to still to work with for 17. Hypothetically, let’s say we unload Parra and pay 8M of his salary instead of +/-12M. Then we could have 12M available. I’m thinking Chris Carter can be had for 6M. So……that still leaves us a little short for Holland (let’s say he’s 2 years, 20M). But we’re close.

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      January 21, 2017

      No other way for me to say it – assuming no other major moves, an incredibly disappointing offseason. Early projections like this one – http://claydavenport.com/projections/PROJHOME.shtml – have us in 4th place in the NL West, at … 72 wins. 6 games behind the 3rd place Dbacks. Now, I do think that’s overly pessimistic. A lot of the Rox expected value comes from young players and/or players we think (Bettis/Chatwood) have emerged as at least average starters. But the disappointment comes from Bridich’s moves:
      – Desmond: even with Davenport’s projection of 25 HRs, he projects overall as a 0.5 WAR 1B. That’s because his expected production is below the average for first basemen. Which simply ratifies the idea that this was a truly puzzling signing …
      – Dunn: projects at replacement level, and that’s for an awful lot of money for a middle of the bullpen reliever
      – Parra: ditto, an awful lot of money for a 4th outfielder

      Now, some of Davenport’s playing time estimates are downright weird. His system doesn’t like Wolters, but does kind of like Murphy (not surprising given their minor league track records), but Wolters gets the majority of at bats. On the other hand, his system helps by assigning Amarista virtually zero playing time (which is, in fact, what he should get; he is a truly awful MLB player), whereas I can expect Amarista to be used way, way too much. Why else would they sign him?

      So the hope is that young guys like Dahl, Anderson, Gray, Hoffman, Marquez have true breakout seasons. And they’ll need a few of them, not just one …

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        January 21, 2017

        I saw a different projection with the Rockies and Diamondbacks projected to finish tied with 78 wins each. The only reason I can think of for signing Amarista was as a favor to Bud Black. I do however remember times when he looked really good against the Rockies. His career stats do not look promising. I really like Wolters but expect Murphy to get the bulk of the catching opportunities. I believe that Wolters can handle playing infrequently better than Murphy can.

        Reply
        • sdcarp

          January 22, 2017

          2017 Projections:

          Seems like most of the team Projections rely almost solely on the algorithms used for player projects – and then simply adding up the individual projections.

          sdcarp’ s super simplistic logic:

          2016 – 75 wins – fact.
          2016 – relatively injury free, at least with key players – fact.
          2016 – WW, 2017 Bud Black – should be a nice plus – fact.
          Old guys tend to regress – fact (Cargo).
          “Career Year” is singular – Chuck Natzy, DJ.
          Young, talented players put in positions to succeed tend to do just that (Dahl, Anderson, Story, most likely Murphy).
          Dunn = Logan if we’re lucky.
          Amarista = Descalso if we’re lucky.
          Desmond as solely a 1st baseman might not be better than Reynolds (although the potential is there for so much more).

          So I list all these things out and look at the core components.

          Everyday lineup – about same, maybe marginally better. Chuck and DJ come out of orbit a bit, Murphy and Dahl grow as players, we get a whole season from Story (but someone else will be injured), Cargo’s regression doesn’t accelerate.

          Bullpen – ugh! Perhaps McGee rebounds a bit. Otto is a full year removed from TJ. Those two things may take us from the 28-29th ranked Pen to 25th ranked. Big deal.

          SP – weird, but could be the bright spot simply from continued maturation fof Gray, Anderson, Hoffman, Marquez, etc.

          My early gut feeling is 78 wins. My biggest concern is after a relatively light injury year in 2016, we get bit by the injury bug in 17.

          Things that could yet occur to make me feel better about 17:

          Sign Greg Holland.
          Sign a 1B to allow Desmond to roam a bit.
          A solid TJ recovery from Jairo Diaz.

          Reply
    • Agbayani

      January 22, 2017

      Bob K., you’re right – fangraphs (for one) has a 78 win projection for the Rockies. Likewise, Carp is right: all of the projection systems are basically aggregations of individual player performance projections, so a lot depends on final roster construction/playing time (including estimated time for those injured last year), etc. So why is fangraphs (I think these are the Steamer system) 6 games better than Davenport? They’re both really well thought out, so why the divergence?
      Well, a lot also depends on how heavily you weight performance in the last 3 (or 4) seasons. So Desmond is a 1.5 WAR on fangraphs; 0.6 on Davenport. Without knowing more, I can tell you Davenport weights prior years higher in his system, so Desmond’s horrific 2015 pulls him down. Likewise, fangraphs “believes” in the 2016 Jon Gray (3.6 WAR projection! That’s the best we’ve had out of a starter since, well, Ubaldo) far more than Davenport (0.6 WAR projection). And the same for Tyler Anderson (2.8 WAR vs. 0.8). I can’t say one is “better” than the other, but it does show us that whether or not we have a truly competitive team — and a projected 78 win team could very easily be in the wildcard race — depends on whether the obvious gains we saw from guys like Gray, Anderson, and Blackmon last year are true improvements in baseline performance vs. luck or career seasons.

      I’m with Carp on the optimistic side this year (which is why I’m frustrated with Bridich’s moves so far). I think we saw the following players have true breakouts at the MLB or minor league level:

      – Murphy: just plain prodigious power. He’ll never hit for average, but if he gets 2/3 of the playing time I expect 25 HRs. Power like we saw out of him isn’t a fluke. He absolutely destroyed PCL pitching in the second half. And I think he’s a solid defensive catcher too.
      – Gray: it clicked for him too in the second half. Fingers crossed on health, but I think we’ve got our first true ace since Ubaldo.
      -Anderson: I think we’ve got Jeff Francis 2.0 (again, health!)
      -Dahl: this is where my long-term pro-stats bias meets my more recent mantra of “true talent (almost) always emerges.” Dahl didn’t light up the minors, and there are big problems with his contact skills. But the kid is a great athlete. He (like, say, Matt Holliday or even Bryce Harper) got promoted well before his stat lines said he was ready, but I watch him and I say, “he’s ready.” I think he becomes a really good regular player with an All Star appearance or two (maybe more) in the future.

      And I still have to believe there’s a move or two left in Bridich since the roster is kind of a mess right now. Imagine: one-run down, 8th inning, Rox at bat, pitcher due up. Opposition brings in a LOOGY. We send up … Gerardo Parra (lefty hitter, and not a very good one at that?) Jordan Patterson? Alexi Amarista? Are you kidding me? Just find some way to dump Parra in one of those “I’ll take your bad contract if you’ll take mine” deals, or move Cargo for some middling prospect/contract relief and balance this roster!

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        January 22, 2017

        I also would love to see the Rockies move Parra for anything they can get for him. Just my opinion but I believe that Walt Weiss for personally responsible for at least 10 losses last year because of his moves during the game whether it be his inept handling of the pitchers or his idiotic pulling of starting position players with a lead to lose the game later.

        I have to believe that Bud Black as a manager will have a few wins because of his game management whether it be how he handles the pitching staff or the position players. As we all remember, WW did not appear to be capable of understanding how to platoon position players that needed to be platooned.

        I would not be surprised to see the Rockies have a winning season this year.

        Reply
        • sdcarp

          January 24, 2017

          Parra is owed roughly 20M over the next 2 seasons. He’ll be my 2017 “Sunk Cost” poster child. We’ll need to eat 15M to get rid of him. We should do that….and not ask for anything significant in return. We’ll “save” 5M and be a better team.

          Reply
    • Doc

      January 24, 2017

      Giants just signed Nick Hundley for 1 year at 2M.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      January 24, 2017

      Mark Reynolds isn’t signed yet, and right now that may be the best option for the Rockies. As I mentioned, who’s the RH bat off the bench? Answer: there isn’t one, unless it’s Stephen Cardullo (fun story, but really) or Murphy when he isn’t catching. I still hold out a little hope for a late Chris Carter signing, which would free up Desmond to start roaming the diamond a bit, particularly against lefties, making the overall batting order stronger. Bullpen: I keep reading that Bridich is looking for another reliever, but at this point it’s a crowded veteran pen: Motte, Qualls, the re-signed McGee (excuse me while I pound my head against the nearest wall), Lyles (that’s more of a scratch my head till it bleeds), Dunn, Ottavino. Now, having a lot of veterans is not the same thing as having a lot of good veterans; I don’t think many tears would be shed if Bridich just ate Qualls contract (or Motte if he can’t show he’s healthy in spring) and moved on. And I’d hope there’s room for a young kid or two: Estevez, Castro, maybe another lefty like Moll or even Vasto. So I’m all for Chris Carter as our final move, with Mark Reynolds as a consolation prize, and just go with what we’ve got in the pen already, since I don’t know if my stomach can take yet another veteran “didn’t he used to be good about half a dozen years ago” reclamation project.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      January 25, 2017

      On twitter 15 minutes ago, Rockies ate close to signing Greg Holland per Jon Heyman.

      I bought Bill James handbook of baseball. Amazing encyclopedia. It did mention that Mark Reynolds was in top 10 for defensive runs saved among first basemen. So Reynolds won’t be a bad addition and cheap.

      Reply
    • Bob K.

      January 25, 2017

      The deal is for a guaranteed $7MM with performance bonuses allowing it to get as high as $14MM.

      Reply
    • EdtheUmp

      January 25, 2017

      MLB Network’s Billy Ripken just said, “mark my words, Rockies will be one of the two wildcards in 2017.”

      Reply
    • lwesche

      January 25, 2017

      Opps…..posted on Volume 1! But am excited first game is one month from today!!

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      January 25, 2017

      I was in the Black Forest Bermuda Triangle today (somewhere between Parker/Castle Rock/Colorado Springs – that’s a weird shaped triangle, huh?) when I got a text from RMH saying “Holland.” Thanks RMH.

      This is a risk the Rox absolutely, positively have to take. It IS a risk. A big risk. But it’s the only way we get a pitcher with this type of upside to come here as a FA. Honestly, the contract is much more team friendly than what I had imagined, so good job JB on that aspect as well.

      I’ve always said the easiest way to fix an ailing Pen is to start at the back (Closer) and move everyone “down a slot.” Having said that, I’m predicting Holland will NOT begin the season as the Closer. I think he’ll be used in lower leverage situations for a while as he regains his strength/feel/consistency/rhythm/etc. But as long as he physically progresses, I do believe he will ultimately move back into the CL slot, which allows Otto to move to the 8th, Estevez/Dunn to the 7th, etc. Holland is a bulldog. I think he pitched injured (and relatively well) for quite a while in 2015. This guy is tough. He’s not a fragile ego. Bottom-line, if this scenario does occur, the whole Pen gets better. Couple this with Bud Black instead of WW, and we now have made a positive difference in the Pen.

      IMO, the whole 1B scenario has been slow-played waiting on Holland. So don’t be surprised if we see a quick strike signing of a FA 1Bman to platoon with Desmond, freeing Desmond to play other positions part time. That said, I really DO think Bridich is sincere when he says he signed Desmond to play 1st, and I DO think we’ll see him playing there a lot. So this leads us to a counter-intuitive spot. We could actually use a LHed 1Bman. Adam Lind and Brandon Moss come to mind. But we still have an over-riding team need for a RHed bench bat, so Mark Reynolds (as Ag suggests) or Chris Carter are also viable. Bottom-line…..we’ve taken a very alternate route to get ourselves into a pretty sweet situation. If we can somehow “free” Desmond just a bit, we’ll capitalize on his athleticism and effectively strengthen our bench by making him a “bench” player as well as a 1Bman.

      Another thing…..I’m a Scott Boras hater, but the bottom-line is he’s the most powerful Agent in the game and you eventually have to deal with him to get good players. Building a bridge to him isn’t a bad thing – even if you have to hold your nose while doing it.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      January 26, 2017

      I’m going to the Q&A session with Bud Black this Saturday at Coors. Anybody have a specific question for Black or JB?

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      January 26, 2017

      A little Greg Holland back-story. I doubt the media will ever connect the dots on this.

      Greg Holland is from Morganton, N.C. (In western NC). He went to High School at McDowell HS in Marion NC. He then went to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC (extreme western NC – almost TN/GA/NC border). Madison Bumgarner went to South Caldwell HS in Hudson, NC (also in western NC – same HS Conference as Holland at McDowell). They just missed overlapping. Rockies BP Coach Darren Holmes went to Roberson HS in Asheville, NC (about 45 miles west of Holland and Bumgarner). {I also went to Roberson HS. Darren and I overlapped in HS 2 years}. Other Roberson alumni include current UNC basketball coach Roy Williams, current Angels CFer Cameron Maybin, and longtime Rockies scout and now Special Assistant to General Manager Danny Montgomery (Danny and I were in the same HS class – old guys!).

      As you know – the Rockies have been entrenched in Asheville, NC with their low A affiliate since their inception.

      Holland and Steve Foster overlapped in KC in 2013 and 14.

      Where I’m going with this is……..I think it’s safe to say Holland feels extremely comfortable with Darren Holmes and Steve Foster, and knows the Rockies really well due to his proximity to Asheville, NC. Like most kids in that area, he probably attended games at McCormick Field. Foster knows Holland and his mechanics. It’s safe to guess Holmes followed Holland closely simply as a “hometown” boy.

      This is a really, really good match for both sides.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      January 27, 2017

      File under the category “Very Interesting:”

      I saw numerous photos yesterday of Bud Black, Tom Murphy, Jon Gray, and Carlos Estevez in the Monfort’s private plane jetting around to GJ, SLC, and Laramie for caravan stops. Black bonding with 3 of the young studs. All battery mates. Think that’s a coincidence? I think not.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 27, 2017

        I can sort of get D+ before the Holland signing. But in my mind, he takes it to a C+. If we sign a 1st baseman that frees Desmond, we go to B+.

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      January 27, 2017

      My favorite website is at it again:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/its-time-for-the-rockies-to-innovate/

      Earlier this offseason, I was mildly perplexed when the Rox tendered Jordan Lyles. I’ve been mildly surprised they haven’t (successfully) tried to trade Eddie Butler. I’ve also read some speculation that Hoffman and Freeland could be considered for service out of the Pen (as an old Earl Weaver fan….I have no issues with this). Where I’m going is here……it seems like the Rox are gearing up towards lightening the load on SPers while really stockpiling RPers. Probably not in the “extreme” way this article suggests, but the accumulation of RPer manpower suggests shifting load to the RPers. Look at this list:

      Holland, Otto, Dunn, Estevez, Castro, McGee, Motte, Lyles, Moll, Oberg, Rusin, Butler, Qualls, perhaps Hoffman? perhaps Freeland? Diaz at some point. This is enough to fill out the Denver and ABQ Pens.

      Now consider this…..we’re also moving to a 10 day DL in 2017 (part of the new CBA). This could be huge for SPers. With only a single team off day in an 11 day period, a SP put on the 10 DL might only miss a single start. I foresee an epidemic of minor injuries…..effectively allowing SPers to miss only one turn through the rotation while allowing their roster spot to be filled – most likely by a RPer. Tyler Chatwood could go on the 10 day DL, miss an entire homestand, yet only miss a single start. Shrewd teams are going to use this to preserve their SPers.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      January 27, 2017

      I really like the Holland signing. It’s a good chunk of change for a guy who isn’t guaranteed to be back to health (or to last a full season), but at least he’s a really high upside guy. So I agree with Carp – that raises the Rockies offseason report card to the low middling range. And excellent point too about the 10 day DL. This is a rule made for the Rockies! They can shuttle pitchers between the DL/rehab assignments/options/MLB 25 man roster to try to avoid those burnout issues and to dig into the bullpen early and often. Now this is quite an assemblage of former closers: Motte, McGee, Holland, Otto … surely at least one guy in addition to Otto will have a decent season? Is that too much to ask? Or maybe they can sign Eric Gagne and Trevor Hoffman to improve the odds even more. I’ve got to check who has options left because there’s no way they can carry all of these vet relievers on the big league roster.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 28, 2017

        Of course “options” are the practical roadblock to my suspected DL shuffle. You’re right, the retirement home half of our Pen certainly won’t have options remaining. So if we see guys like Motte and Qualls show some semblance of health and decent form in ST, I predict they’ll begin he season on the 25 man roster until they become injured (wink, wink). Then the Estevez/Castro/Oberg etc daycare half of our Pen will arrive.

        Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 28, 2017

        One more comment Ag – mostly just to be a contrarian – my prediction is Jake McGee will bounce back ala Boone Logan last season. So let’s get into the “ifs” while being somewhat reasonable. If Otto is fully recovered from TJ (likely), McGee bounces back to decent form (somewhat likely), Holland is good from June-September (somewhat likely), Dunn fills the 2016 version of Boone Logan’s role (somewhat likely), one of the young pups (Estevez/Castro/Oberg/Moll/etc) emerge (I’m saying likely simply due to volume), and a semi reliable long man emerges from the Lyles/Rusin/Butler/etc group……………….we’ll move towards a Major League average BP………….which will represent a HUGE improvement.

        Reply
    • Bob K.

      January 28, 2017

      Eddie Butler no options
      Miguel Castro 1 option
      Jairo Diaz 2 options
      Mike Dunn no options
      Carlos Estevez 2 options
      Jordan Lyles no options
      Jake McGee no options
      Jason Motte 2X options*
      Scott Oberg 1 option
      Adam Ottavino 1X option*
      Chad Qualls 3X options*
      Chris Rusin no options

      *I believ the X means that the player has to give his consent to be sent to the minors.

      Holland was not included because his signing has not been officially announced so there is no information available for him yet.

      Of the starting pitchers, only Tyler Chatwood is out of options.

      http://rockiesroster.com/rockies/40-man/

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 28, 2017

        Bob K – great info. There was a spirited debate on Purple Row regarding EButts and options. Some think that because of some obscure rule and/or circumstance – he may have one remaining.

        I look down that list and Lyles and Rusin (and maybe Butler) will be fighting to for Rockies’ careers in ST. If more than one of those three look good in ST, we could see a late ST trade where they get shipped out for a minor league player – hopefully ala Yhency Almonte or similar.

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      January 28, 2017

      RMH and other “powers that be” – we should leave the Hot Stove thread open for another 2 weeks (we still have one move remaining) – then start a 2017 Spring Training thread. Then in mid-March, begin the world famous 2017 Predictions thread.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 28, 2017

        Damn Bob….we were just discussing options and BOOM, this happens. I wrote this on PR regarding Butler:

        “In my feeble mind, he was destined to compete with Rusin and Lyles for a long spot in the Pen. All three have pluses and minuses. As noted above, if you look past Butler’s Prospect status a couple of years ago, they all three rate about equal. But, Butler has the most pedigree. So there’s a good chance Bridich will get to go off-the-radar Prospect shopping again ala Yhency Almonte, German Marquez, and somewhat similarly, Tony Wolters. I like Bridich in this role. This is where he excels.”

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      January 28, 2017

      Bob K, thanks for the options report. And it explains why they had to pull the plug on Butler, as well as explaining why they gave him ample opportunity last year. Too bad. I think there’s a reasonable chance he establishes himself somewhere else. Carp, on McGee: I admire your baseball acumen, but I can’t agree on that one. Logan was the classic bounceback candidate last year. In his 3 Rockies years he always had a K/9 rate of about 11, and the BB rate was pretty stable too. So his “bad” first year was explained by a very high (remember, 25 innings only) HR/9 rate – the kind of think that’s flukey and not terribly indicative of true talent. And his second year he was plagued by a .370 BABIP, which we all know is the kind of thing that has almost zero predictive value. Meanwhile, no signs of any looming aging problems – for example, FB velocity stayed right at 92-93 all three seasons, and his pitch selection stayed the same too. So why was he good last year? A really low BABIP! (.230 range) and a normal HR rate. Same old Boone, don’t be fooled by sample size. Now McGee: I start by doing the same thing. Small sample, so maybe he really was just a victim of bad luck. But … K rate down from 11 to about 7.5. And why? FB velocity down from 96 a few years ago, to 94.5 in his final TB season, to 92 last year. And he went from the most fastball-dominant pitcher in baseball to a guy who’s throwing almost 50% other pitches, none of which is particularly good. That smells of real decline rather than statistical blip. And that’s confirmed by my eyeball test, watching him struggle out there to put hitters away. So I have to hope that Bridich, etc., know something we don’t, like McGee had a lingering injury he just couldn’t shake, and that they’re confident that he can bounce at least halfway back to the old McGee (maybe the 94.5 mph guy?) and be reasonably effective in 2017. If not, they just bought themselves a replacement level (or worse!) reliever for $5.5 million or whatever it was …

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      January 28, 2017

      Ag – I agree 100% regarding statistics. I’m staking my hunch on him not being fully recovered from his 2015 knee issues in 2016, and that impacting his mechanics.

      FWIW – I’m just playing a hunch. No inside info.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      January 29, 2017

      What Bridich may be thinking: consider this my first installment in my “Planet Alignment Theory 2017.”
      – we all know the Rox went 75-87 last year. But their pythagorean record (based on run differential): 80-82. Pythagorean records have better correlation to the following season than true W-L records. What explains the differential? Well, sometimes it’s bad luck, but maybe a good part of it is atrocious bullpen performance (losing too many close games) and poor late-game decision making. So improve the bullpen and fire the manager.
      – realistically, this team isn’t winning the NL West. The Dodgers talent base is just way beyond ours. The Giants considerably so. (D’backs probably about the same, and Padres probably the worst team in baseball.) So you need to get in the mix of the 84-86 win teams to snag one of those wild cards. Right now the Marlins and the Giants look like the top wild card contenders. Maybe the Mets or Pirates too. All are deeply flawed teams (just like us and the Dbacks), but some teams are going to fall apart, and some are going to catch lightning in a bottle. So why not us.
      – Gone are the O’Dowd days of resolute focus on one big thing on the batting or pitching side. Get on base more? Desmond is no OBP champ. Groundballers work best at Coors? Well, Mike Dunn is about as extreme a flyball pitcher as there is. Motte is definitely a flyball pitcher too. Chatwood: extreme groundballer. Bettis/Anderson: groundballers. Gray: kind of neutral so far. Holland too. The idea seems to be that there’s no special Coors formula; better players, regardless of how they achieve results, do better at Coors.
      – So the bullpen focus: it was awful last year. Motte actually showed something when he was out there (the K rate came back up). Otto will be about 22 months post-TJ surgery on opening day. Holland about 17 months. There’s a reasonable chance that both will return to about 90% of their former selves. And since Holland was truly dominant pre-injury, and Otto was for about a month or so, there’s a not-ridiculous chance that you could have two excellent 8th/9th inning men, plus two experienced lefties (Dunn: reliably mediocre, but never awful; McGee: even if not peak McGee, maybe 2015 TB McGee?), plus Rusin (who did very well in relief), and Lyles (who actually held opposing batters to an o.k. .740 OPS in relief last year), plus possibly Estevez and/or Castro (who both have flashed potential dominance in short stints).

      So in other words, 84-85 wins may not be so unrealistic, but it still depends on our hitters not regressing (no sure thing at all) and lots of things falling into place on the pitching side.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 29, 2017

        Dude – you’re psychic. I was going to request at 86 win PAT. To me, that is the realistically optimistic top end of our potential in 2017 (it’s not necessarily my prediction mind you……I need to see half of ST before I do that).

        I agree with your comment regarding offensive regression. Blackmon and DJ have to come out of orbit – at least a bit, don’t they? Cargo is steadily regressing. On the flip side there is NoDo, Dahl’s maturation, a full season of Story, Desmond, and despite what virtually every national publication says – decent offensive production at Catcher. BUT….we were also remarkably injury free in 16 (sans Story). I’d love to see that trend continue, but we have to be realistic. What could offset the regression and an “average” injury year is the emergence of an off-the-radar offensive player. Jordan Patterson? Perhaps Tom Murphy really goes berserk?

        Isn’t it weird how we (and almost all the national guys also) seem to suddenly feel OK about our SP? I don’t know how to handle it.

        Reply
    • Bob K.

      January 29, 2017

      Something else to consider. Last year the Rockies had a winning record against teams with a winning record. Unfortunately they had a losing record against teams with losing records. They had a manager who in my opinion created at least 10 losses out of what appeared to be games they should have won. They now have a manager who in the past has shown the ability to win games that should have been lost. If the new manager can keep the trend of winning against teams with winning records and get them to win against teams with losing records there is no reason they can’t have a winning season.

      I feel very confident that one very serious issue has been corrected and that is a manager who was clueless about how to manage a pitching staff has been replaced by a manager who has a past record of being able to get more than should be expected from his pitching staff.

      Reply
    • Bob K.

      January 29, 2017

      Yesterday MLBNetwork released their top 100 prospects list with5 Rockies on it.

      15 – Brendan Rodgers
      44 – Jeff Hoffman
      51 – Riley Pint
      73 – German Marquez
      90 – Raimel Tapia

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        January 29, 2017

        The ascent of German Marquez from about the 15th rated player in the Rays system to #73 overall is remarkable.

        Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      January 29, 2017

      Also don’t forget Ryan McMahon, Yency Almonte, and Kyle Freeland – they could just as easily burst into the top 100 in the next poll.

      Reply

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