2018-2019 Off Season

Colorado Rockies improved to 91 wins in 2018 against 87 wins in 2017.  This year was perceived as a disappointment even though the paper says they won 91 games and lost the NL West tie breaker in game 163.  Let’s dig in a little deeper as to why 91 wins were not enough in the minds of the seam heads and RWOers.

The pitching staff has come through with flying colors keeping the games close to give the Rockies a chance to win.  It took some adjusting in the first half to finally figure out the roles in the bullpen.  Scott Oberg and D.J. Johnson showed up while Jake McGee, Bryan Shaw, Mike Dunn, and Carlos Estevez disappeared.  Chris Rusin of August/September will hopefully continue through the entire 2019 season.  The rotation was stout with a few hiccups here and there from the back end.

As we can imagine, there is no way the Rockies win 75 games without pitching.  Roster construction was a disaster and that was a major reason for the perceived failure of the 2019 team.  They were the worst offensive team in franchise history.

It began with the front office head scratching moves.  Before I start ranting, they do deserve credit for finally having the best pitching staff who can pitch at altitude.  Good pitching is forecast to continue a few more seasons.

My list of roster construction deficiencies:  (some of my comments may not be accurate but you get the drift)

  1. Ian Desmond – the worst wRC+ of all MLB players.  And blocking everyone at first base.
  2. Signing CarGo late in the spring training.  Blocking yet more players while there were more potentially better free agents out there.
  3. Bench players – Pat Valaika or any Dodgers hitter on their bench?  Carrying three catchers? All of them black holes at bottom of hitting lineup.
  4. Making Gerardo Parra everyday outfielder.  He is much better as fourth outfielder.
  5. Not letting Ryan McMahon, Tom Murphy, and Raimel Tapia get their opportunities.
  6. Standing pat at trade deadline.  Phillies, Brewers, Dodgers, and everyone not Rockies went out and got upper shelf players.
  7. Failure to fire Duane Espy as hitting coach.  Hitting is not about individual mechanics; it’s all about adjusting your expectations to help team.

This is my plan to make the team better in 2019 as an armchair general manager:

  1. Let CarGo go; he’s too old and his long swings can’t catch up to 94+ fastballs.
  2. Let DJLM walk; make Garret Hampson the second baseman.
  3. Put Ian Desmond on bench as super utility player and let McMahon play first base everyday.
  4. Get rid of all catchers and get some new catchers – Yasmani Grandal? Realmuto?
  5. Dahl in CF; Blackmon in RF.
  6. Trade Nolan Arenado to the Oakland A’s to get their boatload of talent similar to Holliday trade to A’s.  Brendan Rodgers at third base.
  7. Shot hear around the world! Sign Bryce Harper to five years and put him in LF.
  8. Fire Duane Espy and hire a hitting coach that understands how we work together as a team.
  9. Release Jake McGee.  See how Shaw pitch in spring training and potentially release him or trade him.
  10. D.J. Johnson will be in the bullpen.  Ditto for Jon Gray.  Peter Lambert move into rotation.  Or Jeff Hoffman.  Bettis in bullpen.
  11. Tell Marquez, Freeland, Anderson you are starters the whole year.
  12. Let Ottavino walk.  I don’t need 100% of runners on first base stealing second base without a throw from the catcher.  GRRRRR.

My plan as an armchair hitting coach:

  1. Learn how to be a fastball hitter from 85 MPH up to 102 MPH.  The idea is to ambush them on the first pitch.
  2. Learn plate discipline and don’t ever expand the zone to help the pitcher.  Make it rare to swing at balls out of the zone.  Put the pressure on pitchers.
  3. Learn how to hit curve balls without taking a step before swing.  My idea is to take a step in anticipation of fastball, but if a soft pitch shows up just delay start of your swing.  No more being way ahead of pitches.  In a side lesson, if you see a ball start low or outside, don’t swing.  I saw countless swings at pitches that looked like balls and then break farther away into an extreme ball.
  4. Learn how to bunt bunt bunt.  Even the great hitters.  The teams are playing extreme shifts giving hitters a freebie hit, yet they swing into shifts for outs.
  5. Increased emphasis on pitchers bunting.  Too many failed sac bunt attempts.
  6. Learn how to put balls in play with runners on third and less than two outs.  About 80% of third base runners stranded with less than two outs killing any momentums.
  7. If the ball is over the plate early in the count, swing at them!  Too many hitters were taking pitches and getting themselves into two-strike counts.  Stats in history of baseball show a very low batting average with two strikes on the batters.
  8. Lastly, while I do emphasize swinging at pitches early in the count, DO NOT swing at pitches that are uncomfortable.  If the pitcher make a good pitch (in on the hands yet it’s a strike), tip our hat to the pitcher and look for another pitch over the plate.  In other words, know when to ambush the first fastball.  Meaning really ambush it, not fist jam into easy outs.  Look at the video of Astros in 2017.  They ambushed a lot of fastballs on the first pitch.

This new post will serve as RWO’s comments thread throughout the hot stove season to the end of 2018.  New post will be up for 2019.  This thread can be used to discuss my armchair ideas.

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Agbayani
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Agbayani

Bob K., thanks for the link to the MLB prospect list. Rockies are hurt a bit here by some recent “graduations” from prospect status. But … my oh my, as Carp says, the Padres system is loaded! They run away with the top system award. I think they’re hitting the accelerator a bit too hard right now if they are really in the Machado sweepstakes (after Hosmer last year), but the fact that they’re even looking a big ticket free… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

The only negative (and its extremely minor) about the Padres system at the moment is that the offensive Prospects are ahead of the pitching Prospects. In my mind, ideally, this is reversed simply because it takes pitchers longer to adjust at the Major League level. The Padres are going to need to successfully flip a couple of these Major League or nearly Major League ready offensive Prospects for some Major League ready pitching. If they pull this off………watch out.

Bob K
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Bob K
Bob K
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Bob K

Regarding the catching situation, Tony Wolters started 56 games as catcher. In the games that Wolters started, the Rockies were 34 – 22 (0.607). In the other 107 games started by Chris Iannetta, Tom Murphy and Drew Butera, the Rockies were 57 – 50 (0.533).

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Duly noted. I’ll be the first to admit that advanced metrics as applied to the Catcher position are sketchy at best.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

From Rotoworld regarding Tulo: “In a surprisingly candid response during a media availability session on Wednesday, (GM Ross) Atkins stated “He will have to overachieve to play shortstop at an above-average level, with above-average offensive performance for 140 games. That would be unlikely based on what has occurred in the last 2 1/2 years. That doesn’t mean he’s not going to do it, but candidly, I don’t think that’s likely.” Atkins also said that if the season started tomorrow, Lourdes… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

Merry Christmas everyone. May you and all your loved ones have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Thank you, Bob. I hope you and yours enjoyed a very merry Christmas.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Indeed – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all RWOers.

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Carp, nice to see that I’m not the only one who hates the Murphy signing. Reasons? 1. Opportunity cost. You pay a mediocre aging player a not-ridiculous but still hefty salary to play a position – 1B – that really shouldn’t be that hard to fill. I think we did this in … 2017 (Desmond) and 2014 (Morneau). Ugh. We also did it in a somewhat different way in 2016 (Parra). This, combined with the other opportunity cost fails of… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Re: 2. I will spit nails if David Dahl is not given the starting job in the outfield (preferably center, as we all think Charlie should move, and I believe I’ve seen hints that the team is thinking the same). DD has already broken out and excites me as much as Larry Walker. So, for your “2 of 3” scenario…which of the other two young guys will get a fair shot (i.e., playing time)? Anybody’s guess. Maybe neither, knowing the… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

I think you’re safe on this one RoxnSox. One thing I’ve learned in the Bridich/Black era is that they don’t say much, and it’s always in GM/Coach “speak.” BUT…..what little they do say tends to come to fruition. On day one of the Winter meetings, Black “hinted” that Rockies would address 1B, and that he’s spoken to Charlie about moving out of CF (LF is the logical destination) and to Desmond about moving off 1B (CF is the logical destination).… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I can go for this. And DD probably IS a lock with Parra gone. Can Ian really do OK in CF? From what you say, I guess the best arm (Dahl) needs to be in right. And looking back (Gonzalez, Walker come to mind)…so it has been 🙂

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Traditionally, RFers have the strongest throwing arm (think runner going from 1st to 3rd on hard hit single to RF). LFers typical have the weakest throwing arm. Trust me, there are a list of exceptions a mile long.

FWIW, I recently saw a 2018 defensive metric (Defensive Runs Saved – DRS) that had Nazty as the single worst defensive player, regardless of position, in all of baseball. Getting Nazty out of CF in 2019 is a must.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

My homework assignment for RMH (and anyone else going to Spring Training): Looks as though my schedule won’t allow a trip to Phoenix for the first time in years. If I were going, I’d be watching for this: 1. Jeff Hoffman. I’ve seen the Driveline videos. I think the velocity increase is legit. I think he’s motivated. Can he be consistent with control/command? If so…..he’s “in” somewhere (5th SP, or BP). 2. Justin Lawrence. An under the radar guy that… Read more »

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Carp – excellent questions. Justin Lawrence is intriguing … from what I’ve seen, he’s got a sidearm or 3/4 delivery that may be really effective against righties, a role that needs to be filled with Ottavino gone. 2B: I’m hoping McMahon nails it down. The lineup would still be too lefty-heavy for my taste, but Bud could still alternate lefty/righty everywhere but the top of the order, something like: Blackmon Dahl Arenado Murphy Story McMahon Desmond Catcher I’m kind of… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Thanks, RMH, for a bunch of good fodder for discussion!

2.7. Do NOT sign Bryce Harper. Especially for five years!

I might have more comment after further time to reread and reflect. Looking forward to reading others’ input. Still waiting on a lineup construction improvement from carp or anyone, and the reasons why ours was not good. (More specifically than just “keep this guy, don’t keep that guy”)

sdcarp
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sdcarp

This is a lot of pressure!

I have every intention of getting back into the swing of things once the World Series is over and the Hot Stove “officially” begins.

This is always a dilemma for me. Post what I would do…..or post what I think the Rockies will do. Many times….those two things are distinctly different. Trust me…….I’m thinking about it.

Bob K
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Bob K

What I expect the Rockies to do and what I would do are definitely different. I expect the Rockies to keep their current hitting coaches. I expect the Rockies to let Arenado walk without getting any compensation for him after 2019. I would not be surprised to see them bring Parra back. They will not even make any attempt to go after Harper. Jon Gray will not be moved to the bullpen. If I had a say, Espy would already… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I want to know what YOU guys would do – and would have done! (With current personnel, for the latter, and for the former – realistic and fantasy/ideal are both fair game:)

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I really wanted the Brewers to win the pennant. Not just because of who they were playing, but for multiple reasons. I was even prepared to try to root for them in the Series, on the strength of “let somebody new get it” (I loved Royals, Cubs, Astros doing that). Now, my rooting interest could not possibly be any clearer, at least! That is all (don’t want to rile the Sox haters in what I understand is our Rockies forum)… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

RoxnSox – a really brief, simplified example of our (pathetic) offense. In 2018, we scored 780 runs. 2nd in the NL. Behind only the Dodgers. Not bad on the surface. BUT….the Coors Field “Park” factor for runs was 1.271 – 2nd highest in baseball. So, if I seat-of-the-pants, quickly adjust Rockies Runs for Park Factor (at Coors – 81 games) we go down to 687 runs. That makes us +/- 10th in the NL. Another “BUT”…..four of the teams we… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

A little bit more from the Baseball Reference Wins Above Average by Position – Rockies: C = (- 2.1) almost last in NL 1B = (- 2.7) last in NL 2B = (+0.1) DJ is the League average – do not renew contract SS = (+3.2) best in League 3B = (+3.2) Dodgers lead at +3.7 LF = (-1.7) CF = (-1.6) RF = (-2.1) So…..drumroll…..we SUCK everywhere except SS and 3rd. This is not a surprise to those that… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

More fun with this Baseball Reference “Wins Above Average by Position:”

Outfield as a whole, National League:
1st – Milwaukee Brewers = (+11.4)
14th – Colorado Rockies = (-5.4)
15th – Philadelphia Phillies = (-6.7)

The freakin Brewers, with the shrewd signing of Lorenzo Cain and bold trade for Christian Yelich, picked up 16.8 games on the Rockies in the Outfield alone. Think about that. Sleep on that.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

You ask……if this is true, how in the world did the Rockies finish within a couple of games of the Brewers?

Starting Pitchers:
1st – Phillies (riding a great Aaron Nola season) = (+11.9)
2nd – ROCKIES! = (+11.7)
12th – Brewers = (-2.2)

So, we picked up 13.9 games…….making up all but 3 lost in the OF.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Finally – lets talk bullpen. The Rockies were awful, right? So much whining by fans…..the Rox BP was AWFUL. Surely the stats will bear this out. Hmmmmmm:

Relief Pitchers as a Team:
1. Phillies (+3.3)
2. Cubs = (+3.3) this makes sense to me, they did a great job.
3. Washington = (+2.8)
4. ROCKIES = (0.0) huh??????
15. Miami = (-13.8)

Oh boy! We’re not awful.

This offseason should be all about offense. Offense 24-7. No excuses.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

OK….I lied. One more for you. Baseball Reference doesn’t have “bench” as a convenient category to view/sort, but they DO have pinch hitter…..which is sort of bench. Once again, National League: 1. LAD = (+1.2) there’s a reason they’re in the WS, and it’s not just money. 2. CC = (0.1) 8. Miami = (-1.1) League Average 14. ROCKIES = (-2.5) 15. Phillies = (-2.6) After playing/sorting all these categories/positions…….it appears to me its fair to say the Rockies had… Read more »

jimboelrod
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jimboelrod

Could you recommend some reading where I could get a tutorial on WAR and other analytics. My old brain needs some help understanding them.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Fangraphs is one of my favorites. They’ve lost some good writers in the last 12-18 months, but still seem to be plugging away producing typically good material.

https://www.fangraphs.com/library/misc/war/

jimboelrod
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jimboelrod

Thanks!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Things that make you go “hmmmmmmm:”

“INF Tyler Nevin has been named the Arizona Fall League Player of the Week after batting .545 (6-for-11) with three triples and five RBI last week. He currently leads the AFL in batting average (.467), on-base percentage (.553) and slugging percentage (.700).”

Bob K
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Bob K
sdcarp
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sdcarp

No brainer…..but with the Rox, I assume nothing. Depending on exactly how you look at it, the “frees” 10M in 2019 payroll (as compared to 2018). I guess there’s no formal move to make regarding Cargo. His contract is (or will) simply expired. This will free approximately 8M for 2019.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

More things that make you go “hmmmmmmmm:” I’m frequently harsh on the Rockies FO for their weird moves (or non-moves). So it’s only fair to also give credit when credit is due. It’s early, and the sample size is small, but here’s where we stand so far in the 18/19 Hot Stove: 1. Buy out Parra…..let him walk. Correct move. 2. Do not offer QO to DJ. Correct move. 3. Do not offer QO to Otto. Correct move. 4. Recognize… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

Rockies started 2018 at $136,953,500 and finished at $148,954,500

http://rockiesroster.com/payroll/

Bob K
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Bob K

https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/?cyear=2019&team=COL&pos=

They currently have $84,650,000 committed to just 8 players for 2019. None of these players are named Nolan Arenado or Trevor Story.

Charlie Blackmon $21,000,000
Wade Davis $18,000,000
Ian Desmond $15,000,000
Bryan Shaw $8,500,000
Jake McGee $8,500,000
Mike Dunn $7,000,000
Chris Iannetta $4,150,000
Seung Hwan Oh $2,500,000

It does not cover any of the arbitration or pre-arbitration players.

Doc
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Doc

I hope seeing this list gives Bridich the same indigestion it gives me.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Espy and Diaz…..GONE.

Somewhere Bob K is a happy man!

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Alright Bob – who should the Rox hire as their next Batting Coach?

Bob K
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Bob K

My preference would be Blake Doyle since they set many offensive records when he was their hitting coach. Anyone else would be an unknown but that does not mean that someone else might not be better. History says that great hitters do not necessarily make good hitting coaches but I would not be opposed to Todd Helton getting a shot at the job.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

On a serious note…..this is a situation where I believe having Bud Black as Manager is a tremendous advantage. BB is so well connected, and well respected in the Coaching community. I don’t want to go as far as he can select anyone he wants…..but I do think he has a lot of leverage. This will be fun.

Bob K
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Bob K

My problem is with the timing as a number of hitting coaches already have their new jobs and will not be available for consideration.

Bob K
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Bob K

I would be if I could confirm this. At this time I cannot find anything about it on the Rockies site or on Google.

Bob K
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Bob K

Rockies need a new 1st base coach since Tony Diaz was hired by the Twins to be their 3rd base coach. From MLBTradeRumors:

“Also departing the Rockies will be hitting coach Duane Espy, the club announced. It’s not clear what the team’s plans are in this area. For the time being, at least, assistant hitting coach Jeff Salazar is evidently remaining in his role.”

Bob in Indy
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Bob in Indy

OK, we got what we both wanted for months with the departure of Espy. Now what?

Bob K
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Bob K

Interesting that the Rockies waited until almost all of the other teams already hired their new hitting coaches before letting Espy go. Now we wait and see whether the Rockies hire a good hitting coach or hire another of Black’s under performing buddies.

Bob K
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Bob K
sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I think these guys nailed it.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I’ve said for some time Matt Holliday is destined to make a great hitting coach. He’s a student of the game. This is from MLB Trade Rumors: “Holliday also took part in a fascinating lunch with members of the St. Louis Cardinals coaching crew recently. Manager Mike Shildt, bench coach Oliver Marmol and new hitting coach Jeff Albert shared a chance meal with Holliday at the Cardinals’ training facility in Jupiter, Florida where Holliday spends his offseason. Per the Athletic’s… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

One problem with Holliday as hitting coach is that he is still planning on actually playing in 2019.

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Harold Baines elected to the Hall of Fame? Really? By the modern day veterans committee or some such thing. Better players than Harold Baines include Larry Walker and Todd Helton! (Oh, and by the way, Dave Parker too.) Maybe there’s a chance for them after all, although I suspect big city (Chicago, even though it’s only the White Sox this time) bias in favor of him. Baines is one of those Hall of the Very Good players. Pretty much nobody… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Awww, Tulo! Released by the Jays. I wonder if anyone will take a chance on him, or whether his once-stratospheric talent has been permanently ruined by injury. Our snarky nickname (Fine China) proved very true. I’m sad for him and for the loss to baseball fans who got to see this once-in-a-generation player.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Dave Magadan hired as Batting Coach. I’m a Magadan fan. I like the fact the Rox have gone outside the Organization for a key hire.

Bob K
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Bob K

This is not a first for the Rockies to hire a Diamondback cast off. The Rockies also hired EY Sr. as first base coach after the Diamondbacks let him go.

Their new first base coach is Ron Gideon who was already on staff.

Bob in Indy
Member
Bob in Indy

Seems like a good hire…I hope we are still saying that in September.

rockymountainhigh
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rockymountainhigh

I also hope that Mike Redmond will NOT be selected as the next manager of Baltimore. It’s ok for me to be selfish on this, right?

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Your wish has been granted. Regarding Magadan, the dude has been around forever. I remember him as a player. As a Coach, he’s had some tremendous successes, and also some notable failures. It speaks to the volatility and short job span of most Batting Coaches. As noted, I’m happy the Rox went outside the organization….that’s the Bud factor in my opinion (remember Bud was sort of stuck with Espy when he (Bud) was hired). I also like that Magadan has… Read more »

jimboelrod
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jimboelrod
roxnsox
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roxnsox

Peter Gammons revealed his Hall of Fame votes yesterday and . . . drum roll! He voted for both Walker and Helton. He defended the Todd choice to Tom Verducci (who is either a Coors Field bias guy, or was playing devil’s advocate) by explaining what a great ALL AROUND player Helton was, to counter some of the tired old “splits” argument. I like and respect Gammons, so these votes tickle me extra. I’d be curious to know if any… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Owning the truth here RoxnSox – I was on the fence with Helton (and Walker) until Harold Baines’ recent induction. I clearly remember Baines’ playing days. He was good. Really good. But not has good as Helton or Walker. So, I think I (and others) will have to recalibrate a bit.

roxnsox
Guest
roxnsox

Thanks for the “own!” I hear and get all the arguments against, but I just feel those in favor – of all stripes – outweigh them. Plus I’m a starry-eyed softy. Hope that recalibration wins the day for our guys.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Roxnsox – with Baines in, I think Larry Walker is a no-brainer. He was just plain better than Baines. His main problems: (1) the Coors thing; (2) relatively short career. Baines wouldn’t be in if he hadn’t managed to stick around until he was 40. But when you look at the old Bill James seat-of-the pants factors (in addition to the objective stats things like Wins Above Replacement) Walker wins easily. For example, James asks (this is from the wiki… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Good stuff, Ag! I didn’t know about the seat-of-the-pants (or as I might term it, the eyeball test) list. Love it. It sounds like Walker is inching closer by what a lot of the talking heads on MLB Network are saying. I believe next year is his last chance (until the later chance, which is great, but feels a little disappointing in general), so I hope the strategic fence-sitters this year are going to push him over the top next… Read more »

Bob in Indy
Member
Bob in Indy

Anybody else asking themselves the same question I am: “Could Hampson turn out to be nothing more than Jeff Rutledge?” I remember a few years ago how so many were ready to assume he was the future at 2nd base after a promising partial season the year before. I sort of see the same thing happening here.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Bob, Rutledge is a good cautionary tale about being too excited about a prospect. Having said that, Hampson’s kind of a different guy – a low ceiling/high floor guy. Rutledge was (in retrospect) more of the poor man’s Brendan Rodgers. No pressure on Rodgers or anything, but it’s really critical for the next few years of this club that he makes a successful jump to the majors. There just isn’t much other hitting talent in the high minors.

roxnsox
Guest
roxnsox

I agree that some of us crowned Rutledge a future star, with all those homers! After Story’s explosion onto the scene, and his subsequent struggles, I feared he was another illusory prospect. Luckily he has proven to be the very real deal.

roxnsox
Guest
roxnsox

If Nolan goes to the Yankees along with DJ, Otto and Tulo, just shoot me

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Some random observations as spring gets underway: – Padres: I can’t find the exact quote now, but a baseballthinkfactory commenter looked back at the top-rated minor league systems over the years. Conclusion: something like 13 out of 14 teams with top rated systems made the playoffs within two years. The Padres have the top-rated system now. Discuss. – Tulo: HR! He’s back! I’m a lifelong Yankee hater, but I’m rooting for the guy. Just for the occasional flash of what… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I too root for Tulo to show transcendent flashes. It all went too wrong for him in various ways. Just keep the fabulousness to teams that don’t hurt the Rockies (hard to imagine; what division do we play this year? or who do the Yanks play in the NL?) or the Red Sox (’nuff said, sorry to the Sox haters).

roxnsox
Guest
roxnsox

The Rox were on TV vs. the Angels and I saw some good stuff, but a few glaring (to me) fails among bubble players: Jeff Hoffman and Carlos Estevez pitching, and Ramiel Tapia fielding – I don’t think he did anything at the plate, either. McGee wasn’t too sharp. It’s early, etc., etc. It’s easy to criticize, and a little bit easier still on guys that are and have been questionable. One of the only true statements in life: We’ll… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

Tapia makes too many mental errors. They should have traded him for anything anyone would offer.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Tapia is getting a ton of playing time early, but I suspect it’s of the “show us why we shouldn’t cut you loose” variety. And he’s not off to a good start. With pitchers, it’s always tough to gauge early in spring. I’m still an Estevez fan, but the clock is ticking … he’s moving close to Jairo Diaz territory. Hoffman? I’ve been a Hoffman skeptic since the day we traded for him, and he’s done nothing to change my… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Might want to revisit that “Tapia isn’t off to a good start” comment. He’s looking pretty darn good (although I’m also in the Tapia skeptic category).

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Tapia has always had the physical talent. The problem is that he does not have a baseball IQ. He is not doing any better in that department than he ever has. He continues to make mental errors that may not go into the box score as errors but they do hurt the team.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

.375/.412/.563 – that’s Tapia’s slash line through all of 16 ABs so far this spring, so you’re right, Carp! He’s off to a good start. Keep it up and he’ll be good trade bait since it’s hard to see how he fits on this roster as a lefty hitting corner outfielder …

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Damn! Good article. I’m right there with on 90% of this minimum. Probably more like 95%. Just some nuanced differences. (Surprisingly) – I’m not on the trade Nolan bandwagon UNLESS it’s very clear to the F.O. that he’s not going to re-sign, Then of course, all bets are off. I move Nazty to LF (he doesn’t have a RF arm), Dahl to CF. I sign Josh Donaldson to platoon with McMahon at 1B……and even trend McMahon to super-sub. This frees… Read more »

Doc
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Doc

Excellent summary, RMH. After Grandal’s performance in the NLCS, I hope never to see him in Rox uniform.

rockymountainhigh
Guest
rockymountainhigh

Thanks for crunching the metrics for us, sdcarp. That was solid proof of what our eyes told us. Watching you during the winter, Bridich.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Gold Glove finalists have been announced. Kyle Freeland was left off the list. Trevor Story is also missing. Corey Dickerson is a finalist for left field.

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/the-2018-mlb-gold-glove-finalists-red-sox-lead-with-five-mike-trout-looking-for-first-award/

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Brodie Van Wagenen – does this name ring a bell?

He’s Nolan’s Agent at CAA. He’ll also be named the Mets new GM – T-O-D-A-Y.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Are you saying the Mets are going to make a run at Arenado?

Doc
Guest
Doc

Most interesting speculation regarding Nolan’s “new” team I’ve seen is to the Angels. Going home and playing with Trout.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Because I haven’t been on the “trade Nolan” bandwagon, I haven’t really looked in depth as to what a trade might bring in return. We’re one year too late for a massive haul (since at this stage he’d only be a 1 year rental in theory), but I think something substantial is reasonable. Just off the top of my head – suitors that make sense (teams that can contend in 2019) are the Braves for sure, maybe the Phillies (they… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Pre-emptive strike – this (above) is going to worry RoxnSox (and others) – and it probably should. But keep in mind, this is just one step of a multi-step process. Let me pose this EXTREMELY hypothetical question (two choices): 1. Conservative, typical Rockies FO move(s) – Stand pat with Nolan for 2019, maybe sign some 2nd tier 1B help and a mid-level OFer. Who knows what happens with Nolan after 2019????? 2. Bold move(s) – trade Nolan to the Halos… Read more »

roxnsox
Guest
roxnsox

The Rockies’ brass will never be bold. They will always be a year or three behind. So….at least one more year of the best fielding third baseman ever. Then they’ll probably re-sign him to a stupid albatross-to-be contract; also their M.O.

What positions do those Angels guys play?

Thumbs up for sheer creative brassery, and for the last sentence for enjoyment value.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Adell is a CFer. A very athletic CFer. Maitan was signed as a SS…..but it’s too early know his position for sure. Safe to say 3B/SS/or 2B. Adell really blew up this year…..some think he’s a top 10 overall Prospect. So……it may be unrealistic to think Maitan could be had with Adell. It might need to be Adell and a slightly lower level Prospect. Adell probably needs most of 2019 at AA, then maybe a late season promotion to AAA.… Read more »

Doc
Guest
Doc
sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Steve Pearce…..otherwise know as World Series MVP. Signed with the Red Sox in the 16/17 offseason for 2 years, 12.5 million. He was a name I threw out (repeatedly) at the time as a platoon, budget 1B option for the Rockies. But no………………….!!!!!!

roxnsox
Guest
roxnsox

Did you hear his name in relation to Rockies internal discussions?! (Maybe just fan discussions, but they could be said to have missed on this one, in hindsight.)

Yeah, it’s that old “journeyman who finally landed with his lifelong favorite team and did MVP duty in the World Series” story…really good baseball fan’s story.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

RnS – it was (one of many) suggestions I’ve thrown out over the years. Funny story – after reading your comment above, I briefly undertook an unsuccessful search to find my Pearce comment (I may have posted it on another site) – BUT – I did find some funny stuff. Let’s just say I’ve nailed a few things over the years – but I’ve had some colossal misses as well.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Indeed.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The Rockies traded Jerry Vasto for Drew Butera. I have no idea what their logic was behind this move. The Royals waived Vasto and now the Cubs have claimed Vasto off of those waivers.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/10/diamondbacks-name-darnell-coles-hitting-coach.html

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The Diamondbacks hired Darnell Coles as their new hitting coach. Coles recently left his position as hitting coach for the Brewers.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/10/diamondbacks-name-darnell-coles-hitting-coach.html

The Cardinals recently hired Jeff Albert away from the Astros to be their new hitting coach.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I’ve been following this whole Mets “hire a Player’s Agent” as GM transition with some intrigued. Of course, the Mets have in fact hired Van Wagenen (formerly known as Nolan’s (and others) Agent). This is from MLB Trade Rumors: “Still, the picture is beginning to take shape. In his introductory press conference yesterday, Van Wagenen made it crystal clear that the Mets will be looking to “win now.”” I don’t how serious he is about the “win now” comment. Is… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K
sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Thanks for the update Bob. Correct move(s) IMO. As I’ve noted above, the only reason to offer DJ a QO is if a Nolan trade is in the works….and even then, it wouldn’t be 100% necessary (and of course a Nolan trade is a long, long shot anyway).

Rockies are clearing (or perhaps not recommitting to) significant payroll. Hopefully this portends to something good.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Don’t forget that Desmond’s salary drops from $22MM for this year to $15MM for 2019.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Yep – good point.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The $7MM saved on Desmond goes directly to the $7MM increase for Blackmon’s salary jumping from $14MM to $21MM.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Speculation on free agents from MLBTradeRumors. 21. Adam Ottavino – Yankees. Three years, $30MM. Ottavino, 33 in November, will use an excellent contract year as a springboard to a strong contract. Originally a Cardinals first-round draft pick, Ottavino had some success out of the Rockies’ bullpen from 2012-14 before requiring Tommy John surgery in May 2015. He came back strong for the second half of 2016 but hit the DL in May 2017 with shoulder inflammation. That became a lost… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Here’s the entire list courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors (or Rumours if you’re a Fleetwood Mac fan): https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/mlb-free-agent-predictions-2019.html Give me #8 (Pollock – even with the QO attached) for 4/60M and #13 (Donaldson) for 1/20M and I’m done with FAs. I’ll get to work on Nolan’s extension. Donaldson at Coors…….me oh my, CRAZY! Here’s my lineup: C – platoon (Wolters/Ianetta/?) 1B – Donaldson 2B – Hampson with a good bit of help from McMahon SS – Story 3B – Arenado… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

I would not waste any money or position on Donaldson. To get full value from McMahon, he needs to play regularly. Sitting him on the bench does not help him or the team. I did read an article that says the Rockies have decided that Hoffman is a starting pitcher and will no longer use him in the bullpen due to poor results from that usage. I think that Hoffman needs a change of scenery and will never reach a… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Only 7 Qualifying Offers this year.

Patrick Corbin, SP, Diamondbacks
Yasmani Grandal, C, Dodgers
Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Astros
Craig Kimbrel, RP, Red Sox
A.J. Pollock, OF, Diamondbacks
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Dodgers

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Ryu is a head scratcher. Bummer (to me) on Pollock, although not a surprise. IMO – he’s a good fit for the Rockies. But the QO makes him even more expensive (meaning draft pick + contract).

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Ryu is the only one to accept a QO.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Kershaw gets an extra year tacked onto his contract to keep him a Dodger.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/dodgers-reach-new-deal-with-clayton-kershaw.html

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Bridich says Rockies will concentrate on offense but does not make any mention of the hitting coaches.

https://www.mlb.com/rockies/news/rockies-offseason-focus-will-be-on-offense/c-300176516

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The Brewers and the Pirates have hired their new hitting coaches while the Blue Jays just fired their hitting coach. Still nothing new concerning the Rockies and their hitting coaches.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The Mets let their hitting coach go today.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Arenado and DJ repeat as gold glove winners. This is 6 gold gloves in a row for Arenado. It is DJ’s third gold glove and 2nd in a row. Others of note, Chapman got the AL gold glove for 3rd base (for sdcarp) and Corey Dickerson got the NL gold glove for left field.

https://www.mlb.com/rockies/news/nolan-arenado-dj-lemahieu-win-gold-gloves/c-300228630

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Arenado, Baez, and Yelich are final three for NL MVP.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Black, Counsell and Snitker are the finalists for manager of the year.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Snitker wins NL Manager of Year. Counsell finishes second and Black comes in third.

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

This seems fair (Black 3rd). Freeland 4th in Cy Young behind DeGrom, Scherzer, and Nola also seems fair. That’s not bad company.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Speculation from CBSSports.com: “The Astros pulled off a heist last offseason — things can shift in Pittsburgh’s direction going forward, for sure, right now though it is clearly advantage Houston — and the guess here is they will do it again this winter. Twice, in fact. I see two trades coming down the pipeline: Astros get Jon Gray from the Rockies. Astros get J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins. The “heist” aspect here has as much to do with the trade… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I’m certainly in agreement with the “weird moves” portion of this, but I don’t see the Rockies trading away SP-ing.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Arenado, Marquez and Story win Silver Sluggers. It is Arenado’s 4th in a row and the first for Marquez and Story.

https://www.mlb.com/rockies/news/silver-slugger-award-winners-announced/c-300459892

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

It isn’t going to happen but who would you trade for J.T. Realmuto?

https://www.mlb.com/rockies/news/rockies-likely-long-shots-for-jt-realmuto/c-300411442

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

GM sdcarp’s order of priority for the Rox in the 18/19 Hot Stove season is as follows: 1. 1B 2. OF…..preferably CF 3A. C 3B. Bargain, durable #5 type SPer. 4. Bargain RPers. IMO – we have about 30M to spend. With that in mind, I’m not as “gaga” about Realmuto as most (although I certainly think he’s very good and can be a big help). I’m NOT opposed to trading. The Rox need to get some value from the… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Rockies sign catcher Brett Nicholas to a minor league contract.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/minor-mlb-transactions-111118.html

Bob K
Guest
Bob K
Bob K
Guest
Bob K

MLBTradeRumors lists Tony Wolters, Chad Bettis and Chris Rusin as non-tender candidates.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/2018-non-tender-candidates.html

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

If for some unknown reason the Rockies would sign one of the players that has a QO attached to them, they fall in the group (Revenue Sharing Recipients) that would lose their third highest pick. One reason that so many teams made a big effort to stay under the luxury tax last year is that the teams that are paying the Competitive Balance Tax (Red Sox and Nationals) will lose their 2nd highest and 5th highest picks and $1MM from… Read more »

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

Last week I saw a blog article by some noted baseball writer (maybe Buster Olney…..I don’t remember, I can’t (re)find the article now)…..proposing a Nolan Arenado for Kris Bryant trade. The premise was the Cubs can afford Arenado, and the Rox gain a year of control with Bryant. Not sure this makes any sense whatsoever……….but I thought of RMH and how his head will surely explode if he reads the article.

EDIT – found it, it was Jake Shapiro:

https://roxpile.com/2018/11/13/colorado-rockies-exploring-a-nolan-arenado-for-kris-bryant-trade/

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The Rockies currently have 58 minor league players that are Rule 5 eligible. You can find the list at:

http://rockiesroster.com/rule5/

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Today is the deadline to add players to the 40 man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. The Rockies temporarily have 3 open 40 man roster spots. Who if anyone will be added today?

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Rockies get pick #76 in Competitive Balance Round B for 2019.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/2019-competitive-balance-draft-pick-order.html

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

From MLBTradeRumors: “Right-hander Justin Lawrence is being added to the Rockies’ roster, reports Fancred’s Jon Heyman (on Twitter). The 2015 12th-rounder posted a 2.65 ERA with better than 10 punchouts per nine innings in Class-A Advanced this season — a fine followup to a 1.65 ERA at Class-A in 2017. The club has announced that move, along with the additions of righty Ryan Castellani, infielder Josh Fuentes and outfielder Sam Hilliard.” The Rockies had three 40 man roster spots open… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Rockies traded minor league RHP Jeffry Valdez to the Yankees for minor league RHP Jordan Foley.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Good article on the train wreck that 1B position (in general) has become:

https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2018/11/24/18109308/mlb-free-agents-2018-first-base-cj-cron-justin-bour-derek-dietrich

Make no mistake, of all the current FA options at 1B, the best option by far is Josh Donaldson. Of course, he has to be convinced to play 1B.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K
Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The Mets tried to sneak Jordan Patterson through waivers and he has now been claimed by the Reds.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/reds-claim-jordan-patterson.html

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Jordan Paterson is now a free agent. “It’s been quite the couple of weeks for outfielder/first baseman Jordan Patterson, who only recently was acquired off waivers by the Reds. Shortly before that, the Mets had claimed him off waivers from the Rockies. The 26-year-old will now have some control over his own destiny, as there is clear interest in the former fourth round pick. Patterson’s only major league playing time came in 2016 with the Rockies when he managed to… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Paterson has signed a minor league deal with the Reds.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Arenado estimated to get more than $26MM if he actually goes to arbitration in his final year of eligibility.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/arbitration-breakdown-nolan-arenado-3.html

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Rockies sign Rusin to $1.6875MM deal to avoid arbitration. From MLBTradeRumors: “The Rockies announced that they’ve agreed to a one-year deal with lefty Chris Rusin. He’ll earn $1.6875MM next year — a $400K raise over his 2018 salary — tweets Heyman. Rusin was widely considered a non-tender candidate on the heels of a disastrous season in which he was clobbered for a 6.09 ERA with a career-worst 4.3 BB/9 mark through 54 2/3 innings. He’s only a year removed from… Read more »

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

Notable non-tenders (so far):
Billy Hamilton (I’d take a flier on him for cheap)
Shelby Miller
Brad Boxberger
Mike Fiers
Chris Owings
Robby Grossman

It’s clear to me it will be easy, and cheap, to sign a couple of #5 SPing candidates to bring into to ST for depth if nothing else.

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

Add Justin Bour and Hunter Strickland to the “interesting” list.

roxnsox
Guest
roxnsox

Does Bour have anything other than mammoth power?

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Bour hit .227 with 20 home runs and 59 RBIs in 2018. He had 3 errors in only 103 games while playing 1st base. I don’t believe that you gain anything over Ian Desmond with Justin Bour.

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

Given the Bour bats LHed, I agree with Bob. The end result is no better than McMahon at 1B. “If” he were RHed (or there were an equal RHed masher 1B just non-tendered), I’d be singing a slightly different tune. The tune would be “sign him for cheap and let him platoon with McMahon at 1B.” For the record, although there’s hardly a stat that can prove it makes sense (well there’s one), I’m in favor of signing Billy Hamilton… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

If someone could just get through to Billy Hamilton and get him to commit to being a good bunter, he could easily be the most dangerous lead off batter in the game. He could probably get a double on most slug bunts and hit well over .300. Unfortunately he is too enamored with his power hitting.

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

So true…….perhaps we should higher a Zen Master of bunting instruction as our next Hitting Coach.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Rockies offered contracts to all of their arbitration eligible players: Arenado, Story, Wolters, Bettis, Rusin (already accepted), Gray and Anderson. They non tendered LHP Sam Howard creating one opening on the 40 man roster.

https://www.mlb.com/rockies/news/rockies-tender-contracts-to-7-arb-eligibles/c-301303464

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

Something to watch (two things actually): Jerry Dipoto’s nuclear rebuild of the Mariners is in full swing with the Segura trade to Philly for JP Crawford. The Mariners will also receive RHed 1B Carlos Santana back in the deal to neutralize some salary differences. Santana will be entering year #2 of the 3/60 deal. Thing one – let’s send the Mariners some salary (say maybe 10M) for Santana, Maybe Dunn? Maybe Shaw? Hell…..maybe even Desmond, but I doubt Dipoto goes… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K
sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

Gets him out of the division, meaning we face him 7 times instead of 18, 4 max. at Coors. That’s a good thing. Makes StL. stronger in the WC race, that’s a bad thing.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

I didn’t see that one (Goldschmidt) coming. In fact, it seemed to me that the Dbacks were reasonably well set up for one last run with him in the lineup, Greinke still productive, etc. But now I can’t see this going anywhere other than a fire sale. Short term: yes, good for the Rockies. Less competition in the NL West. Longer term: I know we’re all thinking the same thing … is this where the Rockies are headed, maybe in… Read more »

roxnsox
Guest
roxnsox

Holy moly. This is a curious (and bold?) move. Wonder what the plan is down that way.

I kind of had a fantasy that WE would get Goldy someday soon. Rats.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

From MLBTradeRumors: “The Rockies have signed right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez to a minor league contract, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports. Gonzalez was a first-round pick of the Rangers in 2013 who combined for 77 1/3 innings with them from 2015-16, but he struggled to a 4.54 ERA/5.06 FIP with ugly strikeout and walk rates (4.31 K/9, 4.77 BB/9) during that span. Gonzalez then underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2017, leading the Rangers to non-tender him and then re-sign… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Blue Jays release Tulowitzki. They still owe him $38MM. The Tulo trade may be the biggest win by the Rockies in any trade they ever made.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/blue-jays-release-troy-tulowitzki.html

Bob in Indy
Member
Bob in Indy

I assume that if anyone else signs him the Jays are still out the $38MM. If so, what if the Rockies were to bring him back at first base? Low cost risk, right-handed power, less wear and tear than shortstop, and a proven glove that I’m sure would adapt to 1B quickly enough. I do wonder about his clubhouse presence at this point. Crazy, but could it work?

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The rumor that I heard is Tulo will be playing 2nd base in Southern California for the league minimum while collecting his previously owed salary from the Blue Jays.

When the person in charge was asked about the possibility, the answer was “We like league minimum players.” Tulo’s agent was noted as saying that Tulo is open to a position change.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Bob in Indy, aren’t you Bob Previously in WV? As for Tulo – not a crazy idea at all, bringing him back to play 1B against lefties, maybe be an emergency fill-in at the other infield positions. (1) He always liked hitting at Coors. (2) He always hit lefties a bit better than righties. (3) Even in his short stint in 2017, he wasn’t awful at the plate. Not good, but not Pat Valaika-awful. And really, is there anyone else… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

As mad as Tulo was at Bridich when he got traded to Toronto and as much as he bad mouthed the Rockies after the trade, I doubt that Tulo would consider playing for the Rockies.

There are supposedly 6 teams interested in Tulo, one of which is the Cubs.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/market-for-troy-tulowitzki.html

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I’m so sorry………thumbs down. I’m having flashbacks to the Miley Cyrus walkup song.

Bob in Indy
Member
Bob in Indy

Yes, moved here in late September. May be temporary so who knows where I’ll be next. Hopefully, I’ll finally get to Wrigley and perhaps Milwaukee to see our guys play this summer.

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Pirates to reclaim another ex Rockie. Jordan Lyles to sign with Pirates.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/pirates-to-sign-jordan-lyles.html

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The Rule 5 Draft is in Progress. As expected the Orioles took infielder Richie Martin from the As. The Rockies have not picked yet and are not expected to take anyone in the Major League part of the draft. So far no Rockies players have been selected.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/2018-rule-5-draft-results.html

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The Rockies did pass with their pick at 22.

At 19. The Mariners take Brandon Brennan, RHP from the Rockies AAA Albuquerque Isotopes..

Bob K
Guest
Bob K
Bob K
Guest
Bob K

The deal is for 2 years at $12MM per year.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

LeMahieu is a weird signing by the Yanks, both for him and for the Yankees. We know the Gregorius is out – probably for the year – after TJ surgery. So the idea is they move Gleyber Torres (a fantastic rookie season last year at 2B) to SS. Tulo is insurance, which is probably the the worst insurance policy ever if by “insurance” we mean “available to play.” Andujar is also coming off a strong debut at 3B. So for… Read more »

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

Tulo is really cheap insurance for the Yankees since they are only paying him the league minimum. They apparently did promise him that he would get to play SS and he always wanted to be a Yankee.

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

I feel like there’s one more domino to fall in New York Yankee land.