Colorado Treading Water Ahead of ASB

Colorado went through the month of June without a swoon.  The attendance reflected the fans’ confidence in the team as they are ranked sixth in the majors.  Their actions on the field had mixed results, but they avoided their annual June Swoon.  They are 44-42 and one game out of WC1 spot.  That’s a pretty good spot to be in considering that they played seven vs. the Dodgers (2-5) and two vs. the Astros (0-2) in the last couple of weeks.  Before that, Colorado split the season series (3-3) vs. the Cubs.

The Rockies hasn’t quite measured up to the top tier teams as hoped for due to inconsistent rotation and faltering bullpen.  The offense has been hitting well, but they have often been on the short end of the slugfest.  Teams with strong bullpens often stopped the Rockies dead in their tracks late in the game.

Tonight, they open a three-game series at Coors vs. the D-backs.  Antonio Senzatela will open the series to be followed by Jon Gray and German Marquez.  K-Free’s replacement Chi Chi Gonzalez was thrown into the fire against top tier teams  and had shown some flashes.  But he can’t hold them down over five or six innings.  Peter Lambert had to grow up fast pitching against the best teams twice each.  He had no trouble with teams that were aggressive hitting the ball, but seemed to have problems with teams that have great plate discipline and made him throw over the middle of the plate.

The offense has been slugging like the Blake Street Bombers, but only at Coors.  The biggest problem is that they probably lead the major leagues in chase rate (meaning swinging at balls out of the zone) when away from LoDo.  If the Rockies are to perform well after the ASB, they need to get everything together at the same time.  K-Free last start was 7 innings of one-run ball, but that was after a string of games when he pitched like a Little Leaguer.  Mark Reynolds and Pat Valaika have been cutout cardboard in the batter’s box.  EdTheUmp and I have been waiting for two-months to DFA those two bench players.  Raimel Tapia needs to stop being a wildly unpredictable player day-to-day.  One day he would have great plate discipline, and then the next day he swings at anything from head to toe as well as far off the plate.

The offense is starting to gel with the four All-Stars (Blackmon, Story, Arenado, and Dahl) in the top  four of the line up.  Dan Murphy is now swinging the bat well that we paid him to do.  Ian Desmond has had a great month of June and he needs to keep that going the rest of the year.  RyMac is still learning as a rookie; he is deadly if you throw knee or belt level, but he cannot hit the ball at the top of the strike zone.  Tony Wolters need to play everyday so he can graduate from the Growing Pains University before the post season starts.

We need help from Antonio Senzatela, K-Free, and Peter Lambert to stabilize the back of the rotation.  The bullpen with the exception of Scott Oberg has been a pile of cow manure.  Some of the high-powered arms are showing flashes of potential but hasn’t proven to be lock down pitchers.  Buddy Black must move Wade Davis out of the closer role because he has a 6 BB/9 walk rate.  That’s not even close to major league quality.

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Bob K
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Bob K

Everyone keeps bad mouthing the hitters for playing their home games at Coors Field. Only rarely do you ever hear anything similar said about any other field. Neither Blackmon’s or LeMahieu’s first inning home runs today would have been home runs at Coors Field. DJ already has 13 home runs with Yankee Stadium for his home games. He had 15 home runs all last year when he was still playing for the Rockies.

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Bob K. — not “bad mouthing” Rox hitters for playing at Coors; just recognizing that superficially good numbers don’t necessarily mean what they seem to mean when Coors is playing the way it is. You make a good point though – one of the dumbest things we hear is that a Rockies player, when traded/signed away, will basically continue to hit at his prior away numbers. We’ve seen dozens of times that this is not true: Matt Holliday, Dexter Fowler,… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

The runs scored in Coors Field this year has far more to do with the crappy pitching than it has to do with anything else. The hangover effect has more to do with how hard it is on a person’s body to be constantly going from altitude to sea level than it has to do with anything else. The bad mouthing of Coors Field hitters is a constant by certain analysts on MLB Network and other sports shows. A person… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Bob, I figured you were referring to the national talking heads. The bias is very much alive, although I have heard some of them start to get more real about it, i.e., not so black and white about Coors players vs. everyone else. There are lots of examples (the Rockies’ TV producers bring out some great stats for Drew and company to cite).

Bob K
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Bob K

I like Dan Plesac as an analyst except that the first thing out of his mouth is, “Its Coors Field.” Brian Kenny in particular has slightly changed his view indicating it is not black and white. Nolan Arenado may be the biggest reason that some of them are changing their opinions.

Bob K
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Bob K

“Tonight, they open a three-game series at Coors vs. the D-backs.”

Tonight the Rockies are playing at the Diamondbacks in Arizona.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

RMH, don’t blame you a bit for not feeling the juice to write another post. Maybe just a couple of lines, to start a new comment thread? 🙂

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Treading water is right. .500 going into the last game before the ASB. Random thoughts: 1. Tapia 2018 consensus: bust. RC+ of 87 (13% below the average player). Tapia 2019 consensus: finally fulfilling his promise. But … RC+ of 87. Nice start, same old Tapia. We need someone better. 2. Desmond: sure, his numbers are kind of o.k. this year, and I don’t hate him in CF. But … sat if CF on July 3 (fireworks game) and saw his… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

Tomorrow, Friday, July 12, is the last day to sign any players taken in the 2019 draft. As of today, all players taken by the Rockies in rounds 1 through 30 have been signed. No players taken from round 31 through round 40 have been signed.

https://www.purplerow.com/2019/6/10/18660141/mlb-draft-2019-results-colorado-rockies-signings-tracker

roxnsox
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roxnsox

You get completely hammered in a laugher? It happens to every team once in awhile. You lose 2-1? Could happen anytime to any team. Your bullpen gives up 4 runs, including your closer walking two men, after you tie the game in the bottom of the ninth? Now that’s the definition of a disheartening loss. Turn out the lights.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Aaaand swept at home by the Giants, who were supposedly out of the conversation but have now passed the Rox. Sinking like a stone after treading water?

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Tulo, I guess we saw this coming a long time ago. You were the most amazing infielder I ever had the privilege and pleasure to watch (until Nolan came along, who is your equal), and you weren’t too shabby with the bat, either. Best of fortune to you, FC – mockingly then, as you were nicknamed here – with bittersweet affection now, and unfortunately with foresight.

Bob K
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Bob K

Tulo retires and begins the next phase of his journey as a University of Texas assistant coach.

https://www.mlb.com/rockies/news/troy-tulowitzki-retires

Agbayani
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Agbayani

roxnsox, even being a life-long Yankee hater, somehow I found myself hoping that Tulo would come back, even as a role player, for one more September/October curtain call. Maybe a pinch hit homer in the World Series? I guess it just wasn’t in the cards. He turned this franchise around in 2007, and that still might be the single greatest defensive season I’ve had the pleasure of watching. It didn’t end well here, and it didn’t end well in Toronto,… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Agree with you right down the line here, Ag.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I’m going to try something I’ve never done, for my own mental health: not watch for awhile. I can’t recall a sorrier stretch in all their history – can you?

sdcarp
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sdcarp

I can recall sorrier stretches, but perhaps not with a team that should be sort of good.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Yeah, there were probably worse times in the early-mid 2000s when they were truly flat awful.

NOBODY and I mean nobody thought they’d be done before the end of July.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

The FOX announcers a week ago said Davis HAD been removed as closer, and Oberg inserted. Yes? No? I haven’t been paying that much attention to who has come in.

Bob K
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Bob K

After Black announced Oberg as the closer, Davis was used as the closer on June 29 because Oberg was not available. Davis got the save in that game. The closest game to actually having a save situation since then was July 2 when McGee blew the lead in the 8th inning and lost the game 9-8 to the Astros. Oberg did close that game. There were two off days mixed in and no other save opportunities have been available. There… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

Tonight was the first save opportunity since Davis got the save on June 29. Davis got the save tonight which would indicate that he is back to being the closer. But…Diaz worked the 8th inning and not Oberg. Perhaps something was wrong with Oberg or he was being held back in case Davis did not perform well. I don’t know.

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Bob K., it does look like Wade is back in the closer role. They didn’t have a lead going into the 8th, so I assume that’s what it was Diaz and not Oberg.
On Yonder Alonso …. well, September pinch hitter call-up at best? They did this a couple years ago with Ryan Howard. Sadly, the 2009 Jason Giambi thing rarely works …

rockymountainhigh
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rockymountainhigh

Unless you wear the golden thong.

Bob K
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Bob K

Kyle Freeland expected to be recalled on Saturday. Hope he fixed whatever his problem was.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/07/rockies-expected-to-recall-kyle-freeland-this-weekend.html

Bob K
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Bob K

Rockies sign Yonder Alonso to a minor league deal.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/07/rockies-sign-yonder-alonso.html

rockymountainhigh
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rockymountainhigh

Games in delay due to thunder in area. Every time in at the game in person and there’s a delay, the Rockies come out flat and fall behind by five or more runs. Now I have bad vibes and that’s in addition to Freeland returning too early. It’s going to be 13-1 by end of third inning. Mark that down, RWOers.

Bob K
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Bob K

It is starting to look like Freeland was a one season wonder. No point in starting him again until he shows he can do it it the minors which so far he hasn’t done.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

They’re not going to send him down again. He’s going to struggle through and find it, or bring the team down with him. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing if Bridich broke character and made a splashy deal? The window is now, with Charlie and Nolan aging. Not that they’re showing it yet, but the time is now. Then again, one good pitcher isn’t going to propel them as far as they want.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

What’s up Gang, Long time no chat. Lots of travel. Lots of work. Alas, I’ve been watching from afar (even from Europe for a couple of weeks). I’ll be the first to admit I’ve had a hard time getting behind the 2K19 version of the Rox. It all began with the lethargic offseason by the FO. But………..I have to say the offense has been OK (I predicted otherwise). Dahl has stayed generally healthy. Desmond is sort of, kind of, maybe… Read more »

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Welcome back, Carp! That was quite the lethargic doubleheader. 3 runs scored in 18 innings at Coors. It’s just about time to start thinking 2020.
I’m still not sold on the offense. Going into the weekend, park-adjusted (and it’s a huge adjustment) we have the 23rd best offense in baseball. Couple that with the 23rd best pitching and we really ought to be worse record-wise than this.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

My “offense has been OK” comment was made in context of a typical year. You make a really good point – I’m sort of negligent in not being hip with the 2019 season and the fact that offense is up, way up, across baseball in general.

Agbayani
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Agbayani

The Coors runs scored park factor is now 1.661. I haven’t had time to look it up, but that strikes me as far and away the highest IN MLB HISTORY. Coors is playing in such an extreme offense-friendly manner that I really don’t think any team could survive it. This doesn’t excuse Bridich’s horrid roster/salary base management, but it’s worth keeping in mind. We’re in a situation here like the late 1990s when we can say with a straight face… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Park adjusted factors. It seems like 1.26-1.29 has been a more typical Coors PF for runs. In fact, the last couple of years, Coors wasn’t at the “top” of the list in some of the factors (the new Yankee stadium and Riverfront in Cincinnati also tend to be high…..I typically look at PFers for R and HR…..and I know Coors wasn’t at the very top of one of these last year). I… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Agreed. Shake it up! Lose the expensive older guys (even if much of the expense remains). Refresh! Or Nolan’s definitely going to walk in 2.5 years. I also was surprised and appreciative of the GM’s candor.

The Rockies are going to come off this road trip hopelessly out of it.

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Trade value? – Murphy: I can see a market for him. The acquiring team would get about 1.3 years of Murphy for about $16 million. A contender could use that bat, particularly against righties in a part-time/DH/pinch hitting role. But you wouldn’t get much of anything beyond salary relief. – Wade Davis: that would be pure salary dump. – McGee: same. There’s always a market for relievers. – Iannetta: even more so, there’s always a market for catchers! Again, nothing… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Free, free, set him free………good call on Reynolds.

Bob K
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Bob K

Rockies DFA Mark Reynolds. Senzatela optioned to AAA. Hoffman called up along with Sam Howard.

https://www.mlb.com/rockies/news/rockies-dfa-mark-reynolds-option-antonio-senzatela

Bob K
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Bob K

Rockies said to be willing to listen to offers for Blackmon. Listening to offers does not necessarily equate to accepting an offer.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/07/rockies-reportedly-would-listen-to-offers-for-charlie-blackmon.html

sdcarp
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sdcarp

This intrigues me. During the Bridich era, Rockies “rumors” have been few and far between. But when they have surfaced, they’ve been accurate. Murphy and Wade Davis come to mind.

Getting rid of Nazty’s salary could certainly be beneficial to a team that will need a semi (sort of “hybrid”) rebuild.

My problem is…..I have zero faith that Bridich and Company can use the saved (or freed) money wisely.

Bob K
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Bob K

Rockies DFA Seunghwan Oh (out for the season following surgery) and have replaced Mark Reynolds with another left handed 1st baseman. Yonder Alonso was hitting .178 when released by the White Sox.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/07/rockies-designate-seunghwan-oh-assignment-select-yonder-alonso.html

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Closing the book on the Tulo trade – total Wins Above Replacement since the trade was made: – Tulo: 4.9 (he actually had a pretty decent first year or so in a Jays uniform) Players received for Tulo (including post-Rockies days): 1.6 The breakdown is interesting: – Jose Reyes: -0.6 – Jeff Hoffman: – 0.4 – Miguel Castro: 2.5 – Jesus Tinoco: 0.1 The trade was still worth it for clearing salary (I’m assuming Story would’ve taken over anyway given… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I’ve never heard that saying – love it!

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Technically, I don’t think you can close the books on the trade until Hoffman/Tinoco/and Castro’s careers are over. Of course there was also about 50M saved. This is where the Rox could have hit a home run (pardon the pun). Shrewd FA signings with that 50M could have easily netted 5-10 WAR. Easily. We’ll never be able to assign the money to specific FAs, but in general I think the money has essentially been wasted. The Trevor Story component of… Read more »

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Carp — of course, I agree — the Tulo deal was still worthwhile just because it got us out of a couple years of that huge salary. And Hoffman isn’t done … yet. Meanwhile, just flipped on today’s game to see Tapia (on 2nd, 1 out, 7th inning, Rox down 2 runs) running full steam for home on a Blackmon line drive. Line drive caught, Tapia doubled up. Absolutely inexcusable. If he’d gone halfway to third he easily would’ve scored… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

And if he had watched it get caught while halfway to third (he WAS looking at the outfield), he could have gotten back to second. Wonder if he’ll ever get past these dumb mistakes – it’s seeming less and less likely.

Bob K
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Bob K

Tapia has proven time and time again that he has zero for a baseball IQ.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Agree with all of you regarding Tapia. When I posted my little WAR by position analysis last week, the OF was particularly disheartening. I believe it was something like 30th CF, 28th LF, 21st RF, and 30th PHers (meaning the 4th (and 5th) OFer). Blackmon is getting old. Desmond……is Desmond. Tapia just isn’t going to make it. I don’t believe there’s an impact OFer in our Farm System.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Ag – interesting thing (or name) that you brought up here is Miguel Castro. The day of the Tulo trade (I remember it well), I thought Castro was the biggest prize. You list the WAR of each player involved in the trade to date, Castro is the only positive. Here’s the amazing thing (to me) – Castro is still only 24 years old. The DFA (and subsequent trade to the Orioles) of Castro is one of Bridich’s worst moves. The… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

I watching the Toronto Blue Jays with great interest at this trade deadline (and really – for most of this season). Why? Because I think they are/were in a bit of a similar situation to the Rox. They have to deal with the perennially good Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East (sort of similar to the Dodgers and Giants (most years)) and upstart Rays (the Padres will play this roll in the NL West). So…..what have the Blue… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Exactly! Insanity.

Was kind of hoping they’d go for Stroman. Too bold (even though not THAT bold).

sdcarp
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sdcarp

I follow a slew of baseball “people” on Twitter (beat writers, industry people, scouting experts, blah, blah, blah) and there’s an interesting lack of consensus regarding the quality of Prospects the Mets gave up for Stroman. If I sort of average comments and take the middle ground, the AAA Prospect going to Toronto is likely a #4-#5 type SP. The younger Prospect (he’s still only 18) seems to have a fairly high ceiling………..but it’s hard to get too wound up… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Geez…..the Padres just got Taylor Trammell in a three team deal with Reds and Indians. The best (by far) Farm System just got better.

Bob K
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Bob K

Rockies get RHP Joe Harvey for LHP Alfredo Garcia. To make room on the 40 man roster, they DFAed Harrison Musgrave. Too bad they didn’t throw in Wade Davis.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/07/rockies-acquire-joe-harvey.html

Agbayani
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Agbayani

I guess Jeff Bridich has the Rockies right where he wants ’em to be. No deadline deals (there was an extremely minor deal for a middling reliever). Not a buyer, not a seller. Question: is Denver raised Kyle Freeland now a victim of Post Traumatic Coors Syndrome? Wade Davis? Despite the hype, I don’t think the list of pitchers ruined by Coors is that long. Mike Hampton? Obviously. But he became the same old Mike Hampton when he escaped. Same… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Worried about Kyle for this reason. I’d add Tyler Matzek to your list (?)

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Bridich is pissing me off. He’s made a couple of his veiled GM speak type comments “the way these guys have played this year” and the “problems we have,” which on the surface aren’t bad comments, and are certainly true. But the dude needs to own up to the fact that he (Jeff Bridich) put the team together. He overpaid for a small army of old, washed up RPers. He overpaid for Desmond. He’s neglected the 1B position. He’s managed… Read more »

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Carp, it’s time for me to fire up my 2nd Annual FIRE BRIDICH! campaign. Notable free agent signings in his tenure: – Mike Dunn: 2+ seasons, 0.0 WAR, $19 million total, out of baseball – Gerardo Parra: 3 seasons, -1.1 WAR, $27 million – Jake McGee: finishing 2nd season on current FA contract, -0.1 WAR, $18 million – Ian Desmond: finishing 3rd season, -1.2 WAR, something like $50 million so far – Wade Davis, finishing 2nd season, +0.9 WAR, about… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Ag…….I’m down with splitting GM duties with you. My vision (extremely simplified) is as follows:

1. Embrace the Opener concept.
2. Accumulate a stable of extremely athletic, defensive OFers.
3. Teach small ball.
4. Run like crazy….create chaos on the base paths.
5. Mothball the tooth trot.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

I like it Carp. I’ll give you the Tooth Trot Replacement Study. Maybe you can find our own version of “The Freeze” (love that guy). For the rest of the season, here’s what I want to see: 1. No Chi Chi starters or Bettis relievers! You’ve got a number of live arms with their minor league clocks ticking: Hoffman (should be relieving! that fastball/curveball mix could be Ottavino 2.0), Almonte, Estevez, some arms in AA/AAA. We gotta see who’s a… Read more »

Agbayani
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Agbayani

If you don’t trust my analysis, I see that Dan Szymborski has an article up at fangraphs about the same thing — “The Rockies are Wasting Their Stars.” (I won’t link because I think that takes it into moderation limbo). Read it!

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Carp, I totally agree with you and Ag that he’s a failed GM. But honestly, do they ever publicly “own up?” In any sport?

Bob K
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Bob K

Once again the Rockies claim to have removed Davis from the closer role and turned it over to Oberg.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/08/rockies-to-remove-wade-davis-from-closers-role.html

Bob K
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Bob K

Rockies place Dahl on 10 day Il and call up Yonathan Daza.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/08/rockies-place-dahl-on-injured-list.html