Contention Pretension

Contention Pretension

ROX BACK IN PHOENIX; 162 AHEAD

Carlos Gonzalez, No. 5, “Cargo,” is back to lead the 2018 Colorado Rockies, who’ll seek a second straight appearance in MLB’s post-season, hopefully one that will last more the 4/3 innings.  Wade Davis is on from the Cubs to close, Brian Shaw comes over from Cleveland to be a righty set-up guy, and southpaw Jake McGee was resigned to join him, as general manager Jeff Bridich made some big waves back in late autumn when the stove was hot, and it wasn’t hot for long.  Chris Ianetta returns to the fold after a brief stint in hostile territory to be the every day catcher.

Gonzalez will play right in an outfield that will also include should-have-been MVP Charlie Blackmon in center and the spark plug Gerardo Parra in left.  One might expect projections for a former batting champion and 3-time all-star coming upon the peak of his career at age 32 to be something like .340/40/120, yet the RWO forecasts Gonzalez will actually meet his demise some time in mid-May, expiring I imagine from symptoms of pneumonia, progressive kidney failure, creeping dementia, and apathy.  Fortunately, 2016 phenom David Dahl will have just about completed shaking-off the rust of a lost 2017 down in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico by the time Gonzalez conks-out for good, minimizing the tragedy of No. 5’s predicted passing.

Bridich’s reacquisition of Cargo resulted in a “ka-ching ka-ching” effect on the Rockies’ projected lineup, relocating Parra from right to left, and the 70 million dollar man without a position, Ian Desmond, from left to 1st-base, which had been Bridich’s plan ‘A’ all along.  Desmond will team with rookie Ryan McMahon to make put-outs of the assists fired across the diamond by the all-world defense consisting of the other-worldly Nolan Arenado at 3rd, Trevor Story at short, and steady DJ LeMahieu at 2nd.

Gonzalez, Blackmon, and Parra comprise a similarly imposing outfield defense, and teamed with Ianetta and back-up catcher/infielder Tony Wolters, a young Rockies’ starting pitching staff gets the benefit of that very strong group of veterans backing them up.  Right-hander Jon Gray, he of the infamous 4/3 innings in Phoenix, leads the rotation, which will be filled-out by lefties Tyler Anderson and Kyle Freeland, and right-handers Chad Bettis and German Marquez.  Antonio Senzatela makes the team at the long end of a deep bullpen designed to provide additional comfort to the young group of starters.

In between Senzatela and McGee, Shaw, and Davis, the pen will include right-handers Scott Oberg and Adam Ottavino, warts and all, with left-handers Mike Dunn and the exquisite Chris Rusin rounding-out the staff.  Beyond the aforementioned McMahon and Wolters, Pat Valaika returns as a menace off a bench that will be completed by outfielder Mike Tauchman, who came to camp with a plan, and executed it to near perfection.

All-in-all, one can’t help from concluding it’s an impressively imposing group that Bridich was assembled for the manipulations of 2nd-year skipper Bud Black, who returns a staff that includes bench coach Mike Redmond, Bob K’s favorite Duane Espy and Jeff Salazar coaching the hitters, with Steve Foster and Darren Holmes coaching the pitchers.  Tony Diaz is back to coach 1st, Stu Cole will again be over at 3rd, Ronnie Gideon is the infield coach, and Aaron Munoz is the bullpen catcher.  The trouble for all, as sd carp, now posing as the Prophet of Doom, has made painfully clear, is the competition is equally impressive, and widespread as well.  Looking around the league, you can say, well the Braves are still doing a lot of stirring and shaking, the Marlins are in the midst of one of their 5-year purges, the Padres are still in San Diego, and the hated Giants are trying to make a “Yankees of the West” approach work in the latter years of their contention window.  But otherwise pretty-much everybody else has reason to be thinking meaningful games in September, and it figures to be a brawl.

I think carp’s being a bit harsh, but I too fear 2018 will be a stutter-step backward for the local 9.  I’m calling out 84 wins, a game short of grabbing the outside wild card.  The key will be besting the rival Diamondbacks, and of course we get to start with that action at 8:10 MT tonight at Chase Field.  Gray (10-4, 3.67 in 2017) gets the call against Arizona’s difficult lefty Patrick Corbin (14-13, 4.03 in 2017).  Get a leg-up on the Dbacks and make a run at the lordly Dodgers, then maybe more than 4/3 innings of Rocktober are in the cards.

So OK, sit back, it’s on.  Don’t get too comfortable, HERE WE GO!

 

jim-miller

Architectural Spec Writer Born Toledo, Ohio 4-9-55 Tiger Fan Braves Fan Rockies Fan

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roxnsox
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roxnsox

I’m gonna say they keep it up! Bullpen better, young starters steadier/more experienced, Story hits much better (meaning whiffs a lot less too), Dahl and McMahon shove their way into it and tear it up, Cargo is at least serviceable, hopefully Desmond is better than that, the rest of the known excellence stays at or near par. The LoDo Magic is thick with this cohesive team. 86-76, and that might be good enough for a wild card. You all are… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

I’m calling 90-72; 1st in NL West. Reasons: 1) This year half of the NL teams will be great and half of the NL teams will be awful. No in-between teams. 2) Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and Chettis were not in the rotation to begin 2017. The Rockies will expect better pitching from the rotation and rely less on the bullpen in the first two months. 3) Bullpen is vastly better. No Chad Qualls or Jason Motte to begin the… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Forgot one more reason: our bench. Instead of Alexi Amarista, it’s Valaika, Tauchman, and McMahon off the bench.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Senzatela in the Bullpen. Who would have thought that…..for the last two years minimum (snark intended).

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Double Play Machine still at work. 2 tonight.

Bob in Indy
Member
Bob in Indy

I’m going with 89-73, a slight improvement. I’m not convinced the young pitching staff won’t suffer some regression along with some growth, but I expect solid seasons from NA, CB, and DJ along with more production from Cargo and Trevor. Regardless, let’s have some fun this summer!!!!!

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Only one game. I know. But the weaknesses of this team were clear immediately: – Jon Gray: presumptive Ace with Ace stuff. Big game pitcher? Umm, not yet. This was our ace vs. their (really) #4. It should have been a mismatch. Gray comes out, first pitch slider. Why? Dude, you throw 97. Go right after them. You should not be a nibbler. Last year’s wild card playoff game on repeat. – Batting order, 4-7: Story (cleanup), Cargo, Desmond, Parra.… Read more »

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Correction: last year Parra actually hit lefties a little better than righties, but that’s an anomaly. Repeat after me: “reverse splits are almost never real and are almost always a consequence of a small sample size.” But Cargo’s utter uselessness against lefties is real: last year – .206 vs. lefties, 2 HRs in 137 plate appearances. A 29 RC+ and this is the guy you bat 5th in the order against a lefty starter? He can be a useful PLATOON… Read more »

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

The commentators (and the ATT Sportsnet producers, who repeatedly make them show and discuss the graphics on Cargo from last September – last September is over!!!) need to zip it about the man crush, too. I guess Bridich may be guilty as well, cuz he pulled the trigger. Clubhouse chemistry is all very well, I’m sure, but…. PROVE US WRONG CARGO! Very disappointed in Gray. The growing up should be over by now. Yep, throw the friggin’ heat! Don’t get… Read more »

Doc
Member
Doc

I’m all for fun, but I can’t drink enough beer to sit through this rerun of remedial hitting and pitching.. At least we don’t have to listen to Drew say, “You know they’re going to hit.” McMahon should be getting his shot now. BB wouldn’t play him last year and is using Cargo as an excuse to hold him out this year. Supposedly Cargo was brought back to appease Nolan; fine, let him sit on the bench and cheer Nolan… Read more »

Bob K.
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Bob K.

They would not have gotten a compensation draft pick if he had signed after draft day. Because he failed to get a $50MM contract their compensation pick will be after the Compensation B draft picks instead of after the compensation A draft picks.

Bob in Indy
Member
Bob in Indy

Could we please score a run without a homer for once? Homers are nice but certainly don’t reflect a consistent offense.

Bob in Indy
Member
Bob in Indy

Ok, we finally got one. Now pull this thing out, dang it.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Nine of ten runs on HRs. Issuing walks that come around to score. Trevor Story needs to swap spots with Ianetta in the batting order. I cannot stand his automatic strike outs. Or move Desmond to SS and put McMahon at 1B.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

11 of 12 runs on HRs. We better start hitting other than HRs.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

My lineup suggestion Blackmon CF Deej 2B Arenado 3B CarGo RF – short leash to prove u can play everyday. Dahl LF – Makes Parra 4th OF as appropriate. Desmond SS – Take Story’s strikeouts out of lineup. McMahon 1B – Free him to play everyday. Ianetta C – he knows how to hit #8 If Rockies cut bait on CarGo (highly doubtful), Tapia can replace him in RF keeping Parra as 4th OF. Don’t be afraid to call up… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I’m neither agreeing or disagreeing with the above comments. But I will offer/ask this – why should we be expecting anything offensively different in 2018 (when compared to 2017)?

We doubled down on the same personnel, in more or less the same batting order. Expect more of 2017 (offensively) until real change is implemented.

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

And they kept the same inept hitting coach. They even have Arenado striking out more than normal.

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

Because Trevor Story was supposed to have figured out how not to strike out so much by now! And because Ian Desmond’s 2017 was aberrant! That’s why, Carp. BTW, anyone heard more detail about Desi’s knee injury? Too soon to panic about runs coming on homers. A run is a run (and dingers are sometimes more). I agree that it can’t be relied on, obviously. Are you guys and gals worried that a mindset will solidify around hitting them out,… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I’ll grant you both of those RnS (Story being better and Desmond being healthy)……even though the first 3 games suggest otherwise. Do you realize Desmond has had a remarkably healthy career until last year?

But we still have the Parra/Cargo dilemma. We still have DJ batting in the wrong slot. We’re still forced to hit Nazty #1 in the order when he’d be great at #3. And……we’re still married to Nazty and Arenado being 100% healthy.

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

Rockies are allotted $5,504,500 for the bonus pool for 201/-2019 International signing period.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/mlb-release-2018-19-international-bonus-pools.html

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

Rockies are allotted $5,504,500 for the bonus pool for 2018-2019 International signing period.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/mlb-release-2018-19-international-bonus-pools.html

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

Rockies Draft Pool is $7,633,900. They have pick 22 in the first round and 42 in Competitive Balance Round A. They lost their second round pick for signing Wade Davis but gained pick 76 because the Cardinals signed Greg Holland.

https://www.mlb.com/news/2018-mlb-draft-bonus-pools-pick-values/c-269930084?tid=151437456

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

Ex Red Sox manager John Farrell picks Rockies to win NL West.

https://roxpile.com/2018/04/02/colorado-rockies-john-farrell-picks-rockies-to-win-nl-west/

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

That’s two great minds that think alike. See my post above in early part of thread. I called 1st in NL West.

Bob in Indy
Member
Bob in Indy
rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Knock on wood – Story hasn’t struck out last two games.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

3 of those 5 games against the High School team masquerading as the MARLINS!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Not trying to jinx anyone……but Desmond is playing really well. Almost looks comfortable at 1st,

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

Tyler Chatwood pitched 6 innings of one run ball last night as the Cubs lost 1-0. He had 4 Ks and 6 BBs.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I saw that box score……….my eyes went straight to 6 BBs. That’s (still) horrible. Hopefully he’ll improve that – if not he’s destined for another bad year.

ProgMatinee
Guest
ProgMatinee

nobody in the MLB is jobbed at the plate more than T.Story. Never ever gets a borderline call in his favor.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

I’ve noticed that also.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Did Bud just go to Oberg with a couple lefties in a row due up? Don’t we have like a half dozen lefty relievers?

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Six more years of Chuck Nazty. I would have liked 4 better.

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.
sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Regarding Nazty – the latest and greatest going price for 1 WAR is about 10M. So Chuck will need to produce 11 WAR over the next 6 years to sorta, maybe, kinda justify contract. I can see something like this: 2018 – 5 WAR 2019 – 4 WAR 2020 – 3 WAR 2021 – 1.5 WAR 2022 – 1.0 WAR 2023 – 0.5 WAR So this is 15 WAR……well over the 11 “required.” Granted – I’m not saying I’m buying… Read more »

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

ONE win for 10 million? Cuckoo money. To once again quote Larry Walker.

This contract is fine with me – I’m happy to have him! and I’m not the one who has to deal with it in a few years when it’s proven again that these things are cement overshoes. What a screwed-up business. This is Charlie being a Rockies stalwart WAY above even my prediction when he came up. Yeah!!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

For sure RoxnSox……10M per win (basically a slightly below average regular) is insane…….but it is what it is I suppose.

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

Yes, what it is. An industry that has transformed real money into play money. My ears have long since stopped steaming over the injustice of this when teachers get $50K, etc. etc. etc., but it still rankles a bit. Clearly.

And….HELLO Jon Gray! Welcome!

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

“… when teachers get $50K” … I can’t disagree with you, Roxnsox. A long time ago I had a professor in a theology class who said the key to true understanding was to stop thinking in terms of “but” and start thinking in terms of “and.” In other words, it’s not “Charlie Blackmon is getting a ridiculous amount of money to play a kids’ game, but that’s what the economics of baseball dictates.” Rather, it’s “Charlie Blackmon is indeed getting… Read more »

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

WELL said, Ag. Another note: looks like you might be right about the return of Good Otto!