Tonight is Game 161 of the year and the Rockies does have an impact on the playoff scenario. The Brewers (Rockies’ opponent) and the Cardinals are battling for the Central division title. St. Louis still has a one-game lead over the Brewers going into tonight when both Milwaukee and St. Louis lost Friday night. Milwaukee had a 20-4 record in September when Colorado held off the Brewers 11-7 after jumping to an early 11-2 lead. The best fans in baseball resides in St. Louis and they were cheering for the Rockies in the middle of the Cards-Cubs game.
Bud Black has done a great job in my humble opinion during the month of September after being dealt nothing by the front office. He is looking forward to 2020 season to see what works and what doesn’t work. It appears that Garrett Hampson is making a strong case to play CF when David Dahl is not available. He can also play 2B which gives the club flexibility on the roster. Sam Hilliard after being ignored all year in Albuquerque with 30 HR and 25 SB finally showed he can bring his game to The Show. He is making a strong case to play any OF position. The third player that is showing serious consideration for regular playing time next year is Ryan McMahon. Everyone is talking about how they missed keeping DJLM but they overlooked the fact that RyMac has hit just as many HRs in less playing time including a few to opposite field. He also fielded his position pretty good. His advantage is that he can play both 2B and 1B. That explains why Yonder Alonso is not getting any starts lately. A little known fact is that RyMac hits lefties and righties equally good.
The club also has clearly been taking a look at both the bullpen and rotation without the usual suspects. The rotation still has question marks with Chi Chi Gonzalex, Tim Melville, Antonio Senzatela, and Peter Lambert trying to make some kind of a statement. None of them is really standing out at this moment. My eye tests tell me they lead the majors (probably not true but…) in free passes (BB and HBP) issued, very few strike ones, and their inability to get leadoff hitters, 8-hole hitters, and pinch hitters. They can be good but they won’t be because they can’t pitch like a Kyle Kendrick (Cubs) or a Mike Davies (Brewers). They only throw around 90s but they are effective because they throw strikes without going over the middle of the plate. The pitchers also gave up more HRs than the Rockies hit themselves even in their own house.
Black also put Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, and Wade Davis on an exiled island except for maybe one inning a week or two. If September is any indication of the future plans, Scott Oberg, Carlos Estevez, and Jairo Diaz will be at the back end of the pen with possibly James Pazos contributing. Yency Almonte and Sam Howard were given long looks in relief roles.
The goal from the RWO community is to see the front office have some balls to improve the club without signing average players to big contracts. For now it looks like the 2020 roster will be as follows:
Outfield: Blackmon (bad fielder, but invaluable bat who can hit anywhere in
the lineup), Dahl, Hilliard, Desmond or Tapia (one has to go), and Hampson backing up as 5th OF.
Infield: Arenado, Story, McMahon, Murphy (last year cuz of his stupid contract), Brendon Rodgers, and Hampson
Catcher: Wolters and either Drew Butera or Dom Nunez (Rockies is taking a long look at Butera over Nunez)
Rotation: Gray, Marquez, Freeland (those three must have good years or we’re shafted big time), the last two will be won in spring training – Anderson, Lambert, Castellani, Gonzalez, Senzatela, etc
Bullpen: Oberg, Estevez, Diaz, Pazos, Almonte (?), Howard (?), Bettis (?), Tinoco(?). I’m organizing a sit-in protest at the Rockies front office if they keep at least two out of three expensive arms (Davis, McGee, and Shaw). One is the limit they are allowed to keep and I would pick Shaw.
We will use this as the first thread of the off-season and when this thread gets a little long, I’ll put up a new post to start a new thread. Go Cardinals!