End of Season, Now What?

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!

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roxnsox
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roxnsox

Hilliard is apparently a keeper; his outfield play needs some reps to solidify. It’s sometimes a little too exciting – will he catch it? Won’t he? Hampson is CLEARLY a super-utility – have really enjoyed watching him this month. Will the owner have the guts to replace the GM? I think this is pivotal. And I wish “they” would think outside the box like carp and Bob discussed in the previous thread. Another doubtful item. I think Bettis is done,… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

And keep Murphy on the bench! Another terrible signing. Let Fuentes run with the job in spring and just see what there might be with him.

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Second half stats – I’m going here with fangraphs’ RC+, where 100 is an average hitter (and it’s adjusted for park): Hilliard 145 Nolan 136 Story 123 Dahl 108 Charlie 106 Hampson 103 Alonso 101 McMahon 99 Murphy 88 Desmond 71 Tapia 70 Wolters 42 Daza 38 Hilliard is a keeper! Still very raw – kind of an older (for his debut) lefthanded Matt Holliday. Sometimes the power doesn’t translate from AAA to the big leagues, but his does. Tapia:… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

“McMahon and that elusive righty platoon partner at 1B would be a nice bridge.” McMahon hit for a higher average against LHPs than he did against RHPs. Why on earth do you want to sit him against LHPs? This is one of my problems with managers in general and Bud Black in particular that they can’t get over the LH batter against RH pitcher even when they have the stats to show it. They keep putting players in a position… Read more »

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Bob K. – because reverse splits are almost always not “real” but simply small sample size effects! The correct way of viewing it is to assume that a lefthanded hitter is more effective against righties unless and until he proves otherwise. And McMahon’s 2019 was not his only season in pro ball. Minors 2017: 1.059 OPS vs. righties; .633 vs lefties Majors/minors combined 2018: .817/.682 2019 majors: .781/.785 (basically no split, but over only 150 ABs vs. lefties) And factor… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Think about this………while the Rox can’t come to grips with the concept of simple platoons, most “progressive” teams accepted platoons as gospel a half-dozen years ago and have now moved on to openers, bulk pitchers, and swing planes.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Good article in the Post, quoting outside sources such as Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs, and confirming what we all know, in layman’s terms/numbers 😉 Szymborski sums it up perfectly: “… I don’t see a willingness to change. I think it’s a general problem with the Rockies’ organization as a whole, from top to bottom. “I think you need a complete remaking of the organization. I think you need an organization that’s willing to break conventional rules of how things are… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

Projected arbitration salaries for Rockies Players.

Chad Bettis – $3.8MM
Scott Oberg – $2.0MM
Jon Gray – $5.6MM
Tyler Anderson – $2.625MM
Trevor Story – $11.5MM
Tony Wolters – $2.0MM
Carlos Estevez – $1.2MM
David Dahl – $3.0MM
Kyle Freeland – $2.4MM

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/10/mlb-arbitration-salaries-2020.html

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Alright gang – game 6 of the ALCS. Two heavyweights. High stakes. Big money.

Both teams using an Opener.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I haven’t been able to watch the LCS games, but from the highlights and summaries – wow! A lot of good stuff. I’ve held my tongue all season, but may I please, one last time, lament the loss of my man Deej? Good grief; what could have been, with McMahon given a full season to blossom at first base, or even move LeMahieu there.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Yeah……visualizing DJ at 1B instead of Murphy just makes you want to cry, huh??? Keep in mind, DJ played a lot of 3B (51 games) this seasons for the Yanks. 51 games @ 3B, 74 @ 2B, 35 @ 1B. The versatility the Rox feign to desire. Giving Nolan 20-25 games off a year as he ages is going to be critical. DJ could have made this a reality also. Signed for 2 years, 24M (almost identical to Murphy). 31… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Correct about zero creative or even expansive thinking. He could have turned into a top super-utility player of all time as HE ages, spelling Nolan and everybody else and himself. And to be fair, NOBODY foresaw the season he had. But he was much better than fine on our team, and if we had gotten this same season out of him? It all makes me want to cry. And if Murphy is the starter next year (of course he will… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Whoa – really discouraging Letter issued to fans from Monfort/Bridich/Black.

I say discouraging because it certainly implies all will be back. Doubling down on same strategy. Not promising.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I didn’t read it that way, carp. Of course, whatever they say must be taken for what it is – spin – with a handful of salt. But Bridich refers to needed changes. Ah, who knows.

roxnsox
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roxnsox

….and now I’m leaning your way, after the media session was described. I can’t believe they said “we expect X and Y to improve, we like our team/players, yada yada” AGAIN.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Here’s what makes it worse: 1. The Dodgers are the Dodgers. 2. The D-Backs extended Mike Hazen, really good GM that was rumored to be the front runner for the Boston GM position. 3. San Diego has the best Farm System in all of baseball….by a wide margin. 4. The Giants have Farhan Zaidi entering year 2 of his GM reign. Zaidi learned the trade under Billy Beane at Oakland and Andrew Friedman in LA (and Tampa before that). We’ll… Read more »

Agbayani
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Agbayani

One glimmer of hope in the Monfort Letter was a cryptic comment about how they’ll be reevaluating the bullpen. “Reevaluate” better mean “DFA” for at least a couple of our aging nonperformers. I think Carp agrees with me: the way to improve the bullpen is to find talented arms who are struggling as starters in your organization or other organizations – the Ottavino way (a failed starter with the Cards), not picking up some 30-something “proven” reliever at a huge… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Keep this in mind, next season (2020), relief pitchers will have to face three batters minimum. Take a deep breathe. Think about this new rule for a few seconds. This is a big deal. I think this will change RPing as we know it. The age of the “super” reliever is upon us. Ag – you mention Hoffman. He’s got a golden opportunity next season. I think Senza should be moved to a RPer role as well. Caveat……..if the Rox… Read more »

Bob K
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Bob K

There are exceptions to the rule. If there are two outs in the inning and the relief pitcher gets the final out of the inning by only facing one batter, the relief pitcher does not have to come back the next inning to face two more batters. The same if there is one out, the relief pitcher may only have to face one (double play) or two batters to end the inning without being required to come back the next… Read more »

Wayne
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Wayne

I haven’t posted in many a year, but I read you all daily. We have 3 pitchers (Davis, Shaw, and McGee) who we owe $35.5 million for next year. We should be able to find 3 entry level payroll kids (Estevez, Diaz, Pazos, Howard, etc) who we can plug in. I think the Rox should trade the 3 expensive, worthless arms and offer to eat 2/3 of the salary ($24 million) which would save the team in the neighborhood of… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

I think this is a realistic view (meaning we’ll have to pay a high chunk of their salaries and essentially get nothing in return). BIG DEAL. Even if we save 5-10M, that’s something and as you note, Estevez/Diaz/Pazos can’t possibly be worse.

Bob K
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Bob K

Rockies making organizational changes. From MLBTradeRumors: “Thomas Harding of MLB.com confirms that the Rockies have dismissed several minor league coaches, including longtime Triple-A manager Glenallen Hill (link). Double-A hitting coach Lee Stevens and Single-A hitting coach Norberto Martin will also be let go, according to assistant general manager of player development Zach Wilson. A member of the club’s coaching ranks since 2004, Hill was previously first base coach with Colorado’s big league squad from 2007 to 2012. The 54-year-old Santa… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Interesting.

One thing that really bothered me (and I don’t believe I’ve commented on it) is what appeared to be a really down year in the Rockies minor league system, top to bottom, very few exceptions.

The Hitting Coach thing is especially interesting. Hopefully, this portends to a change in Organizational strategy with an adoption of a global, Organization wide hitting strategy ala’ the Dodgers (and many other Organizations).

Bob K
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Bob K

It appears that it was Bridich who pushed for the opt out in Arenado’s contract.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/10/nl-notes-arenado-cano-mets-nats.html

Bob K
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Bob K

RHP Julian Fernandez was taken in the 2017 Rule 5 draft by the SF Giants. He was subsequently waived and claimed by the Marlins. He spent the past 2 years on the MLB IL gaining 2 years of MLB service time. The Marlins have returned him to the Rockies.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/10/marlins-return-rule-5-pick-julian-fernandez-to-rockies.html

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Saw this earlier today Bob.

Here’s a guy with 2 years of ML service time. Clock is ticking. I bring him to ST and audition him for the BP.

Bob K
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Bob K

That is fine if he is healthy by then. His 2 years of service time were spent on the IL. I say leave him off the 40 man roster and hope that someone else takes him in the Rule 5 draft or just let him become a free agent.. Interesting tidbit that the Pirates are one of 3 teams that have a combined negative WAR from their pitching draftees over the past 8 seasons. Obviously there are teams that make… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Why should the Monfort’s want to change the way they do business? Rox finish 2019 6th in MLB attendance (just barely shy of 3M). This coming on the heels of last season’s 7th in MLB attendance at just over 3M. Basically…..about 100K less fans attended this season even though the team went from 91 wins to 71 wins. New TV deal. McGregor Square Project well underway. This should be a big income producer. Team valuation has probably doubled since the… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I’d add their loyalty-to-a-fault mode, whether it be to players or bad contracts or stale coaching.

Bob K
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Bob K

RHP Ashton Goudeau doing good in Arizona Fall League.

13 IP – 4 H – 0 BB – 18 K – 0.00 ERA

https://www.mlb.com/rockies/news/ahston-goudeau-rockies-arizona-fall-league

sdcarp
Guest
sdcarp

NICE!

I like this from the article:

“the Rockies eyed Goudeau as a long reliever who would work multiple innings.”

Translation – with new RP rules moving forward (and even without these rules – this is already a trend), the multi-inning (or even full inning) RPer is destined to be super valuable.