MEN WITHOUT BATS

MEN WITHOUT BATS

FLORIDA IS PLEASURE TRIP, AS ALWAYS; CUBS, NEW YORK AHEAD

Whatever it is about Miami, Florida, it’s over, at least for 2018.  The Colorado Rockies put on their usual display of strength and power in the Magic City over the barely past weekend, eking out a 1-0 victory behind Antonio Senzatela on Friday night, and thereafter confining themselves to a solo homer off the bat of Charlie Blackmon, dropping the 3-game series with the Marlins
2-1.  I myself could be located some 900 miles to the north, in the bustling metropolis of Atlanta, Georgia, observing one of those rites of passage so popular with the young (despite the substantial risks), the marriage of my niece Jenny to some kid I’d never seen before, so I know even less about went on than usual.  Miami will pay the Rockies a return visit to Coors Field in late June, but other than that Colorado is done with the torment so regularly rained upon them by their expansion cousins.

Earlier in the week things were a bit more pleasant back in Denver, with our old friends the San Diego Padres in town for 3.  No fights broke-out, in fact Manuel Margot was at one point witnessed on top of 2nd base with a fairly major grin upon his face, having arrived there on a 2-out double, and perhaps he was also anticipating that before long Scott Oberg would be heaving those hard, fat fastballs at opponents of the Albuquerque Isotopes.  Whatever the case, San Diego got over on the Rockies in the series opener Monday on the strength of a 9-run 7th at the expense of Oberg and Jake McGee, who preceded the right-hander and surrendered hits to 3 of the first 4 batters in the inning, including a 2-run Franchy Cordero home run, before issuing a walk to the final batter he faced.  Oberg would allow 2 of McGee’s base runners to score, along with 5 of his own, and even recorded an out along the way.  He was on a bus headed south in the morning, replaced by former LA Angel of Anaheim Brooks Pounders.

But Colorado came-out slugging on Tuesday, scoring 2 in the 1st on a botched bases-loaded double-play relay by Padres 2nd-baseman Jose Pirela.  They continued their assault on San Diego starter Eric Lauer in the 2nd.  A 1-out Noel Cuevas single, Kyle Freeland sacrifice, and DJ LeMahieu single resulted in an initial run, then a Blackmon single and walk to Nolan Arenado loaded them up for Trevor “Air” Story, who responded with a gigantic fly onto the left-field concourse for a grand slam.  The Rockies would score again in the 5th, and Freeland would go 7 for his first 2018 win, a shutout completed by Brian Shaw and the aforementioned Pounders.  Wednesday afternoon there was no TV, but Colorado got to scoring early again.  3 singles resulted in a run in the 2nd, then in the 3rd Blackmon and Arenado walked ahead of a 2-run David Dahl triple, and Dahl came home on a sac-fly by Story.  The erstwhile Jon Gray turned-in 6-scoreless in that one for the win, backed-up by Shaw, Adam Ottavino, and Wade Davis.  The Rockies prevailed 5 against 2.

Following a day off Thursday the dirge in Miami kicked-off on April 27.  Tyler Anderson started for Colorado and lasted only 4 outs, exiting with some kind of heart issue that’s now claimed to be a non-issue in the 2nd.  Senzatela took over and held the Marlins in-check through the 5th, when he knocked in Gerardo Parra, who had returned from his suspension and doubled, with a 2-out single.  Shaw, McGee, Ottavino, and Davis would finish out the 1-0 shutout, and LeMahieu left the game after 4 with right hamstring tightness.  Saturday the Rockies were held speechless, if not scoreless, by Wei-Yin Chen, who surrendered only the shot by Blackmon, and lost 4-1, then Sunday it would be the immortal Caleb Smith to buffalo Colorado.  Smith held the Rockies scoreless over 7, besting a second consecutive quality start by Chad Bettis, who also went 7 but had the fatal misfortune of allowing a couple of runs while his offense declined to score.  Smith was followed by Drew Steckenrider and Brad Ziegler as the Marlins held Colorado to 4 hits and struck-out 14.

In other news, Chris Rusin hit the DL Monday with an intercostal strain and was replaced by Harrison Musgrave.  Rusin threw off a mound in Miami yesterday, and it’s hoped he’ll be ready when his 10 days expires.  LeMahieu is day-to-day and hopes to get back to action in Chicago, where the Rockies find themselves for the first of 3 with the Cubs in a little over an hour.  Freeland
(1-3, 4.33), who also battled injury after getting caught on the heel by a batted ball in his Tuesday start, will go against Cubs veteran lefty Jon Lester (2-1. 3.29), so it figures to be a tough go for the listless offense.  First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 MT.

Gray gets it tomorrow against Kyle Hendricks an hour later, and Anderson will test his health at 2:20 in the afternoon Wednesday, facing off-season Chicago acquisition Yu Darvish.  Thursday is again an off day ahead of 3 in the borough of Queens, New York versus the Mets on the weekend.  This week it comes down to one word:

Hit.

jim-miller

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

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Agbayani
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Agbayani

9th inning rally! Runner on 1st (Cargo hit vs. a lefty!), one out. No sooner does Drew get done saying that Cishek has struggled mightily with his control this year than the Mighty Desmond swings at Ball 1 for what should have been a game-ending double play. Cishek goes on to look almost Ottavino 2017-wild, as expected. I am starting to dread seeing Ian Desmond in the on deck circle. By the way, to reiterate what’s an unpopular sentiment around… Read more »

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

I don’t see Bryant’s edge. Expound, please? Better how, exactly? (You’re darn right it’s an unpopular sentiment in my house!)

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Ag, you are kidding right? A Arenado has 5 straight GG and Fielding Bible awards. He had lots lots more DRS than Bryant over last three years. On the offensive side he had superior RBI over Bryant as well as hitting more HRslast three years. What ya talking about? FYI, Bryant outs surrounded by above average hitters whileArenado is surrounded by Desmond, CarGo, Parra, etc. Still better stats than Bryant.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Please Park adjust the stats prior to comparing.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Combined home/road stats still better than Bryant hands down. Bryant has cost the Cubs some runs with sloppy glove like last night. Combine bat and glove and that makes Arenado a superior third baseman. Park adjusted stats? Baloney, a better stat is surrounding hitters adjustment. Another reason park adjusted is baloney – pitchers faced adjustment. West pitchers far superior to Central pitchers.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Bryant is better. I agree. The ability to play OF (fairly well) is a plus. He also had more speed (the reason he can play the OF fairly well).

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

Speed I’ll give you. But we’re not talking about outfield. Ag’s point was “third basemen.”

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Three straight quality starts (last two over 7 innings) by SP all wasted.

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

We’re going to miss DJ as much as or more than anyone. You can’t win the division in April, but you can….etc. Oh boy. There’s been a good bit of “when it’s going bad” at play, to be fair. Line drives at ’em and the like. I’m also cringing with Desmond on deck. Too soon to start bandying about the list of worst free agent signings by the Rox? I do like seeing Cuevas get some hits, and Dahl just… Read more »

Doc
Member
Doc

Seems like almost every game I mutter, “They should have signed Mark Reynolds.”

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Doc……signing Reynolds would have been better than signing Cargo. True. But…….we need a Front Office that has the ability to think MUCH larger than that. Could José Abreu been a Rockie in exchange for McMahon/Pint?

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

I proposed on the Rockies Facebook page – Pint and McMahon for Joey Votto. Cincinnati going no where and Rockies only tram badly in need of a first baseman.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I’m not opposed to this on our end (giving up McMahon and Pint). Votto is 34….and his contract runs through 2023. I think the AAV is in the 22-24M range (so the $$$ amount isn’t horrible by extremely warped baseball standards). But age is a bit of a barrier (to me). That dude (Votto) is famous for keeping himself in shape though. I’m rambling. A deal of this magnitude is what the Rockies need. Perhaps not this exact deal…..but something… Read more »

Bob K.
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Bob K.

Jemiola cleared waivers. From MLBTrade Rumors: “The Rockies announced Monday that right-hander Zach Jemiola cleared waivers yesterday and has re-signed a new minor league deal with the club. Jemiola, 24, was a ninth-round pick of the Rockies back in 2012 but found himself protected from the Rule 5 Draft after turning in a pair of solid seasons in A-ball and Double-A, respectively, in 2015 and 2016. Jemiola faltered with a 6.48 ERA in 93 innings last season, however, though he… Read more »

Bob in WV
Member
Bob in WV

May Day! May Day! We need help here! When an entire team of supposedly quality ball players perform this poorly collectively, there is something wrong with the approach, preparation, or both. That starts with the coaching. Release Espy, sign Doyle again.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

There’s a “Fire Espy” bandwagon that was started by OldFoagie over on Purple Row blog. The entire Rockies Nation is ablaze in the “Get Rid of Espy” chants.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Dan Castro up, Ryan McMahon optioned. Looks like Rockies are trying to get more RH bats on the roster.

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.
Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Arenado vs. Bryant: hey, it’s close! No question Arenado is the elite fielder; Bryant is maybe plain “above average. But Bryant consistently outperforms Nolan at the plate, just enough so that I’ve got to give him a small but significant edge. But I will say reasonable minds can disagree depending on how much you value defense … … Espy: I don’t think it’s fair to blame him for any of this. I don’t think the second coming of Charlie Lau… Read more »

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

“… Espy: I don’t think it’s fair to blame him for any of this. ” Really? The team is producing the same kind of results that were going on the last time Espy was the hitting coach. He got fired before because of the failure of the team to hit with runners in scoring position.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

You’re right Bob K. The offense has been straight downhill since Espy took over Doyle.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Regarding Espy (hitting coaches in general) – I’ve seen Ag’s “they don’t really matter” view expressed several times recently. While I agree they aren’t what they once were……they’re still valuable. They still have a significant role. Film study, big picture AB planning, relaying info to individual, personal batting coaches, etc. Even in this reduced role, Espy is failing miserably.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

So who was the better third baseman tonight? Arenado obviously hitting HR in Bryant’s own house.

Doc
Member
Doc

Still think McMahon got screwed by BB–welcome to the Show kid, have a seat and cool off. Only hope now is he gets his confidence back so they can trade him.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

I’m confident McMahon will be back. The problem is still the unbalanced/lefty-heavy 1B/OF player thing. Cargo-Blackmon-Parra (or Dahl)-McMahon – that’s a lineup you just can’t trot out there against a lefty starter. Not that the alternative of playing lefty “slugger” Desmond is much better. (And utility infielder Valaika at 1B is actually worse.) I don’t so much blame Bud Black as I blame Bridich. He’s the guy who got Parra, he’s the guy who re-signed Cargo instead of a righty… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

More evidence of Arenado better than Bryant: Arenado hits 2-run homer in Bryant’s house off a 4-time all star pitcher. Then Bryant was afraid to throw home when Parra was a mile away from home plate. Arenado would have nailed the runner at the plate by several steps.

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

Think back to all the fly balls that Arenado hits in Coor’s field for outs that would easily be in the stands in Wrigley. I have to believe that Arenado would have hit a lot more home runs if he got to hit in Wrigley for half his games.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Both of Arenado’s homers went at least 450 feet including one out of the stadium. What a show Arenado put on in front of Bryant. I’m sorry if I’m blabbing on and on about the comparison of two great third basemen. But Ag and sdcarp really got under my skin and turned me into an activist. I’m still waiting for their counter points to my arguments that Arenado is surrounded by worse hitters and that Arenado faces far better pitchers… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Counterpoint…..I paid $59 (fantasy dollars) for Arenado in our FLeague Auction. I passed on Bryant. So, this really isn’t a counterpoint, huh?????

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Seriously……..they’re both great. For Fantasy, I like Arenado because we only play 6 targeted categories (BA, OBP, HR, RBI, R, SB) without Park adjustments. In “real” baseball, I’m fascinated by Bryant’s athleticism and versatility.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Sure both Bryant and Arenado are great for fantasy baseball, but they don’t give fantasy points for defense. If I was commissioner, I’d give points for 5-star catches. More if odds of catching was< 10%. That applies to OFs, in not sure how to calculate 5-star catches for infielders.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

You’re welcome. In other words, I take full credit for waking up Arenado so he could show up Bryant and the Cubs in this series. As for the analytical stuff … let’s just say now is not the time for all that. Now is the time for simple appreciation of Nolan, so I’ll shut up.
(to be continued)

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Smiling….

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Injuries;
Mets DeGrom just left game in 4th – elbow.
Dodgers Corey Seager – TJ surgery, out until next April.
DBacks Robbie Ray – significant oblique injury, I’m calling 2 months.
DBacks Tijuan Walker – elbow, indefinite time frame.
Indians Andrew Miller – hamstring……should be back soon.

These are some big names!

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Interesting look at how Ottavino turned things around in, of all places, a Harlem storefront:
https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/adam-ottavino-rebuilt-himself-in-a-vacant-manhattan-storefront/

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

I read this and have two thoughts (immediately): 1. Matt Harvey was a fool for turning down the opportunity to be Otto’s throwing partner (in hindsight). 2. If Otto can do all this himself, why can’t our pair of Hitting Coaches (via video reviews) figure out what’s going on with Desi, Story, Valaika, etc. There’s a guy out there the Rockies should hire. Ralph Mann. 1972 Olympic Silver Medalist -400M hurdles. Went on to study kinesiology and ultimately became famous… Read more »

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

Well when you think about the current hitting coaches, remember that it took them most of the season last year to figure out that Cargo’s problem was that he was holding the bat wrong. I am not sure but if I am remembering correctly, it wasn’t the hitting coaches that figured out the problem but instead it was one of his teammates. Cargo’s numbers in September after correcting how he was holding the bat were very good. I think just… Read more »

Doc
Member
Doc

Very cool. Thanks for posting, Ag.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Interesting idea on an outside-the-box type hitting coach. I do think we’ll see more of that type of thing as teams get more sophisticated. Of course, Otto – the thinking man’s pitcher – is already way ahead of the curve on the pitching side. Not to belabor a point, but … if Cargo’s problem was in how he was holding the bat, then why has he been crap all over again this spring? I think it has little to do… Read more »

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

As far as this year goes, I do know that they have messed with his mechanics again and it does not seem to be improving anything. I agree he is older and slower but he did do much better under Doyle than he has under Espy.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Regarding Cargo….I think this is it exactly. Because of long, “beautiful” swing (ha), he has to be geared towards fastballs. So he’s super susceptible to off-speed pitches. He’s about to face Thor. Thor shows him a 98MPH fastball outside the zone (unhittable). But Cargo recognizes the speed. Knows he has to start early. Thor throws offspeed next…..Cargo has no chance.

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Cargo vs. lefties/righties so far this year – 28 plate appearances vs. lefties, 0 HR, 0 RBI, and here’s the advanced stats:
Season Handedness BB% K% BB/K AVG OBP SLG OPS ISO BABIP wRC wRAA wOBA wRC+
2018 vs L as L 3.4 % 24.1 % 0.14 .214 .241 .214 .456 .000 .286 1 -2.5 .207 9
2018 vs R as L 4.2 % 20.8 % 0.20 .244 .271 .533 .804 .289 .242 6 0.8 .335 96
Notice that he’s not horrible vs, righties! A 96 RC+ is still not good for a starting outfielder, but it’s not that bad. He has value. But at his age I’d like to never, ever see him start against a lefty.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Right about CarGo’s swing being too long. Won’t work against 95+ FBs

Notice Votto, Utley, and David Ortiz? All still hitting into mid 30s and later due to compact swings.

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.
Bob in WV
Member
Bob in WV

Well that was scary! It was just a matter of time before we had a bullpen meltdown. Good thing the offense didn’t have their typical let up after the first inning, something they are apt to do. Nice bomb by Wolters.

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

Hits up and down the lineup! Finally. And on a timely night for it, as you note re: the bullpen, Bob!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Geez….a much too early look at the WC standings: Milwaukee 19-14 (50/50 on these guys. SP needs help) Philly 18-14 (watch out for these guys) Rox 19-15 Mets 17-14 (I’m really skeptical I) Pirates 18-15 (I’m really skeptical II) Cubs 16-14 Giants 17-15 (staying afloat with lots of injuries) Nats 17-17 (fully expect them to win the NL East) Dodgers 15-17 Now of course there’s a bit of weirdness here. The Braves are leading the NL East @ 19-12. Likewise,… Read more »

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

Although much too early indeed, I am enjoying the possibility of a real pennant race for once. It’s so boring when 4-5 teams have it sewn up by midsummer.

Also – time just to mention Chad Bettis. Whoooeeee!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Another SSS (small sample size) comment -and I can’t decide if this is good or bad:

David Dahl, our 3rd or 4th best player (depending on how you value DJ) seems to have a knack for pinch hits. 4-9 lifetime (that’s the SSS). We really need him in the lineup 247. But……..he also seems to be our only bench threat. You know…..Matt Holliday is out there somewhere.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Kershaw down.

Earth to Jeff Bridich, earth to Jeff Bridich. THIS IS THE YEAR. Man up. Let’s package McMahon and Pint and go get Abreu. DFA Parra/Cargo/Desmond if need be. The Red Sea is parting. Don’t stare at it…..take action.