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Attention Colorado Rockies: the Bullpen Matters

October 25th, 2014 at 2:42 PM
By Joe Lemere

Good first move for the Colorado Rockies new GM Jeff Bridich. Firing pitching coach Jim Wright and bullpen coach Bo McLaughlin a couple days ago is indeed a step in the right direction. An exchange of coaches won't really change a whole lot, but the move sends a message that the status quo is just not good enough anymore. The Rockies had the worst ERA in MLB last year caused mostly by serious injury problems, but also by having the worst bullpen in the majors. And if you watched game three of the World Series, you know just how important the bullpen can be.

The Rockies bullpen had one player have a consistently solid season all the way through. LaTroy Hawkins was one of the best pitchers on the roster and posted a 3.31 ERA with 23 saves on the season. Two guys, Tommy Kahnle and Adam Ottavino had good halves of the season. In Kahnle's first couple months in the bigs, he went 2-1 with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.073 Whip and was looking like a Rule 5 Draft steal. Unfortunately for the Rox, injuries derailed his second half and he put up a hideous 8.35 ERA. Ottavino was just the opposite, dropping his ERA by a run-and-a-half from the first to the second half of the season.

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Three Colorado Rockies Named MLB Gold Glove Award Finalists

October 24th, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere

Major League Baseball has announced the finalists for each league's Gold Glove Award. The Colorado Rockies are well represented among the finalists, with first baseman Justin Morneau, second baseman DJ LeMahieu, and third baseman Nolan Arenado named. All three are most assuredly deserving, but how many — if any — will win the coveted defensive award?

If any of the Rockies nominated for the award is a front-runner, it would have to be DJ LeMahieu. DJ has flashed the leather all season long and is an analytics darling. He has recorded the second most putouts and assists at second base in the NL and has easily turned the most double plays. And because of all those chances, he comes in at third in fielding percentage, second in runs above average, and leads in range factor per nine innings.

The other players going against DJ are Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies and Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds. Utley leads in just about every defensive statistic for second basemen and may win the award on name alone. Besides range factor, the only category Utley doesn't lead is fielding percentage, which was led by Phillips. Phillips could be eliminated because he played 20+ fewer games than the other two. DJ should win, but don't be surprised if Chase Utley goes home with the trophy.

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Colorado Rockies Prospect Watch: Jon Gray

October 23rd, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere

The World Series is on an off day today and since there's no postseason goodness or any big news, let's get to our first Prospect Watch of the offseason. Today, we'll be covering the best prospect in the Colorado Rockies system right now; maybe even in franchise history. I am referring, of course, to Jon Gray.

Gray was the number three pick out of Oklahoma in the 2013 draft. Jon Gray is the prototype right-handed starting pitcher; he throws hard and is built like a horse. Standing at 6'4" and weighing in at around 235, he can be quite an intimidating sight out on the mound. He was drafted to be a number one, Gray certainly has the potential to become just that.

At just 23 years of age coming into spring training next season, Gray will be coming off a solid first full year of professional ball. He went 10-5 with a 3.91 ERA in his 24 starts for the AA Tulsa Drillers last season. Add in a 1.190 WHIP and a 2.76 K/BB ratio, and he had good numbers across the board.

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Will the Colorado Rockies Ever Have an Ace?

October 22nd, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere

Well, Colorado Rockies fans sure can relate to Kansas City Royals fans today, huh? After breezing through the postseason in 2007, the Rockies were demolished in game one of the World Series. Sound familiar, Kansas City? Anyway, the real story from game one isn't the Royals, it's the Giants, and more specifically, Madison Bumgarner. Sheer dominance is what that guy is all about. But his performance raises a question for despondent Rockies fans everywhere: Will they ever get an ace?

First, let's look to see if there could be an ace in waiting already within the Rockies organization. They have top draft picks Kyle Freeland, Eddie Butler, and Jon Gray in the minors, making their way to the majors. Freeland is a Colorado kid who will need at least another year in the minors, probably two. Eddie Butler will most likely be in the starting rotation next year, but he was lackluster in his two appearances for the Rockies this season. The real potential of this threesome rests squarely on the shoulders of Jon Gray. The young fireballer should crack the bigs next year, and we can see what he's really capable of.

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World Series Starts Tonight: Who’s Going to Win?

October 21st, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere

The Fall Classic is finally upon us! After what seemed like an interminable break from playoff baseball, the World Series finally begins tonight. The San Francisco Giants look to continue their even-year dominance against the Kansas City Royals, who'll look to end 29 years of futility. So, who has the edge? Who's going to be world champs?

With the bats in their hands, the Giants should have the advantage. Former MVP Buster Posey leads the attack, but he's not alone. Kung Fu Panda Pablo Sandoval is playing well, Hunter Pence is always dangerous and guys like Brandon Belt and Travis Ishikawa, as we know, have some walk-offability in their bats. Yeah, that's a new word.

The Royals are the ultimate small ball team. Advocates of the bunt-steal method (and dance) Lorenzo Cain and the boys score enough runs to get the job done. Hitting the fewest home runs in the AL doesn't seem to have carried over to the postseason, though. Mike Moustakas has the most home runs in the postseason, one of them of the walk-off variety.

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