After eight games, the Rockies are 5-3. All things considered, I'll take it. After all, the team has a .296/.356/.507 batting line to date and the team is tied for the league lead in quality starts with six. Yes, the three losses thus far have all been pretty frustrating, but ultimately this has been a very good eight game stretch for Colorado.
There's not a whole lot we can learn from eight games, but one of the things I've been watching has been how new manager Walt Weiss is handling the pitching staff. Specifically, I've been watching the fact that he has pulled the starter with less than 100 pitches in every game - including five times when the starter had between 94-99 pitches. In other words, Colorado is getting the bare minimum needed for a quality start from their pitchers (none have reached seven innings pitched this year).
This is interesting because Colorado's only had one game in which the starter legitimately struggled (Jorge De La Rosa against Milwaukee), while in most of the other games the starter looked like they were cruising - like Jon Garland, who only threw 75 pitches in six innings before hitting the showers. In most of those instances there have been pretty good reasons - it was Garland's first MLB start in almost two years, the Rockies needed runs for both Giants games, etc. - but it's still interesting to see the power of that magic 100 pitch number in action.
It wouldn't surprise me if Weiss were getting some nudging from the front office about pulling pitchers before they hit the 100 pitch mark in the post-75 pitch count, four man rotation era. It's been a very weird trend to see in MLB: from pitchers being able to handle a ton of pitches and innings and work every fourth day (like, in the 80s even) to seeing these "100 pitches and out" strategies. The crazy thing is that it seems like pitcher injuries have gone way up using this strategy. I'll need somebody smarter than me to explain it.
Jhoulys Chacin talked to Fangraphs' Eno Sarris about his curveball and why he's using it less now than he did in the minors. It's another brick in the "curveballs are much less effective at Coors" wall.
Patrick Saunders' mailbag answers a variety of reader questions - among them what Walt Weiss is doing with his bench players.
The starting rotation has continued to give the Rockies a chance to win games - compared to last year, that's wonderful. Jorge De La Rosa even appears to be settling into 2011 form.
Due to their 64-98 record last year, the Rockies have $4.2 million to spend on international signees in 2013. This is in contrast to the $10.2 million that Colorado has to spend on the draft.
Carlos Gonzalez's outfield arm is in top form with a league leading 3 outfield assists to date (and almost another one last night).
Spencer Schneier of Beyond the Boxscore poses an interesting question: Are hitting statistics giving credit for the wrong thing?