There was plenty of Rockies news yesterday, so let's get right to the links.
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Rockies fans got some good news yesterday when second baseman DJ LeMahieu and third baseman Nolan Arenado each won Rawlings Gold Glove awards for their sterling defense. It was LeMahieu's first award and Arenado's second in his two seasons in the league. This occasion marked the fifth time the Rockies have had multiple Gold Glove winners in franchise history. It was almost a threesome of Gold Glove winners, but first baseman Justin Morneau was passed over for Adrian Gonzalez. Click the link above for Thomas Harding's story and to see some great defensive plays.
Patrick Saunders has some interesting tidbits about each of the Gold Glove winners and Colorado's history with the Gold Glove awards, including the fact that Arenado is just the fifth player in history to win a Gold Glove in his first two seasons in the league.
Baseball Info Solutions' Scott Spratt looks at the stats behind this year's Gold Glove winners in this ESPN Insider article and finds that, outside of a couple of Orioles in the outfield and a Royal at first base, this year's crop of Gold Gloves went to the players that deserved to win them. For what it's worth, LeMahieu ranked first among NL second basemen in the advanced defensive metric Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) with 16 while Arenado was second among NL third basemen, also with 16, despite being limited to only 111 games this year.
The Baseball Writer's Association of America (BBWAA) has released their list of finalists for the major traditional awards that will be handed out over the next week or so. The list is headlined by potential dual-award winner Clayton Kershaw, who could take home the NL MVP and NL Cy Young for his excellent 2014. In these awards, the Rockies have no representation, though we can only wonder if that would be the case if Troy Tulowitzki had played anywhere close to a full season this year. We probably would have been disappointed, but I'd rather have had a career year from Tulo.
Rockies Staff Changes
Colorado has a new pitching and bullpen coach, naming Steve Foster and Darren Holmes to those respective positions. Per Thomas Harding, the Rockies interviewed six candidates for the jobs last week.
Foster's resume includes stints as a bullpen coach for the Marlins and work in a Mark Wiley-type pitching overseer role for the Royals organization, helping to develop the pitching depth that launched Kansas City into playoff contention. Meanwhile, Holmes was Colorado's closer in the inaugural 1993 season and he pitched in the pen for the Rockies from 1993-1997. He was a minor league pitching coordinator for the Braves last year. With that, Colorado's 2015 coaching staff appears to be complete, with Foster and Holmes the only new names.
In addition to the major league coaching staff changes, the Rockies had promotion season in their front office. Rolando Fernandez, Colorado's Latin American guru, is the most recognizable name. He got a well deserved promotion to VP of international scouting. Meanwhile, the man who will step into Bridich's right hand man role appears to be new assistant GM Zack Rosenthal, a nine year Rockies employee with a similar resume to Bridich's. Also promoted were Zach Wilson (to Bridich's player development role), Jon Weil (assistant GM of player personnel), and Danny Montgomery (special assistant to GM).
Chris Teeter at Beyond the Boxscore looks at each of the seven position players that were given qualifying offers and gives them some advice on whether to accept or reject said offer. As has most everyone who has written about the situation, Teeter was surprised by the QO to Michael Cuddyer and recommends that the soon-to-be 36 year-old outfielder/first baseman takes it.
Keith Law ranks the top 50 free agents in this winter's class, with two former (and perhaps future) Rockies making the cut. He has Brett Anderson 29th on his list and Cuddyer at 46th.
To once again outline how ridiculous this qualifying offer was by the Rockies, no other player with a QO ranked lower than 22nd on Law's list. Law mentions that he wouldn't give Cuddyer more than $3 million per year - or less than 20% of what the Rockies just offered him. Egads.
BP also has their free agent top 50 list out (free article). Anderson doesn't make the cut, while Cuddyer slides in at 23. While the random number generator BP uses to assign free agents thinks the Rockies may sign a couple of the top 50, the baseball analyst doesn't give them a mention. With the QO to Cuddyer, it looks like the Rockies will sign at least one of the top 50!
Saunders reviews the season that last offseason's major free agent signee had, giving him an A grade. Morneau was a solid player for the Rockies amid chaos - and you'll be able to read his review later this month in our Ranking the Rockies series.
Chris St. John of Beyond the Boxscore expands his JAVIER projection system to include all pitchers under 25 years old in the minors or majors. For a full breakdown on how the Rockies system rates, peruse the sortable stat table found in the article.
Finally, it's going to be a long offseason without major league baseball, but Adam Peterson has some great ways to stay connected to baseball during this long winter. Well worth your time if you're getting that baseball itch already.