I've seen questions in the comment threads about where to put all of your baseball commentary now that there are so many posts per day at Purple Row. My suggestion is that general baseball commentary stays in this thread for a given day and commentary on the specific content of the other articles on the site go in the comments section of those articles. Again, just a suggestion, it's a free country.
Link of the day
These are objective truths. Avert thine eyes.
In this installment of Patrick Saunders's mailbag, he takes six questions, including one about the long-term deals of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. More on this in the feature article this morning.
Rafael Betancourt won't concede to age or surgery. The Rockies' former closer continues on the comeback trail, hoping to sign with a team this season (though he won't be ready until August).
Ten teams and 20 seasons into his career, LaTroy Hawkins has returned to the Rockies as a free agent. He's committed to mentoring the younger players on the team.
He is vanilla ice cream. A Ford Focus. Tan slacks. DJ LeMahieu is a boring player. And there's nothing wrong with that. He'll also probably be Colorado's Opening Day 2nd baseman and maybe (hope not) its lead-off hitter.
Josh Rutledge lost the Rockies' starting second-base job last season, and his early attempt at winning back at-bats has been slowed by a slight left ankle sprain. Also included in this Thomas Harding notebook are notes on Michael McKenry, Chris Martin, and Troy Tulowitzki.
Grounded and rested after skipping winter ball for the first time in three years, Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes arrived at Spring Training fresh, and it has shown. Half of the return in the much maligned Dexter Fowler trade, Barnes will have to impress to make the team out of Spring Training, but he's got a shot.
SBN's Detroit Tigers community previews the Rockies. They are not particularly sanguine on Colorado's chances because of their perception of the pitching staff.
NBC Sports previewed the Rockies as well - nothing new here, but it's good to get that outside perspective.
SI looks at the key fantasy players for Colorado in the upcoming season.
In a pay BP article, they name Jon Gray as having the best slider in the minor leagues. The money quote
Despite having just 37 1/3 innings of professional experience, Gray made an impression on talent evaluators with a plus-plus slider that elicits ugly swings. Gray’s slider features extremely tight spin, approaching the plate with the appearance of a fastball before sharply darting away from right-handed hitters. At its best, the pitch has two-plane movement that misses bats consistently and can be relied upon in any situation. Gray shows a willingness to throw the pitch at any point in his sequence, making it all the more devastating.
When you combine that with his fiery fastball (which got consideration for the best in the minors as well), that's when you can't help but get a little excited for Gray to hit the big leagues.
The Rockies make the list in this free article. I'll give you three guesses as to which move it is.
Rockies tout videos from Troy Renck and Patrick Saunders.
Laser Fielding Technology
So MLB Advanced Media has this new technology that will change the way we look at fielding. Here's a few articles about it if you're curious:
Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus (free article) breaks down the new technology.
Jonah Keri of Grantland interviews the MLBAM CEO about the new technology.
Grant Brisbee summarizes things in his own particular...idiom.
Links from around baseball
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs writes about the cost of a win in the 2014 off-season...and if you're curious, he also breaks down the assumptions used when calculating that total.
According to Cameron, Colorado's deal with Justin Morneau (2 years, $12.5 million) was about league average in $ per expected WAR at $5.9 million per expected WAR.
Of course he does. It looks...plausible, actually.
Congratulations to the Baltimore Orioles for taking a chance on Johan Santana, who isn't going to work out. Santana was last seen throwing 81 MPH for scouts.
Alex Remington asks the question of whether baseball even needs to replace Bud Selig as commissioner. It's a great history lesson into why the commissioner position came to be in 1921.