Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday, Major League Baseball announced. The award is his first in his two-year career as a big leaguer.
Dickerson went 11-for-28 with three home runs in four doubles last week. Five of those hits -- and two of the home runs -- came in the hitters' nightmare known as Petco Park.
The 25-year-old Mississippi native is riding a career 12-game hitting streak. He talked about how he's been able to accomplish that after the Rockies' doubleheader sweep over the Reds on Sunday.
"[I'm] just doing the same thing everyday," Dickerson explained. "I have the confidence everyday, no matter who is pitching, to keep my same approach and stay aggressive and not give up at-bats whether it's early or late in games or if we're behind or ahead; I just stay with it and stay competing."
Dickerson leads the NL in batting average at .326, but he's still a bit short of qualifying for the title. He needs about 4.1 plate appearances per game from now through the rest of the season to get to the 502 needed to qualify. With Michael Cuddyer back in the lineup, it might be hard for him to get there.
Still, it's been a tremendous season for Dickerson, who has a 154 OPS+ and is hitting a respectable .279/.333/.487 on the road. He's given the Rockies a decision to make regarding their outfield next year. And it's one that, if played properly, could net the team some useful pieces heading into 2014.
Charlie Blackmon has scuffled since April, but at just 28 years old and widely viewed as a good defender and baserunner, he'll have some value to contending teams looking for a fourth outfielder who can hold his own as an everyday player if needed. Drew Stubbs is also a trade candidate; he'll be owed a hefty raise in arbitration, and though he presents a great platoon partner for Dickerson, the Rockies would be well-suited to seek some value for him this offseason.
Then, of course, there are two other players whose value and degree of expendability (is that a word?) are up for debate. Selling Carlos Gonzalez at this point would be selling low, but that doesn't mean a deal can't happen in the offseason. It's not hard to tell that his lost season was largely the result of injuries. If his knee surgery goes well and an interested club is satisfied with his medicals, the Rockies could still get a good enough offer to part with their 28-year-old star, as big a public relations nightmare as it might turn out to be.
Making the decision to let Michael Cuddyer walk should be an easier one than it's going to be. The Rockies love everything Cuddyer stands for, but it's hard to say if they're acknowledging the elephant in the room -- he'll be 36 next year, is showing signs of being injury prone and is a poor defender in the outfield and at first base -- to the extent that they should. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to bring Cuddyer back on a low-dollar, short-term deal, but the Rockies need to ensure they don't overpay for what might simply amount to clubhouse presence and not much more if his bat speed bails out on him soon.
I've rambled long enough. The point is, the Rockies have something with Dickerson, and that gives them options to move some assets for pieces to improve their team next year. They need to play it wisely.
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Cody Ulm talked to Michael McKenry before the game yesterday about his emergence as one of the better backup catchers in the league.
Ottavino strengthens his game with improved fastball | Denver Post
Adam Ottavino took the loss in the Rockies' lone defeat against the Reds, but it wasn't because of a lack of oomph on his fastball. Good stuff from Nick Groke at the Post, and we'll have more on Ottavino here at Purple Row in the coming days.
The Rockies bullpen isn't that bad | Rockies Zingers
I'd argue against Adam Peterson's overall point (the unit, as a whole, is still a huge Achilles' heel), but that doesn't mean it wasn't pleasing to see Colorado's relievers step up over the weekend while Cincinnati's wilted at altitude. Overall, though, good stuff from Peterson, as always.
The real challenge here is to finish this one in 30 seconds or less. Go!