The Rockies will announce Bud Black as the team's next manager at 11 a.m. MT today. Patrick Saunders has some reaction from Nolan Arenado, who stated that he's spoken to some of Black's former players, and that he's "really excited and really happy to hear the news."
Saunders finishes by noting that Jeff Bridich "said finding a manager with a shared vision was a priority." That must be the case with Black. While he wasn't my first choice, I can't say hiring Black is a bad decision. If he's in line with Bridich, it could end up being a really great fit.
Kevin Henry of Rox Pile floats Matt Holliday as a potential grab for first base. Holliday, who is now 37, had the worst season of his career in 2016. He also missed time due to injuries; he played in 110 games. And yet, he was still decently productive. Holliday hit .246/.322/.461 with 20 home runs for a 109 wRC+, and he even played 10 games at first. There are not a lot of affordable first base options on the market, and Holliday on a short term contract to give first base a shot, and maybe end his career where he began it, would be fine by me.
Thomas Harding offers up some early predictions for the 2017 season. He believes Jon Gray will be the Opening Day starter, which is a safe bet. His predicted lineup also has, for now, Gerardo Parra at first base, which, ew.
The Cubs have put to rest any notion that there still remains an "analytics war," and the war would have been over, Rany Jazayerli suggests, even if the Cubs had lost because Cleveland is similarly "one of the most analytically savvy teams in the sport."
But let's take a step back and define some of the terms. Jazayerli uses "data" as a stand-in for "information," and that information doesn't necessarily mean numbers or advanced mathematical formulas. And "analytics" doesn't mean translating the game to a spreadsheet and back to a game again. Instead, "it means cutting through the bullshit. It means having a reason for every decision you make, and that reason being something other than 'because that's the way it's always been done.'"
There was a time when an article like this would appear and people at this site and others like it would groan and say "come on, pay attention, Rockies! Do what the smart teams are doing!" But the Rockies, like everyone else, are doing the same things. The team recently advertised several jobs to fill out its research and development department. The difference now is how teams use the information at hand.
That's not to say the Rockies are following the blueprint the Cubs laid out. Part of what made the Cubs so good was that they simply didn't try to win games for a couple of years in the interest of rebuilding. Those terrible seasons led to high draft picks that turned out to be Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber. Around the time when the Rockies traded Troy Tulowitzki, it looked like the team's best path forward was to tank in the same way. It wasn't really clear at the time, but it is now, that the team didn't need to do that. For one, they did just fine being terrible while trying to be good, which led to top 10 draft picks in five consecutive seasons from 2012 to 2016. And the team's best prospects are either a little closer or a little more capable, or both, than they seemed in July 2015.