Apparently there’s no stopping Charlie Blackmon right now. He earned National League Player of the Week honors (his second in 2016) on the strength of his 18-for-32 performance with seven home runs, three doubles, for a 1.192 OPS. On Monday night he continued that tear with a home run off Nationals ace Max Scherzer for his 21st on the season.
The article has a lot from manager Walt Weiss and fellow outfielder Carlos Gonzalez on the power surge we’ve seen from Blackmon. There is a lot of talk about the power-speed threat from the top of the order, something Walt has repeatedly said he prefers if he can get it.
Do the Rockies need to sell Blackmon this offseason? On one hand, he’s in his age-29 season and, unless he finds a way to defy the aging curves we’ve seen recently, he’s probably hitting his peak value right now. This means he is probably really valuable to a contender with holes to fill in the outfield. On the other, if Charlie can put up even a 15 homers/15 steals season over the next two years (which is, admittedly, generous) while he remains under team control, that can provide a lot of value to a Rockies team whose contention window seems to be opening soon.
The question comes down to whether you’d rather have a league-average (or better) centerfielder over the next two years or try to sell high on him to fill holes elsewhere (bullpen, first base, rotation) and make room for prospects like Jordan Patterson or Raimel Tapia. Neither option necessarily pushes their contention window out any further than it already is (depending on a potential return for Blackmon). But one option would rob the team of a bearded gentleman who has been surprising pendants since he debuted in 2011.
Jake Shapiro believes Blackmon, who is a better defender and contact hitter than Dexter Fowler, is in sole possession of the title of best CF ever to roam the outfield at 20th and Blake. Granted, he’s not exactly up against the toughest competition, but it’s worth the stroll down memory lane to appreciate Blackmon’s place in franchise history.
It seems like Tyler Chatwood’s back injury might end up costing him more time than the Rockies originally feared. With Jon Gray struggling in his previous two starts (15 ER in 8 IP), the team would like to give him an extra day off if they can find it, but that would probably only happen if the Rockies call upon someone from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill in. We could see Eddie Butler, who has turned things around a bit over the past month or so for the Isotopes, or we could see someone Rockies fans have been hoping to see for a while.
No. 2 PuRP Jeff Hoffman has been impressive for most the season in Triple-A and, in many ways, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t earned a call to the Show yet. In 118⅔ innings for the Isotopes Hoffman has 124 strikeouts against just 44 walks. His 4.08 ERA and 1.36 WHIP seems appalling until you consider that the average ERA in the Pacific Coast league is 4.51, highest in affiliated baseball outside the Pioneer League.
Hoffman is on a limited workload, likely similar to the Jon Gray plan from last year. That said, if a spot in the rotation opens up, he’s certainly earned at least a taste of what it’s like to stand on a major league mound.
Three Rockies rookies — Trevor Story, David Dahl and Jon Gray — make Jim Bowden’s list of top first-year players. Sure, Tyler Anderson seems to be missing from this list, but nobody bats 1.000, right?
A quick, entertaining video on former Rockie Michael Cuddyer’s penchant for doing magic tricks in the clubhouse.