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Colorado Rockies’ marginal gains leading to big improvements

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Colorado Rockies news, notes and discussion for Wednesday, August 31st.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Rubbing Mud, Incremental Improvement In Denver | Baseball Prospectus

Matthew Trueblood does a great job looking into the little things that may be pointing towards a brighter future for the Rockies. The Rockies ability to make marginal gains in trades and pitching development could be the key to the team’s future long-term success. One of the biggest improvements that he identifies is that the Rockies no longer try to make all of their pitchers fit a specific mold and instead just try to find the best pitchers possible. Next year’s rotation may be the perfect example of that with Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman, Tyler Anderson, and Tyler Chatwood all firmly in place despite having different profiles and repertoires.

Chatwood nears return, could create logjam | Rockies.com

Speaking of Chatwood, he appears healthy again and ready to finish the season with the Colorado Rockies. However, I don’t think his return will create any logjam. The Rockies would be wise to simply go with a six-man rotation and that appears to be the direction they are headed. While Chatwood, Gray, Hoffman, and Anderson are all expected to be key building blocks of next year’s rotation, another similarity they may have is the Rockies’ desire to limit their innings this year to keep their arms healthy. With the active roster expanding in September there is no downside to having a six-man rotation; it won’t cost you either a bench spot or a bullpen piece and it would be an easy solution to helping keep the young guys healthy.

DJ LeMahieu’s two-strike approach part of growth for Rockies’ hot hitter | Denver Post

DJ LeMahieu’s continued growth as a hitter this year has been well-documented. However he seems insistent on continuing to find new levels of growth despite the constant expectations of regression. His continued growth is a good reminder that not only is development non-linear but that it can also happen later in a player’s career. While he may still regress next year, that is not a guarantee as he continues to find ways to improve his game

The Rockies may have saved themselves a sizable amount of money agreeing to a two-year deal with LeMahieu in the negotiations leading up to his arbitration hearing as he would have earned a considerably larger raise with his performance this year.