Mike Axisa reviews the options the Rockies face regarding Carlos González. There are three ways to go, and only two of them are good. First, the Rockies can't just let CarGo walk after 2017. At best, that would mean a compensation first round draft pick, but that would require no changes to the current qualifying offer system, which might not survive this round of CBA negotiations. The Rockies shouldn't just let his contract run out.
The other options are to trade him or extend him. CarGo has been healthy and productive for more than a calendar year now, so they could trade him during the offseason. Whether or not the team would do that depends on the offer. They could trade him next season, but that would be tough to do if the Rockies get off to a good start and look competitive. Signing him to an extension would also mean finding a place for him to play. Right now, next year's Opening Day outfield alignment looks like it will be David Dahl, Charlie Blackmon, and CarGo. But Raimel Tapia can only be kept in Triple-A for so long if he continues to hit. There has been chatter about moving CarGo to first base, which could be a long-term solution.
But that raises another question: how long-term? What would an extension look like? How many years would the Rockies have to commit to convince CarGo to forego hitting free agency for the first, and likely only, time in his career? If the Rockies are ever in a position where they think they would let CarGo walk in free agency, they they should act first and trade him.
German Marquez has appeared in three games since being called up for September. They were all in relief. The Rockies will get to see what Marquez can do as a starter on Wednesday, as he's tabbed to face the Cardinals. It will be a test. The Cardinals are still contending for a spot in the Wild Card game. The 21-year-old Marquez started games in Double- and Triple-A, although it's not clear that will be his major-league role. Scouting reports indicate that he needs to improve his changeup, the third pitch to go along with his fastball and curveball, as well as his stamina. Those are the things to look for in Marquez's start on Wednesday.
Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger plays a central role in this excellent article from Alissa Noe. Noe highlights the importance trainers play in keeping players healthy by keeping track of sports medicine advances, as well as getting out of the way of players who are almost certainly pursuing health from non-threatening placebos like cupping.
An understated role trainers play is that they teach players how to best care for themselves. Nolan Arenado told Noe that the basis of the relationship between the player and the trainer is trust. Arizona's AJ Pollock trusts head trainer Ken Crenshaw, even to use something like a hyperbaric chamber. "Pollock swears by all the treatments, even if he can't explain them," Noe writes.
One of the newfangled treatments Arenado uses is called NormaTec therapy, "where full-leg length massage boots implement pusling compression that mimics the leg's muscle pumps, shortening the recovery time after a strenuous workouts." In fact, Dugger indicated that he doesn't oversee all of the treatments Rockies players undergo. They have autonomy to experiment. This might be why Rockies' players like Nick Hundley and Adam Ottavino have taken to cupping. Whatever works—as long as it doesn't extend to bloodletting for humoral balance.
David Laurila has an excellent few paragraphs that summarize how well Chris Rusin has pitched this season. Rusin, a left-handed pitcher, doesn't throw very hard. His fastball maxes out at about 88 mph. Instead, Rusin mixes four pitches and puts emphasis on deception in order to get ground balls and limit home runs. As Laurila notes, it's worked well. He's allowed four home runs in 76.1 innings in 2016. He pitches to his strengths to maximize his potential, limited as it might be.
Mark Kiszla argues that Walt Weiss should be given another two-year contract to manage the Rockies, although he doesn't believe he'll get it. As he writes, "I'm afraid all Weiss is going to get from the Rockies is a pat on the back on his way out the door."
The Rockies and Weiss are in a distinct situation because Weiss's contract is ending. Manager's contracts don't often expire; instead, they're usually terminated. Because of that, the Rockies will be in a position to simply let a contract run out and fill the manager's role with somebody who is either available or available to be poached. It's also notable that doing this would avoid a firing, and the Rockies won't have to pay two managers at once. For those reasons, and for some of the ones Kiszla states, it looks like we'll know whether or not Weiss will be back by the end of the season. If they don't offer him a contract extension by the time the World Series concludes, they're probably going to be moving on.
Statcast confirms what everyone already knew: balls travel further at Coors Field. The article is still worth a look because of the comparisons between home runs with similar exit velocity and launch angle. They don't all travel the same distance, and part of that is due to location. But as Baseball Prospectus's Effectively Wild podcast mentioned last week, differences in distance could also be due to wind.