Well, here it is: the final road trip of the season. The Rockies play a scant ten more games in 2016, with the next seven coming against playoff contenders. With the way these teams are playing, don’t be surprised if the Dodgers clinch the NL West or if the Giants are eliminated from postseason contention while the Rockies are in town.
The Cowboy offered a nice little retrospective on Jorge De La Rosa, who went from journeyman pitcher to rotation anchor when he arrived in Denver. Ringolsby goes on to explain why Tuesday was likely the last start De La Rosa will make in a Rockies uniform: the depth.
Over the course of a long season, it’s consistency that matters most. If you can avoid long losing streaks, as well as string together some long wining streaks, you’re in better position to contend. Momentum, stopping the bad kind and maintaining the good kind, is key (even if it’s not particularly SABR-y). And, as the old baseball adage goes, momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher. If you have talented players taking the bump each night, you’re in a better position to contend. It’s more than just having one excellent pitcher (see: Hernandez, Felix), you have to have a stable of them. And, as Ringolsby rightly points out, that is what makes the future of this Rockies team seem so bright. Because when a guy who was mostly unknown coming into the season can earn Eastern League Pitcher of the Year and record his first big league win, and he’s not even considered the best pitching prospect in the system, that’s depth. That’s the makings of momentum. That’s the foundation of a winner.
It’s not just on the mound where the Rockies have a bright future. Tom Murphy has been mashing since July for Triple-A Albuquerque, but he’s really been able to continue his success since getting called up at the end of the PCL season. The five home runs in 29 at bats is really encouraging, though at this point I’d like it to be more than just 29 at bats.
Walt Weiss doesn’t make an appearance on this list, which may surprise many a Rockies fan (Hi, mom!), but two former Rockies managers do.
The incomparable Sam Miller is leaving Baseball Prospectus after many years of great work, so now is a great time to look back at some of the best investigative journalism he’s ever produced.