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As DJ LeMahieu nears batting title, Colorado Rockies have much to reflect on from 2016

Sunday news, notes, and links.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Saunders: Paint-by-numbers look at 2016 Rockies reveals good and bad | Denver Post

While the Rockies' record is disappointing once again, anyone who has watched them this season knows there's a lot to be optimistic about for 2017. The rotation's ERA sits at 4.86, third-highest in the NL but a good deal under the 5.27 mark they posted in 2015. On the other hand, however, the bullpen has posted an ERA of 5.12, the worst they've recorded since 2004. Major contributors to the bullpen's struggles? Chad Qualls, Jake McGee, and Jason Motte, three guys the Rockies brought in over the offseason with hopes of shoring up the bullpen. Those three have an ERA of 5.02 through 100 1/3 innings and have allowed a staggering 20 homers over that span. Gerardo Parra, another offseason addition, is slashing just .251/.270/.402 with a career-worst 2.4% walk rate and a strikeout rate of 19.1%, good for a wRC+ of 57 and a WAR of -1.5. Thankfully, the Rockies prospects who have come up throughout the year look legit and there's a lot to be happy about as we wrap up this season.

Note that these numbers above are current as of last night's game against the Dodgers whereas Saunders' are not, hence the differences you may note between them.

Rockies' DJ LeMahieu makes giant strides, closes in on NL batting title | Denver Post

DJ LeMahieu has really come into his own the past few seasons, winning a Gold Glove in 2014 and making the All-Star team in 2015. This season, DJ has the NL batting title within his reach. Currently slashing .349/.419/.499, LeMahieu is just ahead of Daniel Murphy. He's hit eight triples and homered 11 times, good for a career-best wRC+ of 130 and WAR of 4.1 while posting the highest BB% of his career and the lowest K%. For a guy who was once regarded as a just a defense/singles guy, LeMahieu is showing everyone just how good he really is.

Colorado Rockies: Don't Forget About Trevor Story | Rox Pile

Forgotten a bit among the excitement created by the callups of guys like Hoffman, Dahl, Tapia, etc. is the fact that Trevor Story was having himself a heck of a season before suffering a season-ending injury to his thumb. In his rookie season, Story slashed .272/.341/.567, drove in 72 runs, and went deep 27 times while still grading out positively defensively. Through his 97 games, Story proved that he's much more than just an afterthought stopgap for Brendan Rodgers and can be an important piece to the puzzle for the Rockies as another exciting piece to watch in 2017.

Why the Colorado Rockies Shouldn't Pursue Aroldis Chapman | Rox Pile

Let's just pretend the Rockies would ever have a legit chance at signing Chapman and consider a few of the reasons signing him would be a bad decision. Yes, Chapman is a dominant reliever who has had success closing out games for the Reds, Yankees, and Cubs, which inspires confidence in his ability to pretty much go wherever and make hitters cry. His cost, however, would be prohibitively high for the Rockies. And adding Chapman to the bullpen doesn't suddenly solve our issues there. Obviously it would help to have a reliever of his caliber, but he can only pitch so many innings and the Rockies have plenty of holes in the bullpen that would still need to be addressed. All of this is merely speculation, however, as it looks likely that the Yankees will make a strong push to bring him back after this season.

UPDATE: Shocking news just hitting Twitter (9:12 EST) from Ken Rosenthal. Marlins pitcher José Fernandez has been killed in a boating accident. A statement from the Marlins should come soon.