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Sunday Rockpile: Rockies Retrospectives

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Sunday, October 15th 2017

Rockies 2017 retrospect: Young pitchers made strides, offense disappointed | Denver Post

Patrick Saunders highlights four statistics from the Colorado Rockies 2017 season and talks about the outlook in those areas for 2018. The good news is that the hard part is presumably solved. The Rockies have a stable of young, cost controlled starting pitching for not just next year, but the years ahead. On the pitching front, the challenge comes from the bullpen end with the possible free agent departures of Greg Holland, Jake McGee and Pat Neshek. If I were a betting man, I think Bridich will pick up at least one right handed shutdown reliever and see how things shake out among Carlos Estevez, Adam Ottavino, Scott Oberg and the possible return of Jairo Diaz. In terms of left handers, the Rockies will still have Mike Dunn and Chris Rusin but I think Zac Rosscup will play a very important role in next year’s pen.

The bigger issue, as has been said before, is the offense. The Rockies didn’t hit many home runs, especially for a team at Coors Field and didn’t steal many bases. Though they were fifth in the major leagues in getting on base, most of that was batting average driven. Fun little fact, the Rockies as a team led the league with a .332 BABIP, a whole 19 points higher than the second place team. The Rockies were just 17th in the league in terms of Isolated Slugging Percentage (ISO), 19th in walks while sporting the tenth highest strikeout rate in the league. What that means is the Rockies scored runs not by hitting home runs or drawing walks, but by trying to string together hits around the strikeouts.

There isn’t really an easy solution for this, as much of the Rockies’ power in 2017 came from career years from Charlie Blackmon and Mark Reynolds. Presumably a return to form from Ian Desmond and Trevor Story may help mitigate that. Yet most of the 2018 roster is set in stone. Neither Gerardo Parra, DJ LeMahieu nor Raimel Tapia/David Dahl projected to hit for much power nor draw all that many walks but all projected to be a part of the 2018 roster, the Rockies will have to hope that an external upgrade at catcher will help. By signing Desmond who will presumably draw at bats from the power positions of left field and first base, the Rockies offense is in effect, less flexible.

Colorado Rockies: Why bringing back Jonathan Lucroy needs to happen | RoxPile

Jonathan Lucroy was the guy I wanted the Rockies to pick up at the deadline and I am glad they did. Lucroy put together many wonderful ten plus pitch at bats hitting out of the number eight slot, en route to a .310/.429/.437 slash line during the 46 games of his Rockies tenure. He was also the only Rockies player to walk more than he struck out. He’s also been one of the more healthy catchers in the league, appearing in over 100 games in six of his eight major league seasons. It’s that kind of consistency that the Rockies need in their lineup. There is also room for his power to return, especially at Coors Field, where his “fast for a catcher” moniker and gap power may play up. He had three triples as a Rockies to go with twenty-two triples for his career. If he can get back to his 2014 form, where he led the National League with 53 doubles and chipped in his fifteen or so home runs a year, that would help the Rockies pinball offense move runners around the bases.

‘ROCKTOBER’ REVISITED: Torrealba’s homer gives Rockies a commanding 3-0 lead in the NLCS | MileHighSports

Matthew Stefanski looks back at the Rocktober 2017 NLCS game where Yorvit Torrealba hit a home run to help the Rockies defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1. I remember going to that chilly, rainy game. Livan Hernandez started and it was fascinating to see his eephus pitch in person. The lone Diamondbacks run came from a solo shot by current Rockie Mark Reynolds.