The Rockies ended up with an interesting formula in 2017. A number of top prospects from the organization’s loaded farm system graduated at the same time on the pitching side of things. Jon Gray, featured here as a candidate to improve even more next season, got healthy and led a rotation that included rookies in Germán Márquez, Kyle Freeland, and Antonio Senzatela.
Contrast that with the hitting side of things, where the team relied on veterans like Gerardo Parra, Mark Reynolds, Ian Desmond, and Jonathan Lucroy. There’s still plenty of reason to hope for the hitting prospects to come through and have an impact; it just didn’t quite happen in 2017, whether because of lack of opportunity or bad health.
That brings us to the third player highlighted by Kevin Henry in this piece. David Dahl will surely be a focal point going into the year, and his ability to stay healthy and contribute will go a long way towards the Rockies’ offense breaking through.
Speaking of those hitting prospects, Thomas Harding reports on the philosophy of the Rockies’ minor league program as they deal with hitter-friendly parks. There is the well-documented challenges for pitchers, but the organization also focuses on working with hitters on exaggerated splits and how to adjust away from hitter-friendly parks.
For all the road offense issues that plague this franchise, it would be great to see this philosophy bearing out better results as Brendan Rodgers and other hitting prospects graduate to the big leagues.
Expanding on a discussion that has been making the rounds this week, Dayn Perry takes a look at some options for MLB expansion. Perhaps most relevant to Rockies fans after this year is some ideas for what a three-game Wild Card series could look like in the future.
It probably feels right for Scully to continue to enjoy retirement, even if we all wish he would come back. I have to believe this is especially conflicting for Dodgers fans. They would love to hear Scully again, of course, but they also don’t want to mess with a good thing as their team gets ready for the World Series.
Bullpens, bullpens, bullpens. It’s the story of modern MLB playoff baseball. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it sure is fun to watch Justin Verlander bucking those modern trends. He did it again on Friday night, going seven innings and helping the Astros to keep their season alive against the Yankees.
Let’s hope that the aforementioned Jon Gray can be that kind of stud in the future playoff series that we hope the Rockies will be playing in.