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Appreciating Tyler Chatwood’s time with the Rockies

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Rockies news and links for December 28, 2017

BSN Rockies Podcast: Rox swag and a mail bag | BSN Rockies
Among other topics discussed in the latest BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman offers a retrospective on the Rockies’ career of Tyler Chatwood. Chatwood had his fair share of ups-and-downs in purple, but 2017’s struggles with command of the strike zone seem to be what most fans are currently remembering about him. There have been many bright spots that we should not forget from Chatwood as he embarks on a new adventure with the Cubs.

Chatwood put up an excellent 3.15 ERA/3.66 FIP combination in 2013, and had a healthy comeback from Tommy John surgery in 2016, posting a 3.87 ERA down the stretch. Even in 2017, he delivered one of the best-pitched performances of the season for the Rox, a two-hit complete game shutout against the Giants on April 15.

Chatwood’s struggles in 2017 should not be ignored, and I ultimately think it is best for player and team that he is moving to another organization for 2018. Nevertheless, Chatwood was a steady presence when the Rockies were having some rough seasons, and the mark he left on the franchise during those years should not be understated.

Creasman also focuses on the ongoing discussions between the Rockies and Greg Holland, noting that the sides are “close” on the asking price, but it remains to be seen if the Rockies are willing to give the extra dollars or length of contract that Holland is seeking. The Rockies have also been linked to Addison Reed, among other relievers, during this offseason. While Reed doesn’t quite have the career accolades of Holland, he is three years younger (celebrating his 29th birthday just yesterday, I might add).

The podcast also discusses the comprehensive cases of extension possibilities for both Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon, as well as reasons for why the top free agents in baseball have yet to ink contracts. As always, the entire audio is well worth a full listen.

Inbox: Will Holland return to close for the Rox? | Rockies.com
In an Inbox article, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding elaborates on the Holland situation, speculating that he is the “favorite” to return as the closer for the Rockies. The first base situation is also addressed, with Harding providing what I thought was an interesting piece of information. He writes that when the Rockies deem a prospect MLB-ready, they tend not to make a move outside of the organization to block him, as was the case with Trevor Story in 2016. This could very well be the case with Ryan McMahon in 2018, with Harding specifically mentioning this as a reason that the team would not sign a player like Adrián González. As has been mentioned often this offseason, Harding also mentions the ongoing discussions between the Rockies and Mark Reynolds.

One person asks Harding about why it appears that the Rox are not prioritizing adding a veteran starting pitcher to the rotation. The response indicates that the team is focusing on the bullpen because they believe “history suggests” this as a better strategy for the club, but Harding does not rule out the possibility of adding a veteran starter around the trade deadline to help the Rockies stand out from the rest of their competitors.

Colorado Rockies: a look at the Rockies infield as it stands | Rox Pile
Rox Pile looks at the Rockies’ infield situation for 2018. Arenado, Story, and DJ LeMahieu are the obvious locks at third base, shortstop, and second base, respectively. First base remains a question mark, with McMahon waiting in the wings, the discussions around re-signing Reynolds (and speculation about signing a different free agent to play the position), and Ian Desmond, who was initially signed to be the first-bagger for the long-term. At the catching position, Chris Iannetta seems like a lock to receive most the backstop duties, leaving Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy on hand to seemingly battle for the backup spot.

I have a bold prediction: I think Wolters and Murphy both make the opening day roster. Recent comments from Rockies General Manager Jeff Bridich indicate to me that the club is very “high” on both young catchers. Wolters’s ability to play the middle infield doesn’t hurt either. Of course, this scenario would leave little room for Pat Valaika on the roster, who flourished in a part-time role in 2017. So, while there are three guarantees on the infield, there are no shortage of possibilities beyond them.

Colorado Rockies video: MLB Network’s top 100 plays of 2017 announced | Rox Pile
MLB Network recently unveiled their top 100 plays of 2017, most of which focus on defensive plays. Kyle Freeland, Story, and Blackmon each have one defensive play to their credit on the list. Somehow, they narrowed it down to the point where Arenado is only featured four times, with three outstanding defensive plays and the memorable walk-off home run for the cycle from June 18. Rox Pile has compiled video for all seven of the Rockies’ appearances on the top 100 plays list. If you’re experiencing the winter blues of the offseason and craving some Rockies baseball, you should absolutely relive some of the experiences of the great 2017 season!