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MLB free agency: Rockies should consider NPB reliever Kazuhisa Makita

Rockies news and links for December 3, 2017

World Baseball Classic - Pool B - Game 3 - Japan v Australia Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Kazuhisa Makita, like Shohei Ohtani, will be posted to MLB in December |
Fun as it may sound, the Rockies are unlikely to land the services of Shohei Ohtani. But there's another NPB player who will be posted soon, and he could play a role the Rockies need. Kazuhisa Makita is a 33-year-old right-handed reliever whose fastball peaks at around 85 mph. Not only does that not sound enticing, it sounds downright unplayable. But Makita's delivery makes him an effective pitcher: He's a submariner.

The extremely low arm slot makes him deceptive, and it makes it difficult to get lift off of his pitches. Makita hasn't struck a lot of batters out, but he also doesn't walk many, and it's very difficult to hit a home run off of him. Over the last two seasons, Makita's given up a grand total of 7 home runs in 129.1 innings. For context, Greg Holland, who had a great season, gave up 7 home runs in just 57.1 innings in 2017. The Rockies would have to pay a posting fee for Makita. But his profile and the team's bullpen need suggest it would be worth taking a shot.

Star Statcast pitchers who debuted in 2017 |
Kyle Freeland lands on this list of Statcast-y rookie pitchers form 2017. Freeland induced a lot of soft contact, and he combined that with a high groundball rate. The result was that only 4.3% of balls put in play against Freeland were considered a "barrel." That ranked eighth out of the 99 to have had at least 400 batted balls in play against.

Rookie season for Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland could be the start of Rocky Mountain stardom | The Denver Post
Complementing the statistical superlatives in Freeland's rookie year, Patrick Saunders details the emotional highs and lows Freeland experienced. Ultimately, though, Saunders sees someone who could entrench himself as a hometown star.

Who will be in the Rockies first Hall of Fame class? | Rox Pile
The Rockies are investing in LoDo to create a “stadium village” that will, among other things, house a Rockies Hall of Fame. Kevin Henry asks who will be included when it opens.

Imagining a Colorado Rockies statue park | Purple Row
While it's not the same as a Hall of Fame, Purple Row's Ted Chalfen described what a statue park outside of Coors Field could look like. Some of the names he suggested will certainly be a part of that Hall of Fame, although, unfortunately, probably not in the exceedingly fun way he imagined.

Giancarlo Stanton Giancarlo Stanton Giancarlo Stanton Giancarlo Stanton | McCovey Chronicles
Grant Brisbee continues his fine work on the Giants/Giancarlo Stanton rumor beat. Fine work.