Thomas Harding writes that the Colorado Rockies are eager to see how their two main catchers, Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy, will do in the 2017 season. Bud Black in particular has no issues with the relative inexperience of the duo. Harding also contemplates the additional depth options available both internal and external to the organization.
Patrick Saunders wanders the grounds of Salt River Fields and observes Tony Diaz, the new first base coach, getting the Rockies infielders prepped with some groundball practice. Saunders reflects on interviewing Diaz for the first time in 2008, when he was the manager of the Casper Ghosts, and appreciates how far Diaz has come since then.
Jeff Todd discusses the Rockies positional battles for closer, the fifth starter slot, and catcher. In addition to Todd’s predictions, he also details the contract and option status of each of the possibilities, which is helpful for people like me who usually only remember those things if I’m playing Out Of The Park Baseball.
The last time Baseball Prospectus came to Denver was right after the Rockies went to the World Series. The get-together was at the Tattered Cover and had quite an amazing lineup. First off, there was Dan Fox, who was heavily involved in early PITCHf/x and baserunning research. He was promptly hired away by the Pittsburgh Pirates to build their analytics department and is credited with getting that team to embrace defensive shifting. Also in attendance was Baseball Prospectus co-founder and current ESPN Senior Editor Christina Kahrl. Last but not least, Nate Silver was there. He’s the guy who created BP’s PECOTA projection system. Since then, he keeps up with baseball (and politics) as creator of fivethirtyeight.com.
Personally, I have a great time at BP Ballpark Events. It’s a great chance to not only meet people I enjoy reading, but also other fans like me who I might only know from comment boards. Part of the idea behind the Rockies Bloggers’ Panels of the past were to build an audience to lure a BP Ballpark Event in Denver. If you have a BP membership (you don’t?), I suggest filling out their survey. Also—vote Coors Field!