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Purple Row round table: How should the Rockies handle the spring training injuries?

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What should the Rockies do after the recent run of injuries?

A short time ago, in a server far, far away, several members of the Purple Row staff had an internal debate on how the Rockies should approach the recent string of injuries. Below is an transcript of that debate, edited for length and clarity.

Hayden Ringer: Gun to your heads, have to decide now: Kyle Freeland or German Marquez for fifth starter?

Jordan Freemyer: Marquez.

HR: Same. I am extremely wary of Freeland's microscopic strikeout rate.

JF: I also really liked what I saw from Marquez last season.

HR: Yeah, his stats are really solid. Really, really good.

JF: I covered his final start of last season and he looked like a big league pitcher, and a pretty good one at that.

HR: It wasn't exactly a great lineup that MIL had, but 6 IP and 7 K from a 21-year-old in the majors is a great game.

JF: At Coors Field, no less.

Ryan Schoppe: Hoffman/Marquez at 4/5?

HR: That's what I'd do, Ryan.

RS: Or Jordan Lyles back to starting!!!

RB: Make Jordan Lyles great again. Really great.

HR: Jordan Lyles being tendered is the dumbest move of the offseason.

JF: Maybe, but I'm gonna go with guaranteeing Amarista a big league deal.

HR: That's another "good" one Jordan.

RS: What about Antonio Senzatela? He might be having the best spring of the bunch for whatever that's worth (which isn’t a lot).

Adam Peterson: Senz needs to start in ABQ if not Hartford. He missed so much time last year I think he needs more MiLB seasoning.

HR: Senza has definitely had a really good spring.

RS: Not just stats either. All the coaching staff talk about him has been very high.

JF: Yeah, but with how much time he missed last year and the fact that he hasn't seen Triple-A yet...

RS: Maybe, but this team has shown a willingness to jump a guy, Senza might be the shocker this year.

AP: If we want to keep him as a long term viable asset, I want him to get time before getting called up. Unless he's José Fernandez level great this year, I would rather not see him until September.

RB: I'm hearing Chris Denorfia is going to make the team. Black constantly mentions him and supposedly wore his number when Denorfia left the Padres.

JF: With David Dahl and Ian Desmond hurt, Denorfia might actually make the Opening Day roster, but I bet he'd be the first to go down when one of them comes back.

HR: Seriously though, how many hand injuries have the Rockies had over recent years? Seems like a crazy number. I would much rather Raimel Tapia make the team over Denorfia, unless Tapia is really not ready

RS: Meh, I don't want Tapia in a backup/part-time role. And as much as we hate it, Parra will the the opening day left fielder.

JF: I'd rather have Denorfia if you're looking at a bench bat, Tapia if he's going to play every day.

HR: I'd have Tapia ready to start over Parra at a moment's notice.

JF: Me too.

RS: Same but that's not happening with Black.

RB: If Tapia makes the team he's not getting regular time with Parra around. That's why Denorfia or Stephen Cardullo or the like make more sense because you don't risk stunting a prospect’s growth.

JF: Things like playing Parra over Tapia are why people make fun of the Rockies.

RS: At this point I want to trade Senza/Tapia/++ for Archer or Quintana

HR: I would actually be less inclined to make a big trade now, Ryan. I'd rather wait to see how things shake out and postpone buying until the deadline.

RS: I'm not. Previously the rotation was kind of backed up. With Bettis out, an established MLB starter makes more sense now.

RB: Maybe the Rockies will trade for a real first baseman like Matt Weiters.

AP: Richard's got jokes.

HR: It makes sense to replace Bettis for sure, but I think enough has gone wrong already to warrant taking a more patient stance towards contending. Not punting at all, of course.

AP: Right. Dahl could be back by the end of April and then it'll turn out this was all just unnecessary stress. Same with Desmond.

RS: Dahl could be mid April even.

HR: It could all blow over and be fine, for sure.

RS: Getting another ace to go with Gray make it all blow over so much easier. :impish smile:

AP: As to making a trade for a starter, I like our internal fifth starter options but I also wouldn't mind getting another player to fill that gap.

HR: Yea but that ace comes at a cost. I'd still say the Rockies lost 2-ish wins this weekend.

RS: We did, but how many wins have the Cards lost?

HR: Losing Alex Reyes (to Tommy John surgery) sucks a ton. A metric ton.

AP: Cards weren't really counting on Reyes to be great, though. He was just going to fill out their rotation and if he was great, they’d be in better position. The Rockies were pretty well counting on Bettis in the rotation.

RS: Every team is "losing wins" at this point.

HR: Cardinals were projected ahead of us prior to losing Reyes, and maybe dropped even-ish when they lost him. But losing Bettis dropped us back of them.

RS: At this point, I think the Rockies contention chances are still just as dependent on their bullpen being potentially dominant. And I'm feeling better about that than two weeks ago

RB: Agreed Ryan. The bullpen, for what it’s worth, is looking real good on a rate stat basis.

RS: Not just that but the injured guys are looking on track still and McGee has really good velocity already. Which, considering how slowly he started last spring, could be huge.

HR: I'm thinking Ottavino is closer-level, McGee is setup-level, and Holland could be anywhere from middle relief to closer level.

RB: I think the Rockies lost a win but there are so few cases of in-season cancer comeback it’s hard to tell. Desmond might miss a month but it doesn’t ruin their chances.

HR: But shifting your bell curve two wins to the left hurts your chances

RB: Shifting your bell curve to the left a tenth of a win to the left hurts your chances, but the chance is still there. And I still think two wins, and definitely four wins, isn't the degree of the severity. Losing Nolan Arenado for a month would be more severe than losing Desmond and Bettis together because of the lack of replacements.

RS: Yeah the replacements for Bettis and Desmond could be equally good (not as likely for Bettis right now).

RB: Ayup. That's why I was saying earlier. You can't rip Desmond's value or talk about a Bad Chettis then say losing them ruins a team's season. Last year was Bettis's best and he was still erratic