For some funny reason, there was no Rockies baseball game yesterday (do you really need days off in spring training?). However, a few Rockies stars participated in some World Baseball Classic warm-up games. Venezuela took down the Kansas City Royals 11-0 in Surprise, Arizona and Carlos Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with a double. Meanwhile, in Ft Myers, Florida, the Minnesota Twins came from behind to beat Team USA, 3-2. Both USA runs came off the bat of Nolan Arenado, who had a two run double in the top of the first inning; he went 1-for-3 in the game. Jake McGee also pitched, allowing two hits and two inherited runners to score.
We have a full slate of games today (including a few that have already wrapped up), so head over to our WBC OpenThread to talk about it!
In case you haven’t been paying attention, there’s already been a string of upsets in this year’s WBC. Israel, managed by Hartford Yard Goats manager Jerry Weinstein, was the proverbial “last team in” to the tournament, but they’ve already secured their place in the second round after winning Pool A. They defeated former WBC champions Korea in the Pool A opener, then beating Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands (who feature several major leaguers in their lineup). In a sports year filled with comebacks and upsets, this one belongs in the conversation.
La Vida Baseball, a National Baseball Hall of Fame associated website focused on Latino baseball and its stars, has taken the World Baseball Classic as an opportunity to debate and decide the best MLB players from each nation. For Venezuela, one Rockies player is omitted while a former Rockies legend makes the list.
Daniel Kramer has an interesting, daresay nuanced, article about the Rockies bullpen. Referencing the Rockies’ abysmal 12-20 record in one-run games last year, manager Bud Black more or less dismissed the record as an anomaly, which is comforting considering the evidence readily backs that up. Kramer takes that statement and dives into some of the same advanced metrics in a way that’s both compelling and informative.
Patrick Saunders spoke with new Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond and addressed what some would call one of the team’s major weaknesses heading into 2017: a catching tandem with just 103 combined major league at bats. Redmond, a former catcher and designated catchers coach, talks about working with Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy and why that attracted him to the job in Denver.
Finally Jonathan Mayo has a pretty thorough breakdown of all the Rockies prospects who are still in major league camp (and some who aren’t). Mayo spoke with Rockies senior director of player development Zach Wilson about Brendan Rodgers, Jeff Hoffman, and why nobody talks about the altitude anymore.