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Rockies starter Kyle Freeland a big part of Opening Day stories

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Rockies news, notes and links for Saturday, April 8.

Local boy makes good: Freeland quiets LA bats |

Ken Gurnick and Thomas Harding from touch on many of the details around Kyle Freeland’s debut. He may have been understandably nervous for his first start, but on the mound and based on his box score performance, he seemed cool and collected.

Other notes are included on the Rockies offensive and baserunning woes. From what I’ve seen with the Rockies the last few years, they go through phases where they drift between being aggressive then timid on the basepaths. Some of that aggressiveness has offset the hitting contributions of Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds. I understand the rationale of running the bases on the road, where runs are scarce, the same as running them at home. Still, those outs are valuable.

On the hitting side, the top of the order hasn’t done much damage so far. I know there are some concerns about Trevor Story’s high strikeout rates. I’m not too worried yet though. According to FanGraphs, Story’s strikeout rate (K/PA) is 15th in the league among players with at least 12 appearances. But with so few at bats, who is 15th or 30th on the list is mostly due to small sample size and rounding. As an example, among the Top 30 who I wouldn’t be concerned about include Jake Lamb, Nelson Cruz, Jose Altuve, Josh Donaldson, and Kyle Schwarber.

Story’s still drawing walks, and last year he rebounded from a poor May 2016 to have a good June, so I’m not giving his strikeout rate much thought. The better thought is that the Rockies are putting themselves in a place where the games are winnable through quality pitching, then hitting enough to actually win those games.

Rockies pitching suddenly has depth |

Paul Swydan lauds the improved Rockies depth, noting that Chris Rusin, who used to be a major component of the Rockies rotation, would assume a long-man position once he returns. Not only are the Rockies racking up good starts, but they’re going about it the right way by throwing quality strikes, which suggest that even though the season is just four games old, the success might be repeatable. Make sure to check out the neat Greg Holland gifs in the article as well.

Businesses ready for Rockies baseball weekend | The Denver Channel

Inside his a clip on how two Denver businesses view Opening Day weekend, including my friends at El Charrito’s who in the past hosted some of the Rockies bloggers panels.

Last call for Captain Earthman: Iconic vendor, sick with brain cancer, soaks in Opening Day | Denver Post

Tip of the cap to Captain Earthman. I’m glad the Rockies were able to make this Opening Day a good one for you.

Rockies’ Kyle Freeland is homegrown pitching prodigy, ready for big-league debut | Denver Post

This excellent writeup from Patrick Saunders discusses Kyle Freeland’s upbringing and s some of the events that led to his Opening Day debut on Saturday. Freeland’s dad spent hours hitting grounders to both of his sons,

Now, it’s come full circle and Rockies fans are looking forward to see what’s next for the young lefty.