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High elevation is a challenge and opportunity for the Colorado Rockies

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Rockies news and links for May 5, 2017.

That Other Thing That’s Tough About Playing in Denver | FanGraphs Baseball

This is a fabulously reported story from Eno Sarris about another potential disadvantage the Rockies face: fatigue based on disrupted sleep at altitude. Sarris talked to several Rockies' players about their sleep patterns at home and on the road, and how they have trouble adjusting when they return to Denver from road trips. He duly cites peer reviewed studies that back this up.

Sarris also talked to DJ Edwards from Push Performance, a gym in Denver. Edwards works with Rockies' players on diet and rest patterns tailored to the Rockies' specific situation. It's not all bad though. There's also the idea that all of the physical activity at high altitude can make players better when they are at sea level. Sarris notes that the Rockies are the only team since 1993 whose starting pitchers average more innings per start on the road than at home. The run environment has something to do with that, but still.

Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela earns his biggest award yet — a nickname | The Denver Post

El Principito—that's the nickname teammate Ian Desmond gave Antonio Senzatela after his latest start. The word translates as "Little Prince," and it's in reference to the town Senzatela comes from, Valencia, Venezuela. More specifically, it's in reference to another pitcher from that same town: Félix Hernández. He's otherwise known as King Félix. I like it.

Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez leaves game early | MLB.com

Cramping in his right calf caused Carlos González to depart yesterday's game early. Bud Black told Thomas Harding that he took him out for precautionary reasons, and CarGo doesn't expect to miss an playing time.

The Upside of the Chaotic National League | FanGraphs Baseball

The Rockies are one of the beneficiaries of a wild first month in the National League that saw two major Wild Card competitors, the Giants and the Mets, suffer blows to their chances. This article here has some famous last words: "Barring a total collapse, the Rockies are already a near-guarantee for a meaningful stretch run."

Eyewitness Accounts: May 4, 2017 | Baseball Prospectus

We're getting a pretty good sense of Riley Pint's strengths and weaknesses, as well as what they might mean for where he eventually ends up. In this first-hand scouting report, Craig Goldstein notes that Pint has an extremely good fastball—he grades it as a 70 pitch right now. His curveball also grades well, and he also adds a changeup and a slider that he throws less often.

The trouble is Pint's command. If he is able to command his two primary pitches and add a third pitch to be good enough, he could be a top of the line starter. If his fastball stays the same and his curveball gets better without very sharp command, he could be a back-end reliever. Either would be good outcomes. And we still have a few years left to talk about it and learn more.

Chatwood needs to incorporate more off-speed pitches says Bud Black | Mile High Sports

Bud Black talked about Tyler Chatwood's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde performance the other night. Black observed that it will be important for Chatwood to continue to change speeds as he faces a lineup for the third time in a start.