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Rockies closer Greg Holland was the best free agent signing of the offseason

Rockies news and notes for Monday, June 12, 2017.

Olney: Greg Holland the best free agent signing of the winter | ESPN

ESPN's Buster Olney has spoken: Greg Holland was the best free agent signing of the winter. The Rockies took a chance on Holland when no other team was willing to and created a win-win contract that enticed Holland and his agent, Scott Boras. The contract had a value range from $7 to $35 million over the two-year length depending on how he performs. It's safe to say that he's healthy and is working his way towards a potentially huge payday. At this point, Holland has been well worth the investment.

Tony Wolters morphed into a catcher exactly when the Rockies needed. His defense is behind Colorado's pitching rise. | Denver Post

Tony Wolters ranks third in the National League in batting average and second in on-base percentage, in addition to his defensive prowess. Wolters was drafted as an infielder by the Cleveland Indians, and they were the ones who had him switch positions. It's been to the Rockies benefit. Wolters has been the primary backstop with multiple rookie pitchers finding their way in the majors. There are some great quotes from Wolters and manager Bud Black about Tony’s approach behind the plate and what has led him to become one of the best catchers in the National League.

DJ finding groove hitting to opposite field |

When he was coming through the minors, the Chicago Cubs tried to adjust DJ LeMahieu’s swing and generate more power. It didn’t work out that way, unfortunately. But LeMahieu has won a batting title in a Rockies uniform doing what he does best: hitting the baseball to the opposite field. From the article:

"I tried to get the barrel out there more often and turn on balls more often, but I became a worse hitter," LeMahieu said. "I tried to be something I'm not. But, believe me, I tried. You look at me, and you'd think I could hit the ball a long way. I wish I could hit balls like Mark Reynolds or Carlos Gonzalez."

Purple Row

The Rockies’ updated playoff odds are extremely optimistic | Purple Row

As of Sunday morning, the Rockies playoff odds were in between 83 and 91 percent, depending on the model. Optimism!

Rockies prospect Jairo Diaz returns to Triple-A from personal leave of absence | Purple Row (Saturday)

Diaz, who spent 2016 on the disabled list after undergoing Tommy John surgery, is back with the Albuquerque Isotopes and ready to contribute when the Rockies need him.

Dan Bellino’s horrible day exemplifies MLB’s umpire problem | Purple Row

Ryan Schoppe takes a look at umpire Dan Bellino’s, uh, rough time behind the plate on Friday. Sure, he made some pretty egregious calls, but that’s not baseball’s biggest umpire problem: it’s robots. I mean, it’s accountability. We have no idea how MLB polices their umpires, and that’s an issue.

Bud Black’s use of the relief ace helped the Rockies take down the Cubs | Purple Row

Jordan Freemyer takes a look at Bud Black’s decision to use the acting closer early on Saturday in what turned out to be a difference-maker in the 9-1 win. It’s decisions like that that have contributed to one of the best starts in team history.

NL West

Giants score season-high 13 runs, avoid sweep | McCovey Chronicles

Maton’s stellar debut overruled by Lamet’s rough start | Gaslamp Ball

The Padres lost again, but had a good debut for a rookie reliever.

Also, this was the recap headline for Saturday’s game. “Royals 12, Padres 6: More like blowpen.“ LOL.

Dodgers tie home run derby, but win the game against the Reds | True Blue LA

There were eight home runs in this game and the Los Angeles Dodgers came out on top, 9-7 against the Cincinnati Reds.

Diamondbacks 11, Brewers 1: Robbie Ray Continues to Shine | AZ Snake Pit

The Diamondbacks are staying hot on the Rockies tails with another win. Robbie Ray is striking out 31.4 percent of the batters he’s facing, third-best in baseball behind some guys named Chris Sale and Max Scherzer, whoever they are.