The Winter Caravan provided us with a lot of solid Rockies information, and Bud Black delivered as well. The Rockies manager talked about the signing of Wade Davis, and how he and Rockies’ pitching coach Steve Foster felt about the deal. He was on board, of course, acknowledging that pitching has been a need to be filled since before he even joined the team. Pitching needed to be built up and developed, and Black supports the offseason decisions made by the front office. Given that Bud Black was a pitcher when he played, a natural question to arise was whether this had something to do with his past. Of course, the Rockies knew that they needed to work on their pitching, so it only made sense to hire someone who knew pitching. This was surely not the only reason, but it may definitely have been a part of it.
Bud Black was also asked the ever-present first-baseman question, saying that not only might we see Ryan McMahon there, but also potentially Ian Desmond and Pat Valaika. There is also a prospect, Jordan Patterson who might get some playing time there, so we shall see who’s on first.
Black addressed some questions regarding the young starting pitching staff. Given the relative success of these young pitchers last year, Black emphasized the need to avoid any kind of sophomore slump among Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, German Marquez, and Jeff Hoffman. He hopes to see growth from these young men as well as his other starting pitching rotation.
Finally, he talks about the new pace of play suggestions. He states that he gets the need for a pitch clock, but that part of the game is the fact that there is no time limits. And I agree with him. Baseball is America’s pastime, and while sometimes the length of the games gets a little out of control, there is no designated time for innings. I also understand the compulsion to try and move the game along, but there is a bigger part of me that adores the fact that games can last way longer than three hours. I love everything that Bud Black had to say, and I can’t wait to see what he does with the team in 2018.
Nolan Arenado is surely a star in Denver. He’s an MVP contender, a Gold Glove winner, and a rock star third baseman. However, Arenado admits that he has a hard time mentoring other players. Not because it can be challenging, but because he doesn’t want to let anyone down. He says that if he doesn’t do well enough, he feels like a hypocrite.
This is a man who has a clear passion for the sport. Following the loss in the Wild Card Game, Arenado didn’t fly back to Denver with the team, instead staying in Arizona to spend some time with his mom and dad. He says he didn’t want to come back to Denver after losing the game. Well, let me tell you this, Nolan, we don’t blame you. Arenado is one of the things to be excited about in 2018, and I for one cannot wait to watch him play. Mark Kiszla goes so far as to say that he is the one to watch this year, above Von Miller, Nikola Jokić, and Nathan MacKinnon. Arenado will become a free agent in 2020, but I certainly hope that he will win a World Series as a Rockie.
Speaking of Nolan Arenado and weekends that we can all be jealous of, Charlie Blackmon and Arenado went fly fishing this weekend, proving that the Rockies can make quite a catch on the field and off.