Patrick Saunders is back with his mailbag for this month. The first he responds to is potentially moving Charlie Blackmon out of the leadoff spot to provide a stronger bat in the middle of the order. Blackmon has long seemed like the natural leadoff, starting the game strong for the Rockies. However, he is open to the idea of moving later on to help out the lineup. Possible players to step in to hit first are David Dahl or Raimel Tapia. Saunders, however, doesn’t see this change happening immediately, but none of us can say what the new season will bring.
Another good question involved signing Tim Lincecum and re-signing Carlos Gonzalez. This specific question poses putting CarGo at first. Saunders put out a pretty strong “no” to both these questions, saying if Lincecum returns, he is likely to go elsewhere, and that Gonzalez’s stretch with the Rockies is most likely over, regardless of position.
Another fan asks if Matt Holliday might make a return to the Rockies as some fill-in first baseman or outfield playing. Given the 38-year-old’s history, Saunders does not see this happening.
Of course, the Hall of Fame comes up, and several names are tossed up, like Todd Helton, Larry Walker, and Nolan Arenado. Next a fan wonders where Ian Desmond will end up this year. After being signed to play first base, it doesn’t currently seem like he will play there this year. Perhaps we’ll see him in the outfield, maybe in left field.
Saunders answers some more questions about what will happen with the remainder of the offseason, what pitching will look like, and what to be excited about in Spring Training. Always a good read from Patrick Saunders.
After a short-lived Rocktober in 2017, the Rockies are looking to improve in 2018. Naturally, we want to see a return to the postseason, and the team has taken steps toward this, signing some major relief pitchers. However, the Rockies need to keep an eye on the other teams in the NL West who have also made some moves this offseason.
Kevin Henry runs down five things the Rockies should work on. First: Trevor Story should cut back on the strikeouts. While Story came through a couple times when we needed him, he had 191 strikeouts for 503 at-bats in 2017. This is less than impressive. He next emphasizes the need for fewer ground balls, which largely came from Ian Desmond. Yes, he was plagued with injury, but we still need to see more from him in 2018.
Henry points out the importance of WAR, or wins against replacement. While Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and DJ LeMahieu succeeded in this statistic, the rest of the team struggled. Baseball is heavily reliant on the whole team doing well, and we can hope to see this statistic improve this year. Finally, we need LeMahieu to cut back on grounding into double plays, and for the entire pitching staff to deliver. If the Rockies are able to make moves that will affect these statistics, we can all hope for a great 2018.
On Wednesday evening, the Hall of Fame inductees as voted by the Baseball Association of America were announced. Despite speculation that this could be the year that Larry Walker could make it in, he was not one who crossed the 75% threshold. He got closer than he has in the past, though, receiving 34.1% of the vote. Noah Yingling speculates on what this might mean for Todd Helton, who becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame Ballot in 2019. Yingling compares the two offensively and defensively, with his final opinion being that Helton is likely to follow Walker’s unfortunate path in a so-far hopeless reach for the Hall of Fame.
The Brewers have completed a trade for Christian Yelich including four players from the Brewers organization. After expressing his unhappiness with Miami and the direction the Marlins were heading, Yelich has been surrounded by rumors this offseason. The deal is finally completed, and Yelich is excited for the new opportunities.