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Rockies twitter community receives ‘blessing’ from Lil B

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Rockies news and links for January 4, 2018

Colorado Rockies close to drawing a blessing from Lil B? | Rox Pile
Lil B the Based God tweeted his respect for the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday morning, a monumental accomplishment for #RockiesTwitter.

Lil B has gifted blessings and unleashed curses upon NBA teams in the past, including the Denver Nuggets, who received a blessing for 2018. This is the first time we’ve seen him tweet about the Rockies, however. Not to be outdone, the Rockies Twitter account responded with an offer to give the Based God a tour of Coors Field. Many accounts across #RockiesTwitter (including my own) received a follow from Lil B on Wednesday, giving us all hope that his coveted blessing may soon be delivered to the Rockies.

Closer Wade Davis: Chance to win was big reason he signed with Rockies | The Denver Post
Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post offers several interesting quotes from newly-signed closer Wade Davis on what compelled him to join the Rockies. Davis received an AAV of $17.3 million over his three-year deal, a record for a relief pitcher. But the Rockies were certainly not the only ball club offering those kinds of earnings. Rather, Davis chalked it up to the chance to win with the Rox. His comments are like those expressed by Ian Desmond in 2017, who chalked up the chance to win as a reason for signing his five year, $70 million contract.

Davis was also asked if he would be affected by pitching at Coors Field, and offered a very confident response about his ability to adapt. Another factor that may have convinced Davis to play his home games in Denver was Jake McGee, who gave a sparkling review of the team’s contention window and clubhouse chemistry. Davis and McGee were both on the MLB roster for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2010-2012, and even roomed together when they were coming up through the organization. Finally, Davis also quelled any concerns about his past injuries. The entire piece is well worth a full read.

Davis’ career changed by 2014 move to ‘pen | Rockies.com
Sticking with Davis for our conversation, recall that he was not always a reliever—he was used as a starting pitcher during his Rays tenure and into his first season with the Kansas City Royals. Davis’s days pitching out of the rotation were not excellent—4+ ERA’s every season, culminating with a 5.32 showing in his first year with Kansas City. This was certainly a far cry from the 1.45 ERA as a reliever Davis has produced since 2014.

MLB.com’s Thomas Harding has quotes from current Rockies pitching coach Steve Foster, who served as pitching coordinator for the Royals during the time of Davis’ transition from starter to reliever. This will be the second time in his career that Davis is “replacing” Greg Holland. It first happened when Davis was promoted to the closer role with the Royals after Holland got injured. Now, he’s taking over the ninth inning duties for the Rox as they move on from Holland.

Rockies’ David Dahl scheduled to begin swinging a bat again on Thursday | The Denver Post
David Dahl is set to begin swinging a bat again Thursday, which will be a big step for the talented youngster, because he has not been able to perform said action without pain for quite some time. Saunders has quotes from Dahl about his injury-plagued 2017 and the decision to “shut it down for the whole season” after trying to play through injuries. A healthy and productive Dahl would be highly beneficial to a Rockies team that looks to improve its offensive abilities heading into a 2018 season, when expectations are high for the club.

2018 MLB Preview: Colorado Rockies | Fake Teams
Fake Teams previews how the 2018 Colorado Rockies will look in fantasy baseball. Remember that runs scored, home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, and batting average are the big focus here, so while the excellent defense and remarkable consistency of DJ LeMahieu may be something that Rockies fans consider a significant asset to the club (and rightfully so), he is listed as “The Guy to Avoid” for fantasy purposes. Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon are ranked in the top 5 heading into the 2018 season, and Trevor Story is listed as a sleeper candidate.

Colorado Rockies: Should they trade for Justin Bour of Miami? | Rox Pile
From Giancarlo Stanton to Marcell Ozuna to Christian Yelich to J.T. Realmuto, the Miami Marlins have been consistently providing players that could offer vast improvements for the Rockies offense. Another option, and probably the least expensive of them all in terms of prospect return, is first baseman Justin Bour. Within five minutes of reading this article from Noah Yingling at Rox Pile, I have decided to launch a full-fledged campaign to bring Bour to Colorado. I had seen Bour’s name floated around as a speculative fit for the Rox, but didn’t realize just how good his 2017 numbers were until recently. His 133 wRC+ would have been second on the team to Blackmon (yes, that number was even better than Arenado’s!), and I echo Yingling’s sentiment that we could get by without swinging a top five prospect in a trade.

Rockies Podcasts

BSN Rockies Podcast: Wade Davis vs. Greg Holland | BSN Rockies
In the latest BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman and Jake Shapiro focus on several topics, headlined by a debate over who is better- Holland or Davis? “In a vacuum,” Creasman and Shapiro say, Davis is likely the objectively better pitcher, but Holland does bring some familiarity to the Rockies that is now lost. Of course, the Rockies also stand to lose their third highest pick in the 2018 draft, and have also lost depth piece Shane Carle for the time being after his DFA, though it would not at all be surprising to see Carle end up outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Shapiro and Creasman also discuss the building rivalry between the Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks and speculate that new Rockies reliever Bryan Shaw may not be pleased with the Snakes for “giving up on him” and trading him to the Cleveland Indians prior to the 2013 season. Shaw may be seeking to join up with the Rox on a quest to beat the D-backs in 2018, which I, for one, am all for!

Additionally, the podcasters offer some notes on Desmond, and that he may be tasked with playing primarily first base and left field again in 2018. While Desmond’s defense at these positions left much to be desired in 2017, Creasman and Shapiro note that Desmond missing much of Spring Training in 2017 due to injury may have been a significant factor. Desmond was not given time to prepare for what were new positions for him, leading to poor results, including but not limited to the worst throw I have ever seen. Desmond has put up much better defensive numbers in the past at the “tougher” positions of shortstop and center field, depending on which metric you prefer.

Finally, Drew and Jake note the importance of holding on to your prospects, as the Rockies organization has certainly done recently. At least one of Brendan Rodgers, Riley Pint, Ryan McMahon, Colton Welker, or Peter Lambert is likely to be a star, but it is very unlikely that all five will. All five are very talented players, but in conversations to trade for a player like Yelich, one must consider the upside of these prospects and the possibility that any one of them could become an even better player than Yelich. The entire podcast made me think a lot about these topics and many others, and I strongly recommend giving it a full listen.

Colorado Rockies podcast: Chris Cotillo gives his offseason grades | Rox Pile
Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry is joined by SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo, who provides his thoughts on the Rockies from a national perspective. Cotillo again refers to the connection between the Rox and Mark Reynolds, who remains a free agent. He also discusses the destination for Carlos Gonzalez in 2018, specifically mentioning the Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants as speculative landing spots. The entire podcast gives us all an opportunity to reflect on the moves made this offseason thus far, so you should give the entire piece a listen!