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The Rockies would be the “first choice” for Mark Reynolds

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Rockies news and links for February 17, 2018

Reynolds discusses free agency in Q&A | Rockies.com
While all members of the Colorado Rockies (well, except Ian Desmond) have shown up to participate in Spring Training activities, free agent Mark Reynolds remains at his home in Virginia waiting for a team to pick him up. The Rockies and Reynolds have maintained dialogue, but have not come to agreement on any sort of deal, of course. MLB.com’s Bill Ladson had a Q&A session with Reynolds, in which he discussed his previous two seasons spent in Denver, what he is currently up to, and what he hopes for 2018.

When asked about re-joining the Rockies, Reynolds noted that the team would be his “first choice.” Reynolds noted that he is comfortable with Manager Bud Black, the rest of the coaching staff, the players, the ballpark, and the postseason aspirations of the club. In the meantime, Reynolds is spending more time with his family, getting to coach his sons as they begin their own baseball journeys.

Reynolds, 34, says that he has kept in shape, and is ready to play if given the opportunity. He’s coming off a season that saw him post a .267/.352/.487 slash, reaching 30 home runs for the first time since 2011 with the Baltimore Orioles. That output would tend to result in a major-league contract, but that is certainly not a given considering the current offseason environment.

Arenado readies for new first baseman | Rockies.com
Reynolds clearly also had a profound impact on Nolan Arenado during his time with the Rockies. “This offseason, I was kind of worried because I love Mark,” Arenado says. Arenado lauds Reynolds’ ability to scoop throws in the dirt at first base, and now recognizes the alterations that might be necessary with either Ryan McMahon or Desmond receiving his throws from third base.

Colorado Rockies: 2018 National League MVP Nolan Arenado | Rox Pile
An MVP season was not to be for Arenado in 2017, but Rox Pile’s Olivia Greene posits that his time will come in 2018. Arenado’s WAR (according to both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs) has steadily climbed with each new season since his debut in 2013.

.364/.428/.642- that’s what I’ve got pegged for Nolan in 2018, his best year yet. Feel free to bookmark.

Colorado Rockies: Looking at 2017 performance by uniform choice | Rox Pile
In a fun exercise, Rox Pile’s Nick Bunney examines the Rockies’ win-loss record in 2017 based on the uniform they wore. Of course, this isn’t a very objective way to analyze a team’s performance, but it is enjoyable to look at. The results are ultimately inconclusive, with the team’s record sitting between one and six games above the .500 mark when wearing all but the purple uniforms, when they went 12-15.

Pitchers and Catchers Report: Bounty in the bullpen | Mile High Sports
The latest edition of the Blake Street Irregulars podcast features a discussion of the Rockies’ 2018 bullpen. The relief corps figures to be a strength for the team- Arenado even goes as far as to call them “some dudes.” While much has been made of the bullpen additions, and rightfully so, the subtraction of Jordan Lyles may be among the greatest indicators for improved success in the coming year.

Rusin embracing versatile role in ‘pen | Rockies.com
MLB.com’s Thomas Harding focuses specifically on reliever Chris Rusin’s approach for 2018. Harding explains the value in having a pitcher who can thrive in a variety of roles, and features quotes from Rusin and Black about what such a reliever can bring to the table. Rusin is also practicing his basketball skills as part of his fitness routine. “A little of this, a little of that,” Rusin says of his time on the court during high school.

Parra looking ahead after minor hand surgery | Rockies.com
As Hayden Kane covered at Purple Row on Friday, Gerardo Parra recently underwent minor hand surgery, but both he and Black don’t expect it to be a big deal. Of course, we’ve heard that line before, but we can gain some confidence from the fact that Reynolds recovered from the same injury in a matter of 16 games in August of 2016.

BSN Rockies Podcast: First news out of spring training | BSN Denver
In the latest BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman covers a variety of topics, including Parra’s injury, Raimel Tapia coming into camp in the “best shape of his life,” the introduction of a humidor at Chase Field, and viable options for new cities to host major league baseball teams. The most oft-discussed locales seem to have been Mexico City, Portland, and a return to Montreal. Creasman mentions New Orleans, and I would add Indianapolis, as the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians tend to draw better crowds than most minor-league teams. Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee are also home to other professional sports teams, so I would consider them possibilities as well.