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MLB Pipeline reveals Top 30 Rockies prospects

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Rockies news and links for February 27, 2018

Rockies’ Top 30 full of Draft talent despite graduations | MLB.com
MLB Pipeline revealed their top 30 Rockies prospects on Monday. While the farm system is not as deep as it has been in years past due to the graduations of Trevor Story, David Dahl, Raimel Tapia, Tyler Anderson, Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, German Marquez, Jeff Hoffman, and Antonio Senzatela, there are still some very intriguing names to watch.

The top 3 of Brendan Rodgers, Ryan McMahon, and Riley Pint align with the Purple Row community’s top PuRPs choices. MLB Pipeline then has Colton Welker, Peter Lambert, and Ryan Vilade, while the following PuRPs were Lambert, Welker, and Ryan Castellani. Among players who experienced the biggest jumps on MLB Pipeline’s list were Sam Hilliard (PuRP No. 17) who went from number 30 to 12, and Breiling Eusebio (PuRP No. 18), who was unranked in 2017, and now sits at number 13. Ben Bowden (PuRP No. 20) experienced the biggest drop, from 14 to 24 on MLB Pipeline’s rankings.

Of course, these rankings are not foolproof indicators of success. In 2011, for example, Tyler Matzek, Wilin Rosario, and Christian Friedrich all ranked above Nolan Arenado, Chad Bettis, and Charlie Blackmon. A cool feature on the above link is the ability to look at the past seven years of MLB Pipeline’s prospect rankings. They also have a breakdown of which current prospects have the best tools, how they were built, their ETA, and positional breakdown.

Nolan Arenado says Carlos Gonzalez greatly missed in Rockies’ clubhouse | The Denver Post
WARNING: This article contains Rockies players expressing sadness over not being able to play with Carlos Gonzalez this Spring, and it might make you sad too. Were the Rockies able to bring back CarGo, Arenado says “It would be the greatest thing ever.” Marquez notes that he misses the veteran presence of “my friend,” who was “good to the young guys.”

Rox plan 13 pitchers, so versatile bench a key | Rockies.com
As per usual, the Rockies will be carrying five starting pitchers and eight relievers on the roster in 2018. My trusty calculator tells me this will result in a four-man bench. On Monday, Manager Bud Black essentially confirmed that Pat Valaika will be a member of that bench in 2018, with “a backup outfielder, a backup catcher, then another” spot up for grabs. Tony Wolters or Tom Murphy will get the backup catcher role, and it’s possible both make the team given Wolters’ ability to play the middle infield. Dahl, Tapia, Mike Tauchman, and Jordan Patterson would represent the final 1-2 spots.

Colorado Rockies: Raimel Tapia getting opportunity to take over in right | Rox Pile
Tapia might be earning himself a higher likelihood of making the team than any of the other possibilities. We must remind ourselves not to look too much into Spring Training games (especially the first four of them), but Tapia has been off to a flying start. At Rox Pile, Aaron Hurt states his claim that Tapia could be on track to winning the job as the starting right fielder.

Colorado Rockies injury news: Carlos Estevez “down for a few days” | Rox Pile
It doesn’t look like a major injury, but reliever Carlos Estevez will be “down for a few days” after tweaking a muscle in his left side. Estevez is by no means a lock to make the Opening Day roster, so this is unfortunate news for him, as he can use all the opportunities he can get. Estevez gave up one hit in his outing on Friday, but otherwise came out of his inning of work unscathed.

Rockies’ Bettis grateful to enjoy healthy spring | Rockies.com
Bettis, on the other hand, is happy and healthy. MLB.com’s Thomas Harding spoke to him about his decision to get an earlier start to pitching in games this Spring. Harding also looks at Lambert’s performance from Sunday, and has quotes from Gray regarding his recent simulated game, which included practice for limiting mound visits.

Senzatela hopes improved diet pays off | Rockies.com
Senzatela learned in August to “diversify his diet beyond pizza,” Harding writes. With changes to his diet, Senzatela has dropped 18 pounds coming into camp. Combining his physical improvements with reduced usage of his fastball, Rockies director of physical performance Gabe Bauer and pitching coach Steve Foster are both excited about what Senzatela can offer.

Spring Training recap
The Rockies lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-4 on Monday, and are now 1-3 in Cactus League play.

On the pitching side, Freeland received the start and went 2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits. He also compiled a pair of strikeouts in a losing effort. Harrison Musgrave struggled in relief, giving up 4 earned runs in his 2 innings of work. One of the runs was a solo blast by Paul Goldschmidt, which Statcast estimates went 431 feet. Roster hopeful Zac Rosscup gave up a run on 2 hits in his inning of work. Chris Rusin had an excellent outing, compiling two strikeouts in a perfect inning, and Jairo Diaz walked one, but otherwise pitched a clean inning.

On offense, Dahl led off and played left field on Monday. He finished the day 0-for-3 and has yet to pick up a hit this Spring. In his first start of the Spring, catcher Chris Iannetta batted second and drew a walk, and otherwise went 0-for-2 on the day. Blackmon, hitting third in the lineup, led off the fourth inning with a double, and was driven in on a two-run home run by Arenado. McMahon collected 2 hits, one of which was a double, in his 3 at-bats on Monday. Murphy, who pinch hit for Blackmon and took over at catcher, went hitless on the day. 21-year-old Parker, Colorado native Max George hit a home run in the 9th, but it was not enough to overcome the bats of the D-Backs on Monday.

Around Baseball

Assigning the remaining MLB free agents to new teams | SB Nation MLB
SB Nation’s Grant Brisbee partakes in an exercise of assigning new teams to baseball’s (still) many remaining free agents. Jonathan Lucroy and Lucas Duda are picks to join up with the Rockies. CarGo goes to the Chicago White Sox and Mark Reynolds signs with the New York Mets. And the Minnesota Twins should probably add some pitching.