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Breaking down the Opening Day outing for Rockies’ Jon Gray

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Rockies news and links for April 1, 2018

Breaking down Jon Gray’s 1st and 5th inning Opening Day breakdowns | Mile High Sports
Jon Gray was not terrible, but he did not bring his ace stuff to Thursday night’s season opener at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gray pitched four innings, and allowed 3 runs (all in the first inning) on 6 hits, with three walks and four strikeouts. This may have rekindled thoughts of the 2017 National League Wild Card Game, when Gray allowed 4 runs in 1 1/3 innings against the same team at the same venue.

Manager Bud Black was asked about what went wrong with Gray’s outing, and he mentioned that Gray left many pitches elevated in the first inning. Black was also quick to point out that Gray pitched a solid three innings following the 3-run first, before fatigue set in. Gray allowed the first three batters to reach in the fifth inning, and was replaced by Chris Rusin, who performed a magician’s act to get out of the bases loaded no-out jam.

Utilizing information from Statcast, Casey Light of Mile High Sports breaks down Gray’s outing and furthers the points made by Black. Light also notes that Gray struggled a bit in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day 2017, and then pitched well in his second start of the season.

Rockies’ rough early road schedule doesn’t faze Bud Black | The Denver Post ($)
The Rockies play 32 of their first 50 games of the 2018 season on the road, but Black expects the team will have success wherever they play. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu also expressed confidence in the offense’s ability, citing the team’s possession of “lots of ways to beat you.”

Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post also has notes on Greg Holland’s signing with the St Louis Cardinals, and the jubilation experienced by Mike Tauchman and Ryan McMahon upon learning they cracked the Opening Day roster.

Rockies catcher Iannetta, shortstop Story share fond memories of Arizona’s Chase Field | Mile High Sports
As the Rockies look to wrap up their first series of the season in Arizona tonight, Trevor Story is remembering the fond memories he holds in this ballpark. Catcher Chris Iannetta, who returned to the Rockies this season after spending last year with the D-Backs, also offers his thoughts on how Chase Field compares to Coors Field.

BSN Rockies Podcast: Opening Day reactions from DJ LeMahieu and Adam Ottavino | BSN Rockies
In the latest BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman looks back at Opening Day, and features audio from LeMahieu, Black, and Adam Ottavino, who pitched around a walk to strike out the side in his season debut on Thursday night. There is also a discussion of re-thinking the batting order, as LeMahieu’s two GIDP’s in key situations from Thursday night was regrettably reminiscent of many outcomes from a season ago.

Kiszla: What’s love got to do with it? Rockies can’t afford to be patient for Carlos Gonzalez to find his batting stroke | The Denver Post ($)
Carlos Gonzalez is looking to redeem himself in 2018, but Mark Kiszla writes for The Denver Post that the Rockies cannot afford to be as patient with CarGo as they were a season ago. While Gonzalez ultimately finished the season with a strong September, it came after he hit .216 in April.

Colorado Rockies: Nolan Arenado’s number next in line for retirement | Rox Pile
Rox Pile’s Ben Macaluso believes that Nolan Arenado is the next Rockie to have his number retired by the team. The Rockies are not a team known for retiring numbers—only Todd Helton and Jackie Robinson’s 42 have been—so it will undoubtedly take a special player to add to the list. Beginning to establish himself as a once in a generation talent for the franchise, Arenado may be on the fast track to becoming the third.

Around Baseball

Baseball Therapy: The Million-Dollar Bet | Baseball Prospectus
In a very interesting article at Baseball Prospectus, Russell A. Carleton proposes that owners put an additional one million dollars into paying players in their lower minor league affiliates. It’s not one million dollars per player—it’s an additional one million for all 25 guys on every minor league roster. Carleton lays out why this would be a small, simple step towards providing a better life for minor league players. This would at least act to reduce potential chronic stress that results from worrying about being able to pay rent or put food on the table.

Should the Giants even try to win a game this year? | McCovey Chronicles
Doug Bruzzone of McCovey Chronicles asks if the Giants should even try this year. I, for one, do not think they should try. And even if they do try, I say they should just try when pitching against Arenado, because it won’t work out for them anyway. Regardless of what I think, the Giants are in a rough spot after losing Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija and Mark Melancon to injury.