Shohei Ohtani brought a six-man rotation to the Angels. Would it work for the Colorado Rockies? | The Denver Post ($)
After reeling in star two-way player Shohei Ohtani over the winter, the Los Angeles Angels have decided to utilize a six-man rotation for the 2018 season. Part of the reasoning is to give Ohtani ample opportunity for at-bats as a designated hitter, while giving him a day of rest the day before and after he makes a start as a pitcher. Aside from Ohtani, this six-man rotation will hopefully allow the Halos to maintain a healthy starting staff. After experiencing an unprecedented number of injuries to the pitching corps from 2016-2017, the Angels will be hoping for strong returns for Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, and Andrew Heaney. The six-man rotation will also be helpful in easing those talented hurlers back into their roles. The Texas Rangers are also set to put a six-man rotation on the field in 2018 as behind Cole Hamels and Matt Moore, they look to stretch out Mike Minor and Matt Bush into full-time starting roles, while also hoping for solid campaigns from veterans Doug Fister and Bartolo Colon.
The Rockies are no stranger to unconventional starting rotations. Recall (or do your best to try to forget) the 2012 four-man 75-pitch limit rotation that the team attempted to roll out. So, could a six-man rotation work for the Rockies? The team has no shortage of starting depth, and will have many young starters entering only their sophomore campaigns. But if one were to ask members of the coaching and pitching staff, the answer seems clear. “I want to be out there every five days,” says staff ace Jon Gray. Gray is surely not alone. While 200-inning seasons are becoming increasingly rare (only 15 pitchers achieved 200 or more innings in each of the past two seasons), they still represent an area to take pride in for elite starting pitchers. That’s a feat Gray has yet to accomplish in his young career, but he states that “I know I can handle the workload.”
Rockies Manager Bud Black also put the kibosh on any speculation of a six-man rotation for the Rox. He believes that the young starters are conditioned to take the ball every fifth day. With an increasing number of pitchers undergoing Tommy John surgery (and the Rockies’ own Jeff Hoffman recently experiencing shoulder soreness, though it’s believed to be no big deal), suggestions of six-man rotations for teams across baseball have increased. For the Rockies, though, it seems that the team feels it is in a good place with its young staff to maintain an ordinary five-man sequence. And with the Rockies’ perennial philosophy of carrying eight men in the bullpen, the idea of a six-man rotation would only work to shorten the bench.
Rockies still have much to prove in 2018 | MLB.com
MLB.com’s Thomas Harding has a great overview of how the Rockies are approaching 2018 and what they hope to accomplish. There are quotes from Black, Gray, Nolan Arenado, and Charlie Blackmon about the team’s desire to win in 2018, and the expected contributions from the younger players that make the roster.
Rockies manager Bud Black: Speed helps ‘balance’ lineup | Rox Pile
Black’s focus is on a “balanced lineup”—one that contains speed, power, and average. This spring, Black has placed Raimel Tapia and his blazing speed in the leadoff spot on occasion, though Tapia has not had a ton of success with stealing bags early on. Ultimately, even the threat of a stolen base is powerful, says Black, because it can impact a pitcher’s mechanics when they are worried about a runner.
Who are MLB’s top power-speed threats? | MLB.com
Luckily for Black and the Rockies, the team has two of the premier power-speed combination players in the game in Blackmon and Trevor Story. MLB.com’s David Adler has compiled a list of players with the most barreled batted balls and the quickest spring speed from 2017, and the Rox found a couple of their guys hanging with the likes of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper in that regard.
Colorado Rockies get a visit from a very special group of kids | BSN Denver
Patients from Children’s Hospital Colorado went to visit with the Rockies at Spring Training. This is a trip that members of the Rockies organization have helped to fund for years, from Troy Tulowitzki to Jason Motte. In fact, even though Motte is now with the St Louis Cardinals organization, he funded the trip this year as well. This free article from Drew Creasman at BSN Denver is well worth a full read. The trip to visit the Rockies is very important for the kids. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the rare chance to visit with others experiencing the same trials in life as they are.