The Rockies are off to a rough start in the young 2018 season. There are several factors contributing to this: the starting pitching lacking a bit, Charlie Blackmon sitting with soreness, and a dearth of offensive performance. One thing to pinpoint, though, is the underwhelming Ian Desmond. He is the highest paid player on the team, and in the offseason, we talked a lot about how he needed to provide a veteran presence for the team, giving the young players some leadership. However, he has not been this hoped-for component thus far. It’s not all bad news: he leads the team in RBIs and boasts three home runs. He’s done pretty well defensively, moving from first base to the outfield pretty seamlessly.
The not-so-good news: he’s striking out too much, and is in a 1-for-24 slump. His pop flies and ground outs are out of control. He’s getting himself and his team into double-play situations. Yes, it’s still just the start of the season, but given what we spent for Desmond and his injuries and now a mediocre performance, I think he’s going to have to do something pretty spectacular to make up for it.
The league has already handed down suspensions for Boston’s Joe Kelly and New York’s Tyler Austin, six and five games respectively. However, there is no word yet about what kind of penalty Nolan Arenado will receive, but he’s expecting some kind of suspension, and it will likely be something German Marquez and Gerardo Parra were also ejected from the game for their involvement in the brawl. These two might also see some suspensions. Based on the Red Sox’s and Yankees’ suspensions, we can likely expect something similar. These suspensions will likely be appealed.
Forbes took a look at the value of 30 MLB teams. Topping the list, of course, are the Yankees, valued at $4 billion. The Rockies, by contrast, come in at 23rd, at $1.1 billion. However, they are among the top teams in terms of growth, which is a good sign for the future.
Chad Bettis pitched a stellar game Thursday against the Washington Nationals. Bud Black approved of the performance, saying that Bettis was like a pitcher who would have played in Black’s era. Black says this was more about ball movement and changes in speed rather than pure velocity. Bettis certainly displayed some fantastic command over his pitches, struggling in the fifth inning, but getting himself through it. In other news of the day, Charlie Blackmon is looking likely to return soon, and the Rockies are keeping an eye on David Dahl, who was placed on the DL due to illness.
Tension can get a little heated in baseball, and on Wednesday, things got a bit too hot. There was the Rockies-Padres fight, then the Red Sox-Yankees brawl later in the day. Both bench-clearing donnybrooks were pretty wild, and while players on the field are trying to hold others back, I think many of us are cheering them on. These kind of run-ins give us the sense that the players really care about the game they’re playing. They provide us with a sense of rivalry. It’ll give us all something to talk about for a while, and even though violence probably shouldn’t be the answer, it’s definitely entertaining.