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Would the Rockies’ offense be faring better with Raimel Tapia?

Rockies news and links for April 17, 2018

Colorado Rockies: Should they have kept Raimel Tapia on the MLB roster? | Rox Pile
Let’s check in on the offensive performances of the Rockies’ outfielders. We begin with Charlie Blackmon, who hit his seventh home run of the season in Monday night’s series opener in Pittsburgh. Collectively, Blackmon has produced a wOBA of .495, among the best in baseball entering Tuesday’s action. After Blackmon, the offense in the outfield goes south in a hurry. We have Carlos Gonzalez, who has himself a wOBA of .301. In only 66 plate appearances, there is time for that number to climb, but it’s not where CarGo needs it to be right now. Moving on to Gerardo Parra, we see a meager .251 wOBA, which is among the 25 worst marks in baseball of the 190 players who have enough qualifying plate appearances.

Ian Desmond is seeing a chunk of time at first base, but has played the outfield quite a bit as well. Even with his go-ahead home run against the Washington Nationals from Sunday (his fourth of the season), Desmond’s wOBA sits at .256, right there with Parra’s as one of the worst in the game. Mike Tauchman has only received 18 plate appearances, and his role on the team is as the fourth outfielder, but just one hit in those appearances has produced an .093 wOBA.

So, room for improvement is certainly there. Enter Raimel Tapia, whose wOBA of .322 in the majors from a season ago may not have taken the league by storm, but it certainly inspires more confidence than most in the outfield’s current iteration. Tapia has begun the year with the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, where he is slashing .234/.333/.553, with four home runs through his first 54 plate appearances. After hitting four home runs combined between Triple-A and MLB in 2017, Tapia has himself off to a hot start, with an added power stroke to make matters even more intriguing. As Rox Pile’s Olivia Greene details, the Rockies may want to consider a return to the 25-man roster for Raimel.

Colorado Rockies: Lineup construction when Nolan Arenado returns | Rox Pile
With Nolan Arenado serving his five-game suspension, the Rockies’ lineup has taken a different shape. Typical leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon has been batting third, while number two hitter DJ LeMahieu has been tasked with leading off the game. As a 1-2 punch, Blackmon and LeMahieu have had much-noted success, but they are also succeeding in their new roles (albeit in a very small sample). What will things look like when Arenado returns to the lineup? Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry has the details.

Colorado Rockies: Execution lacking in early stages of season | Rox Pile
While the Rockies have gotten themselves off to a 10-8 record, it has not been all sunshine and roses for the team to begin 2018. The offense has had a hard time getting going, as evidenced by the numbers of the outfielders mentioned above, and the fact that the team is batting .156 with runners in scoring position and two outs, as Rox Pile’s JD Jensen reveals.

BSN Rockies Podcast: Desmond, Blackmon power series win in Washington | BSN Rockies
In the latest edition of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman breaks down the Rockies’ thrilling win over the Nationals from Sunday, with LeMahieu, Blackmon, and Desmond proving to be the heroes. It ended up being the struggling offense that came through when the pitching faltered. Adam Ottavino had an uncharacteristically wild outing by the standard he has set to begin 2018, uncorking his first wild pitch of the season to allow the tying run to score in the bottom of the 8th.

LeMahieu consistently attacking lefties’ offerings |
Pitchers might want to stop throwing fastballs to LeMahieu. I mean, it’d be great for Rockies fans if they continue, but for their sake, they might want to stop.’s Thomas Harding has a great breakdown of the new-found power that LeMahieu has brought to his game in 2018. It’s not that DJ is pulling the ball more, as one might initially expect, but it’s the pitches he’s getting, and in what count.

Nolan Arenado’s young career has already put him in some rarefied air | Cut4
Here’s wishing Arenado a happy belated 27th birthday. Hopefully he got to enjoy it even though he is briefly suspended from the game he loves to play. Nolan is just about entering his prime years, and he’s already compiled five Gold Glove Awards, three All-Star appearances, and three top-10 finishes in NL MVP voting. Those feats have been accomplished by only three players in Major League history: Ken Griffey Jr., Johnny Bench, and Arenado.

MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week |
PuRP No. 5 Colton Welker made MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week at third base. The Rockies have no shortage of talented infielders at all levels of their system, and Welker has taken the Cal League by storm to open 2018, with a .455/.578/.848 slash and three homers in ten games.

A Rockies fan caught Matt Wieters’ HR ball, a Nats fan caught DJ LeMahieu’s ... so they swapped | Cut4
In Sunday’s game, a young Nationals fan caught LeMahieu’s home run ball, while a young Rockies fan caught a home run ball hit by Nationals catcher Matt Wieters. In a show of cooperation, the fans traded for the ball hit by the player on their respective favorite teams. Check out the video of this wholesome moment by clicking the link above.