Adam Ottavino has had an incredible start to the 2018 season. He has struck out 22 of the 34 batters he has faced so far. Even though we are looking at a small sample size, this is incredible pitching. He’s ending with a fastball, using the slider to get strikes. This is not what your average batter is expecting, and it is so far working for Ottavino, who had a rough season last year. He has clearly expended a lot of effort developing his mechanics. Although he does not have a ton of speed on his pitches, he throws smart, outplaying the batters. This kind of strategy could possibly be difficult to maintain, as batters start to figure it out. However, Ottavino seems like he’s in control, and he could very well continue to dominate.
Yes, the Colorado Rockies have had some problems in these early days of the 2018 season. However, it is far too soon to make any kind of definitive statement of the team’s potential. We are looking at such a small sample size that, although the numbers aren’t great, we can’t yet say that Trevor Story will only hit .200 all year long and Nolan Arenado will be hot-headed until the postseason. The Rockies are still looking pretty good despite these struggles, holding an 11-8 record. There have been some batting hardships and some disappointing starting pitching, that’s true, but the team is above .500 and still has a lot of games left to show us what they can do.
Trevor Story hit a three-run home run in Monday’s game against the Pirates. This followed a Sunday game with four strike-outs in four at-bats. Some are looking at Story’s performance as a microcosm of the Rockies’ offense overall. There are bursts of greatness with some spotty stuff in between, but in general a good amount of promise for things to come. With Nolan Arenado serving his five-game suspension, the question arose of how well the offense could do. However, the team seems to be heating up. Bud Black doesn’t expect to see a lot of power from his team, but he knows that they have the capacity to get on base. In the past several games, home runs have saved the day for the Rockies, but they can hardly rely on that for long. Defense has saved the team often lately, with the Rockies seem to be on their way toward hitting their offensive stride.
In a pretty surprising twist, the Rockies have started their season being dominant on the road and struggling at home. Drew Creasman discusses this, along with the intermittent offensive success and some interesting pitching.
Samantha Bradfield at Purple Row breaks down the history of bench-clearing brawls, given that three occurred in such a short period of time, and so early in the season. There is the fact that restrictions on these kinds of fights are somewhat less regulated than in other sports, although, as we saw with Nolan Arenado and Gerardo Parra, there are some repercussions. The aspect of clearing the bench is more challenging to avoid in baseball, as it is essentially one against nine, leading the whole team to feel like they need to come out and help.
It might seem that this kind of event is on the rise in the MLB of late, but it is likely just the fact that we saw three so close together. Another element is that it’s getting easier for the average person to go online to watch the brawl over and over. Within recent history, though, there have been a pretty consistent amount of brawls happening among teams.