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Rough start for the Rockies, but don’t give up hope

Rockies news and links for April 2, 2018

The good and the bad from the Rockies opening series against the Diamondbacks | Mile High Sports

After a rough start of two losses, the Rockies finished up their opening series with a win. There were some key highlights for the Rockies. The hyped-up bullpen delivered, with Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, and Wade Davis finishing the games strong. And there was Chris Rusin, who proved to be a rock star when we needed him, just like last season. He’s underrated in terms of numbers, but he certainly is a key component to the Rockies’ success. Hopefully, as the season goes on, the starting pitchers won’t create the bases loaded kind of situations that Rusin faced in this opening series, but it’s nice to know he’s there when we need him.

Unsurprisingly, Charlie Blackmon made a huge impact in the win against the Diamondbacks. Adam Ottavino also gave us the kind of performance we could only hope for. Arizona hitters had no answer to his deadly slider. Chris Iannetta was also a solid part of the early 2018 Rockies. Iannetta was brought on largely to provide some veteran presence behind the plate. The fact that he got on base six out of his eight at-bats doesn’t hurt, though.

One element that we want to keep an eye on is Jon Gray. He had a promising Spring Training, leading many of us to believe that he would be ready for a comeback against the Diamondbacks after the tragic end of last season. The Rockies need him to have far better starts if we hope for a successful 2018.

We’ll have more on the highlights and lowlights from the first series later this morning.

Ottavino can see future...of pitch paths |

Adam Ottavino opened his 2018 season with a bang. He crushed it, and it wasn’t just thanks to good pitches. He played the game smart. He has done a lot of work in the offseason, not only on getting control over his pitches, but on visualization as well. A lot of the game of baseball is in the head, and mentally preparing is a key component in success. Ottavino expends a good amount of effort on visualizing the whole process, from the batter walking up, to the path his pitch will take. So far, it seems to really be working for him, so power to him!

Tyler Anderson’s off-target start already has the Colorado Rockies concerned about their rotation | Denver Post ($)

Like Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson has had a rough start to 2018. The two combined gave up ten runs, which might be cause for some kind of concern. Bud Black acknowledges that they faced some tough batters, but he’s not willing to let it slide, as the pitching rotation will constantly be facing talented batters all year long. Pitchers have to be ready to throw against anybody. Tyler Anderson threw way too many pitches -- 36 in the first inning alone. Anderson struggled even in Spring Training, but he was set in the starting rotation very early on, after an incredible end to the 2017 season.

Germán Márquez was the only successful Rockies starting pitcher, and we’ll see Chad Bettis and then Kyle Freeland start the next couple days. The starting rotation has me a little nervous thus far, as we can’t rely on the bullpen to save us every night. Hopefully the team can find their stride.

Ian Desmond was pulled with an injury from the Rockies’ win over Arizona. But it didn’t just appear. | Denver Post ($)

Ian Desmond had some soreness in his right knee that caused him to leave the game before the seventh inning. However, this isn’t a new injury for Desmond. Apparently he’s been having some pain since opening day. Ryan McMahon came in to replace him, striking out twice. Desmond had a decent start to the year, but he is currently day by day. Let’s hope this isn’t another injury-plagued year.

Colorado Rockies: Trevor Story was a key to series struggle in Arizona | Rox Pile

While baseball is certainly a team sport, there was a lot of importance placed on the connection between the overall success of the team and the individual performance of Trevor Story. Story had a good offseason, and hopes were high for him coming out of his sophomore slump. So far, he is 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts. Keeping his strikeouts to a minimum was a huge factor in 2018 success, so it is disheartening to see this so early on. To be fair, the whole lineup struggled with strikeouts against the Diamondbacks, which is something to work on. In the big picture, this probably isn’t a huge deal, but given that we only have these three games to look at, everything gets a bit magnified. However, it seems like a valid statement that Story needs to start producing a bit more.

Colorado Rockies: Pitching will be the shortcoming in 2018 | Rox Pile

We’re still very early in the season, but so far the pitching leaves a lot to be desired. The bullpen is holding up their end of the deal, coming into sticky situations and minimizing the damage. However, Jon and Anderson gave up far too many runs to be successful. Márquez pitched a solid game, and we have yet to see the remainder of the starting rotation. I have faith that they can deliver, but we’ll see how the start of the week goes. The Rockies intentionally kept their starting rotation young, and they still have the potential for a successful season, but in order to do so, we cannot have repeats of the start of the year.

BSN Rockies Podcast: Carlos Gonzalez and Vinny Castilla in all their glory | BSN Denver

Drew Creasman talks to Carlos González and Vinny Castilla in this podcast. They talk about the 2017 season, the strangeness that was CarGo’s offseason, and what it’s like for him to be back in Denver.