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Rockies’ Gonzalez and Braves’ Inciarte keep each other grounded

Rockies news and links for April 7, 2018

Bond between CarGo and Inciarte runs deep |
They may be facing each other as opponents in the current series between the Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves at Coors Field, but Carlos Gonzalez and Ender Inciarte have shared a bond for quite some time. And in an offseason where CarGo was coming off a rough season and didn’t sign a contract until after Spring Training was well underway, Inciarte’s brotherly presence was much-needed.

CarGo sought advice from experienced veteran players like Carlos Beltran after his rough 2017 season, but he found Inciarte was also a helpful confidant. The 32-year-old Gonzalez met the 27-year-old Inciarte when the two were first coming up together through the Arizona Diamondbacks system. Inciarte has established himself as a solid regular ever since he was traded to the Braves organization, and still provides CarGo with helpful insight, even though he is five years younger. Over the offseason, the two still work out together, and each pushes the other to continue to work harder. As Inciarte says, the other is always there to encourage the other to go the extra mile when they need that extra piece of motivation. You can read more quotes from both CarGo and Inciarte in Thomas’ Harding’s article for

Depth by Design: The Rockies roster is intentionally adaptable | Mile High Sports
Much has been made about the depth that the Rockies have built up— for better or worse. While it is enviable to have a plethora of options at your disposal, there have also been concerns about young players not receiving enough playing time at the MLB level or being stashed in Triple-A when they could contribute more than their counterparts in the big leagues. In an article originally published in Mile High Magazine, Pencils Robinson says to be a Rockies player means to “Be an All-Star at your position or play more than one.”

BSN Rockies Podcast: Colorado looks fantastic in San Diego | BSN Rockies
In the latest BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman and Patrick Lyons look at the rebound starts turned in by Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson in the recent series against the San Diego Padres. In their first starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Gray and Anderson combined to pitch 6 1/3 innings, allowing 10 earned runs on 11 hits, with 7 strikeouts (yay!) and 7 walks (yikes!). In their starts against the Friars, the duo bounced back with 13 shutout innings, allowing 8 hits, 11 strikeouts, and zero walks.

Charlie Blackmon’s age, contract length doesn’t concern Bud Black | Mile High Sports
It seems to be getting to the point where baseball teams are starting to realize paying players on the wrong side of 30 will rarely provide a positive return on investment for them. In the case of Charlie Blackmon, however, Manager Bud Black doesn’t expect much regression. In Black’s words, “Charlie has incrementally grown in performance,” words which are backed up statistically. From 2014-2017, Blackmon’s fWAR has gone from 1.3 to 2.5 to 4.7 to 6.5.

New Denver and its culture is built around Coors Field | Mile High Sports
At Mile High Sports, Derek Kessinger writes about what Coors Field and the Rockies mean to Denver, even going so far as to say the ball club and stadium shape the culture of the city. I have never personally been to Denver, but Kessinger writes a very easily-imaginable description of Denver as a previously “well-kept secret hidden by the mountains” that has changed considerably over the past decade.

Rockies Payroll: How Colorado can keep Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu long-term | Mile High Sports
Also from Mile High Sports, Casey Light provides an extensive breakdown of the Rockies’ payroll situation for 2019. The entire piece is well-worth a full read, but the point is that the Rox should easily be able to sign arbitration eligible Nolan Arenado and impending free agent DJ LeMahieu to long-term contracts, and even retain CarGo if they so choose, while remaining under the average MLB payroll.

Colorado Rockies: Sizing up the rest of the National League | Rox Pile
When analyzing Rockies opponents, most of the attention is paid to the other teams in the NL West. Rox Pile’s Olivia Greene details how teams from the other two National League divisions are performing as the season gets underway. There are certainly some surprises, such as the Pittsburgh Pirates are doing very well early on, and some predictive occurrences, such as the Cincinnati Reds not doing very well.

On the Farm

Thursday’s best: Athletics prospects thrive for Nashville |
Oakland Athletics farmhands take the headline in this roundup of minor-league talent, but Rockies’ prospects Colton Welker (PuRP No. 5) and Willie Abreu (PuRP No. 26) are given shoutouts for their big performances for Class-A Lancaster on Thursday evening. The duo hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning. That was one of two homers on the night for Abreu.