Charlie Blackmon sat out Sunday’s game, apparently suffering from some back spasms. He says this isn’t a huge concern, just some tightness that will likely go away very quickly. We could see this pain in Saturday’s game, when he attempted to bunt in the ninth inning and was replaced by Mike Tauchman in the tenth. Tauchman then got the start in Sunday’s game, with DJ Lemahieu leading off. This was a good chance to see some variation in the batting order for the Rockies. While it was not a hugely successful offensive game, it gave the team the opportunity to experiment with the lineup.
Dick Monfort, the Rockies owner talks about the team’s spending. In the past, it has seemed like they were unwilling to spend much, but with the $106 million bullpen and now Charlie Blackmon’s $108 million deal, he’s shown that he’s willing to spend in situations that he feels will undoubtedly benefit the team. And it looks like he might be up to spend some more to keep Nolan Arenado.
Jeff Hoffman suffered a shoulder injury, sidelining him for much of spring training. He had a good bullpen session on Saturday, and will now begin some minor-league pitching to get him ready and healthy for major league play.
Pat Valaika had a wonderful year in 2017. Whenever the Rockies found themselves in need, he was the one to step up and fill the void. His pinch hitting was among the best in the league, and his defensive ability sealed the deal. He has incredible versatility, able to play any infield position, and even some outfield play when needed. The Rockies are hoping to get a little more out of him this season, which Valaika is ready for. He’s able to get a little more notice of where he’ll be playing, allowing him to prepare and step up even more. Valaika worked hard during the offseason, keeping up his defensive skill and also working on his swing to provide the Rockies with some good offense. He feels that there is a good sense of teamwork among the Rockies, acknowledging that he’s just one guy and it’s up to everybody to contribute. Lucky for us, Valaika has the talent and versatility to help bolster the team.
The Rockies lost their series against the Braves 2-1, and their offense was seriously held in check, with only six runs in the three games. The Rockies really seemed to miss both Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon in Sunday’s game, which they lost 4-0. Kyle Freeland opened the game pretty well, but faltered in the fifth inning. Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story both got on base in the seventh inning, giving us something of a chance, but Gerardo Parra flied out and Ian Desmond grounded into a double play. This lack of offense has been a concern, and it was evident today with two consistent hitters sitting out. It’s great we were able to get guys on base, but being unable to bring them home will hurt the Rockies if it continues.
Offensive superstar Bryce Harper has had a red-hot start to the 2018 season with the Washington Nationals. His home run on Sunday brings his total to six for the year, which is more than the Dodgers, Rays, Marlins, Tigers, and Royals each have. Given that he’s been walked in 13 of his 43 plate appearances, this is even more impressive.