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Carlos González still provides the Rockies with valuable intangibles

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Rockies news and links for May 10, 2018

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Carlos González: The heart of the Rockies | La Vida Baseball
It took until March when Spring Training games were already underway for Carlos González to re-sign with the Colorado Rockies. The 2017-2018 free agent class was an odd one, to say the least, and CarGo was certainly not alone among the players forced to lower their expectations for length and financial compensation in their new contracts.

For his part, teammate Nolan Arenado made no secret of his belief that González was an integral part of the Rockies. Before CarGo signed his one-year, $8 million contract to return for the 2018 season, Arenado said it would be “the greatest thing ever” if General Manager Jeff Bridich were able to bring González back into the fold. It’s not hard to see why— since his coming-out party in his first season with the Rox in 2009 through 2016, CarGo has seen many a Rockies team, and gained valuable experience doing so. Most of the teams CarGo was a part of were quite honestly not very good, but it was never the fault of his own contributions. Much like shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who along with CarGo was considered a keystone in the organization for nearly a decade, injuries ran rampant. And there were constantly the thoughts among the fanbase of “What if CarGo and Tulo could get healthy at the same time?”

While Tulowitzki was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays ahead of the 2015 trade deadline, CarGo has remained— even when it looked almost certain that he would not return after his journey to free agency during this past offseason. 2017 was a struggle for González, with a .423 slugging percentage that represented the worst single-season mark in his tenure with the Rockies. And to begin 2018, the overall slash of .213/.253/.375 represents yet another significant step in the wrong direction for CarGo. There’s no doubt that González is a vital clubhouse presence for the Rockies, but there can be no denying the vital need for better performances from a struggling Rockies offense. Purple Row’s Eric Garcia McKinley, writing for La Vida Baseball, provides an excellent article on just what CarGo means to the Colorado Rockies, and the competition that fans and players must face between the head and the heart.

DJ LeMahieu promises he’s not trying to hit homers. So how does he keep hitting them? | The Athletic ($)
DJ LeMahieu has found himself hitting for power in 2018, with an Isolated Power Percentage (slugging percentage minus batting average) of .207, which is by far the highest of his career. LeMahieu is adamant that he is not making a conscious effort to hit more home runs, but work to keep the barrel of his bat in the zone longer is only adding power to DJ’s already elite contact skills. In fact, LeMahieu is currently sporting the lowest strikeout rate of his career. He certainly isn’t sacrificing any contact in favor of the long ball.

Rockies shortstop Trevor Story expects recent road success to translate at home | Mile High Sports
Trevor Story recently spoke with Mile High Sports about the struggles of the Rockies offense and the string of nine quality starts recently delivered by the starting rotation. Story acknowledges the struggles of the offense, and commends the pitching staff for keeping the team in games where the bats are unable to get it going. The Rockies’ talented shortstop believes the offense will be able to turn things around soon, though.

BSN Rockies Podcast: Ringolsby on the greatness of Albert Pujols and Nolan Arenado | BSN Rockies
In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman and Tracy Ringolsby compare the 2018 Rockies to historically great players and teams of the past. They compare Arenado to Los Angeles Angels first baseman/designated hitter Albert Pujols, who will be fondly remembered for his string of greatness to begin his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, even if he may be a shell of his former self now. Ringolsby also draws parallels between the current Rockies pitching staff and the Atlanta Braves of the 1990s — the team with by far the highest pitching fWAR of any team in the decade.

Colorado Rockies: Raimel Tapia still being overlooked | Rox Pile
As of Wednesday, Raimel Tapia is batting .295/.355/.519 for the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Tapia is certainly not hurting his own chances at making it back to the MLB roster, but the glut of outfielders on the active roster makes it difficult to envision him getting called up any time soon. González, Charlie Blackmon, Gerardo Parra, David Dahl, and Noel Cuevas are all on the 25-man roster, and Ian Desmond has also been used in the outfield when he is not starting at first base. The most pronounced struggles are unfortunately coming from the veterans who have no minor league options, making the situation even more bleak for Tapia.

Cory Sullivan discusses the mindset of pitching at Coors Field | Mile High Sports
Cory Sullivan, former Rockies outfielder and current analyst for AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, spoke to Mile High Sports about the mindset for pitching at Coors Field. As many others have stated previously, the current pitching staff seems to have bought in to the belief that Coors Field is not to be feared, but to be conquered.

Jenny Cavnar on Her Historic Play-by-Play Call: ‘So Exciting, so Nerve-Wracking’ | Bleacher Report
Jenny Cavnar of AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain spoke to Joon Lee of Bleacher Report about her experience as among the first women to deliver a play-by-play broadcast for a MLB team. Cavnar spoke about the support of colleagues Sullivan, Ryan Spilborghs, and producer Alison Vigil, while also cherishing the moment in which Billie Jean King congratulated her on her achievement.

Pride Night returns to Colorado Rockies game June 1 | Outsports
For the second year in a row, the Rockies will play host to an LGBT Pride Night, with proceeds benefiting One Colorado. While Pride Night is not yet an official event on the team’s calendar, Outsports and One Colorado were very successful in collecting funds in 2017, with $3,500 raised in a joint effort.