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Rockies rookie Harrison Musgrave cherishing a Major League role

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Rockies news and links for May 12, 2018

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Colorado Rockies exclusive interview: rookie Harrison Musgrave relishes his role | Rox Pile
Rockies rookie pitcher Harrison Musgrave received his first MLB promotion on April 23, and made his debut against the San Diego Padres that very day. Since then, Musgrave has made two additional appearances. Four innings of work is hardly an apt sample from which to analyze, but the results have been solid. Musgrave has allowed one strikeout against two walks and one hit.

After being utilized as a starter throughout his minor league career, Musgrave is cast as a reliever for the Major League club. To begin the 2018 with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, Musgrave delivered 10 2/3 innings of 3.38 ERA pitching. Throughout his entire career in the minors, Musgrave has produced mixed results as a starter. In an interview with Rox Pile, Musgrave noted that he’s pleased to be a member of the MLB team, whether it be as a starter or as a reliever. Of course, there is an adjustment that needs to take place for a pitcher tasked with a transition to the bullpen. Part of the reason for Musgrave’s lack of appearances is that the starting pitching has been providing excellent results as of late. Musgrave has not been utilized in high-leverage situations at the back end of the bullpen, but as Musgrave says, “It helps that I can get loose relatively quickly,” which allows the Rox reliever to adapt to whenever he is asked to enter a game.

Colorado Rockies: Pitching shining through offensive strife | Rox Pile
The pitching has been a big part of the Rockies’ success as the calendar has turned from April to May. As the offense has struggled, Rox Pile’s Ryan Ladika focuses on the successes of the pitching, from the pleasant surprise (Chad Bettis), to the bullpen cornerstone (Adam Ottavino), to the Rockies ace (Jon Gray?).

Marquez’s Coors struggles continue in defeat | Rockies.com
After a stretch of nine quality starts, a 5-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday featured the second straight game without a quality start for a Rockies’ starting pitcher. German Marquez only lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing all five runs on 12 hits. Marquez is struggling mightily to pitch in Coors Field in 2018, with an ERA over 10.00.

BSN Rockies Podcast: How Colorado’s depth may help them get on track | BSN Rockies
In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman and Patrick Lyons discuss the enviable amount of depth that remains for the Rockies despite their sluggish start to the season with the bats. The recently-demoted Mike Tauchman (PuRP No. 22), Ryan McMahon (PuRP No. 2), and Antonio Senzatela are all looking solid at Triple-A, and outfielder Raimel Tapia is as well. Plus, Jordan Patterson (PuRP No. 14) is fresh off a placement on MLB Pipeline’s Team of the Week.

What are the Rockies going to do about Ian Desmond, their slumping highest-paid player? | The Athletic ($)
Ian Desmond has looked a bit more competent at the plate to begin the series with the Brewers. Perhaps the boos rained upon Desmond by the Coors Field faithful during Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels struck a chord, but Desmond’s teammates will tell you that his strife at the dish is not for a lack of work ethic. In an article for The Athletic, Nick Groke features quotes from Nolan Arenado, who says, “If people saw…the effort [Desmond] puts in, I don’t think they would be…booing him.”

Groke: Did Carlos Gonzalez hit the hardest out in baseball this year? Are the Rockies this bad at the plate? | The Athletic ($)
In the Rockies’ recent series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Carlos Gonzalez hit a groundout to second base that Statcast recorded at a 118.3 mph exit velocity. However, when looking at video, the batted ball seemed to be a very routine groundout, and Statcast headquarters stated that the measurement may have been a mistake. Could it be that the Rockies’ offense is experiencing bad luck on hard hit balls as opposed to simply being bad? Not according to wRC+, where the Rox rank 29th in baseball.

Rockies Insider: Colorado is platooning the corner outfield spots, meaning a diminished role for Carlos Gonzalez | The Denver Post ($)
Kyle Newman of The Denver Post expects a diminishing role for Gonzalez as Rockies Manager Bud Black juggles the outfield combination of CarGo, Charlie Blackmon, Gerardo Parra, David Dahl, and Noel Cuevas. Despite the veteran status of Gonzalez, it is becoming clearer that Dahl is the better hitter at this stage of both respective careers.

Rockies farm update: Jeff Hoffman progressing in Triple-A, Brendan Rodgers on a tear in Double-A | The Denver Post ($)
The early returns on Jeff Hoffman in Triple-A have not been great, and one could say the game about Brendan Rodgers’ start for the Double-A Hartford YardGoats, though the latter’s performance has improved dramatically as of late. Regardless, Rockies farm director Zach Wilson has nothing but confidence in both, citing the “tendency for baseball stats to deceive in small sample sizes,” writes Newman.