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Rockies place DJ LeMahieu on the 10-Day Disabled List with thumb injury

Rockies news and links for May 15, 2018

LeMahieu headed to DL with thumb injury |
The Colorado Rockies have placed second baseman DJ LeMahieu on the 10-day Disabled List with a sprained left thumb. After seven seasons in the major leagues without a DL stint, this will be the second trip this year for LeMahieu. Previously, LeMahieu suffered a right hamstring strain. Evidently, the thumb sprain occurred during an at-bat in Sunday’s game, according to Nick Groke of The Athletic. Rockies Manager Bud Black said the injury is nothing that the team is too concerned about. “We’re trying to be optimistic on this one, but we will have to wait and see.”

LeMahieu has been a productive hitter in a very top-heavy Rockies lineup, slashing .279/.350/.457 through 32 games. DJ was also producing a career-high .178 Isolated Power percentage (slugging percentage minus batting average), with a surprising 5 home runs in his first 143 plate appearances, after hitting 8 long balls in all of 2017.

Taking LeMahieu’s place on the active roster will be utility player Pat Valaika, who is certainly hoping for more success in his second go-around in the majors in 2018. After cracking the Opening Day roster, Valaika only hit .103/.175/.155 in 64 plate appearances, receiving plentiful playing time versus left-handed pitching. After being sent down to Triple-A Albuquerque, Valaika has hit .176/.211/.176 through 19 plate appearances, which is… better, I guess.

Colorado Rockies prospects: Talking with Brendan Rodgers, more | Rox Pile
The staff at Rox Pile sat down for interviews with a few members of the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, during their recent series against the Senators in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The entire article is well worth a full read for highlights from manager Warren Schaeffer and relief pitcher Mitch Horacek, a Littleton, Colorado native who just recently joined the Rockies organization. Horacek was originally drafted by the Rockies in the 46th round in 2010, but elected to attend college. He eventually hooked on with the Baltimore Orioles, and pitched in their system from 2013 to 2017 before being traded to the Rox.

The main highlight from the article is an interview with top Rockies prospect Brendan Rodgers. After a slow start to the season, Rodgers has rebounded to hit .289/.331/.516 as of Monday. There’s nothing too intriguing about the peripherals, as Rodgers is striking out and walking within his career norms. Rodgers spoke about his work to develop versatility and become accustomed to all three positions on the left side of the infield, as well as how he maintained a consistent approach despite his struggles during the first week of 2018. Rodgers also shared the insight he gained during Spring Training, when he could spend time with and learn from big leaguers LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, and Trevor Story.

Sunday’s top prospect performers |
MLB Pipeline gives Rodgers (PuRP No. 1) a highlight as one of the best performers in the Minor Leagues from Sunday. Rodgers went 2-for-4 for the Yard Goats, with his seventh home run of the season. Sam Hilliard (PuRP No. 17) also receives a mention for his three hits and three stolen bases in what wound up being a 9-4 win for Hartford.

MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week |
Earning a spot on the MLB Pipeline Team of the Week was outfielder Vince Fernandez (PuRP No. 28), who had quite the week for the Lancaster JetHawks, the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Rockies. It was a four-game stretch with eight hits and 10 runs batted in for Fernandez. Overall, the 22-year-old is slashing .312/.433/.523 to begin the season, as of Monday.

Who are these Rockies? It seems they’re not even sure yet | Mile High Sports
From the highlights on the farm to the struggles of the Major League offense, the Rockies currently rank 29th in MLB in wRC+. While I have my personal doubts about wRC+ due to its lack of adjustments for Rockies’ road offense, the Rox are undoubtedly a bottom-half offensive team in baseball. Rich Kurtzman of Mile High Sports opines that the Rockies are struggling to come to terms with their own identity.

Colorado Rockies: The 2018 season vs the 2017 season by the numbers | Rox Pile
Rox Pile’s Aaron Hurt compares the Rockies’ first quarter of baseball in 2018 to what transpired a year ago. While the runs allowed have been virtually the same, the Rox have scored 34 fewer runs to begin the new campaign. Collectively, the team has won four less games through the first 41 contests of the year compared to a season ago.

Colorado Rockies: Ian Desmond is on pace to have the worst season ever | Rox Pile
Unfortunately, the above article is not simply clickbait— Jake Shapiro of Rox Pile breaks down how Ian Desmond’s 2018 season is on pace to tie for the worst single season in baseball history. In his age 27 season, St. Louis Browns shortstop Jim Levey was somehow allowed to receive 567 plate appearances, over which he batted .195/.237/.240. He ended up with an almost unbelievable -4.0 fWAR, the worst in baseball history and the same number that Desmond is on pace for.

BSN Rockies Podcast: The NL West is there for the taking | BSN Rockies
In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman recaps the recent homestand for the Rockies, which can only be summed up as “disappointing.” The end of the homestand featured a masterful performance by Milwaukee Brewers righty Freddy Peralta, who was making his Major League debut. After his debut (5 2/3 innings), Peralta is sporting 20.65 strikeouts per nine innings.