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Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond feels a heavy burden, but won’t give up hope

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Rockies news and links for Sunday, May 20, 2018

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Ian Desmond opens up at the plate — and about the burden of his vexing slump | The Athletic ($)

On Friday night, after going 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, Ian Desmond opened up to the media about the burden of his contract and lack of production during his tumultuous 2018 campaign. Ian knows as well as anyone how poorly he’s hitting, and it’s frustrating for him, too. He’s a professional and undoubtedly a good teammate, but that doesn’t cover up the fact that he’s dragging this poor offense down, and the excuses have to stop.

You really have to admire Desmond’s resolve, though. Through Friday, he was slashing .175/.220/.370 and still had this to say:

I’ve been in this position so many times. Once it gets going, it gets going... I don’t know why, but sometimes I just get in these funks and snap out of them and put them behind me, and that’s what I’m hopeful for here.

Ah yes, even Ian Desmond just knows he’s gonna hit. He even has a big fan in Charlie Blackmon, who was the first to celebrate with Ian in the dugout following his three-run bomb against the Giants on Friday. But despite Chuck’s optimism, Bud Black seems to know Ian needs to be more consistent at the plate to meet expectations — as Rockies fans, all we can do now is hope the lineup card begins to reflect that sentiment more.

Colorado Rockies: Here is the cold, hard truth about Ian Desmond | Rox Pile

With what seems to be endless discourse about what the Rockies should do with Ian Desmond during this all-time slump, what truly is the cold, hard truth? According to Kevin Henry at Rox Pile, Desmond isn’t going anywhere anytime soon — not off the team, and not onto the bench, either. Bud Black has a history of sticking with his veterans despite their performances, and Kevin says we just have to accept it... but do we?

I’m not saying stop rooting for this team, I’m not saying stop going to games (no “If product and experience that bad don’t come!” jokes, please), and I’m not saying let the hate flow through you, but we absolutely don’t have to be silent. Being this vocal on the matter is a sign we care about the success of this team, and being smart about the discourse proves we’re not just spewing vitriol for the sake of stirring the pot.

Yes, Bud Black is a stubborn man, but we can be stubborn fans, too. And who knows, with continued smart discourse some pressure and influence could be created — and maybe a little more respect for the opinions and convictions of the modern-day spectator, too.

Colorado Rockies starter Kyle Freeland is leveling up | Purple Row

After Jordan Freemyer posted this article about the improvement of Kyle Freeland in his sophomore year, Kyle went out and pitched 6.2 innings of one-run ball, giving up only five hits and one walk with five strikeouts against the Giants. I guess we might have to have Jordan start writing more pieces about improving young Rockies pitchers...

Freeland has improved greatly against RHB, lowering their OBP against him from .366 in 2017 to a meager .296 so far in 2018. But overall, as Jordan points out, Kyle’s greatest improvement is his ability to strike out batters. He has already jumped from a 6.17 K/9 last season to 8.17 this year, and his overall K% has risen from 15.6% to 22.4% — and if there’s anything that is sure to keep an opposing team off the base paths and out of the run column, it’s a good ol’ fashioned march-of-shame back to the dugout.

Gray roughed up in just 3 2/3 in loss to Giants | MLB.com

While Kyle Freeland is trending upward, Jon Gray continues to struggle against the baseball gods, and what might look like poor pitching on the surface isn’t always what it seems.

Yesterday, Jon Gray gave up five runs on nine hits and one walk in 3.2 innings of work, but his BABIP was an incredible .563 and he walked away with a FIP of 1.78 on the day. It may be hard to ignore the surface ERA of 5.34, but his season FIP is also only a 3.04, his K/9 is 10.19, and all signs point to better days ahead for Jon Gray. Awoooo.

What’s Your Sign(ature) - Colorado Rockies | Uni Watch

What is the Colorado Rockies’ signature uniform? As Phil Hecken argues here, there is certainly an argument to be made for the black vest that was added to their repertoire in 2005. Remember, this signature look does not mean the team’s best or most aesthetically pleasing look. Rather, it is loosely defined as “a uniform which one might definitively associate with a team, the one which stood out the most over the years.”

Yes, it may be hard to overlook the black vests based on the Rockies’ commitment to wearing them during the memorable Rocktober run in 2007. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it will forever be the uniform that Todd Helton was wearing when he erupted with triumph and joy — Eric Byrnes’s lifeless body laying in the background — after punching their ticket to the World Series.

Personally, I think the classic purple alternate is, or should be, the signature look of the Rockies, but what about you?