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Kyle Freeland utilizes veteran Rockies pitchers to achieve success

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Rockies news and links for May 31, 2018

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BSN Rockies Podcast: Kyle Freeland on Colorado’s pitching identity | BSN Denver
Though the Rockies have a very young rotation (Chad Bettis is the elder statesman at the ripe old age of 29), there is one starter with less Major League experience than the rest: 25-year-old Kyle Freeland. Despite his youth, Freeland has the best ERA, WHIP, and opponent’s batting average among Rockies’ rotation members. Freeland also had a stretch of six straight quality starts from April 24 to May 23. There has certainly been no sophomore slump for the Denver native.

Given his inexperience, Freeland has taken it upon himself to pick the brains of his rotation mates, and has been lauded by his teammates and coaches for his willingness to put stock in the information that he is given. Freeland struggled down the stretch in his rookie 2017 campaign, and realized that it would be necessary to increase his secondary offerings to begin ‘18.

In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman speaks to Freeland about the advice he has received from the elder members of the rotation, as well as the impressiveness of his six-game quality start streak. Aside from the chat with Freeland, Creasman is also joined by Tracy Ringolsby and Manny Randhawa to discuss the possibility of Major League Baseball implementing an electronic strike zone.

On the enduring power of Carlos Gonzalez’s positivity and the Rockies’ limited faith in their slugger | The Athletic ($)
Carlos Gonzalez has looked better at the plate as of late, which may help those who are struggling to balance the head with the heart when it comes to CarGo remaining in the lineup. Nick Groke of The Athletic provides an excellent look at Gonzalez’s mentality through the good times and bad over the course of the season.

Colorado Rockies: The bullpen’s newest secret weapon | Rox Pile
Wednesday evening’s results notwithstanding, Harrison Musgrave has done a good job of preventing runs during his first 10 innings in the Major Leagues. Musgrave played a key role in the Rockies’ extra-innings win over the San Francisco Giants on Monday, and could see more opportunities for pitching in high-leverage situations if he continues to keep his ERA down.

Around Baseball

Tuesday’s top prospect performers | MLB.com
Rockies prospect Colton Welker (PuRP No. 5) took home honors as one of Minor League Baseball’s top performers on Tuesday, according to William Boor of MLB Pipeline. Welker collected three hits, including a home run, for the Lancaster JetHawks, the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Rox. MLB.com ranks Welker as the Rockies’ second-best prospect (recently advancing a spot due to Ryan McMahon’s prospect list graduation) and 94th overall.

Could baseball’s next 30-30 player hit 30 homers — and earn 30 saves? | The Athletic ($)
Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has been all the rage in baseball, from his signing in the offseason to his successes in the regular season to begin 2018. Ohtani has done well for himself as both a hitter (154 wRC+) and pitcher (80 FIP-). Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays are developing Brendan McKay, one of their top prospects, as both a pitcher and a hitter.

Charlie Blackmon was a pitcher in college before transitioning to the MVP-caliber outfielder we’ve come to know and love, but what would it be like if we saw a 30-homer, 30-save player?

Red Sox request release waivers for Hanley Ramirez | NBC Sports
The Boston Red Sox released first baseman/designated hitter Hanley Ramirez on Wednesday, allowing him to become a free agent. Of course, Ramirez likely wouldn’t have been released if he was hitting at an MLB-caliber pace, but his appearance on the free agent market is of note to the Rockies, the team with the worst fWAR at first base in all of baseball.

Gorkys Hernandez is suddenly really good | McCovey Chronicles
The Rockies have seen firsthand the breakout of Giants center fielder Gorkys Hernandez. A career .234/.303/.330 hitter has broken out to the tune of a .310/.341/.509 slash entering Wednesday’s action. Brady Klopfer of McCovey Chronicles admits that this level of play is unsustainable for Hernandez. Let’s just hope his regression comes against the Rockies.

21 former All-Stars headline 2018 MLB Draft club reps | MLB.com
Brian Fuentes and Jesse Stender will represent the Rockies during the 2018 MLB Draft, which begins at 5 PM MT on Monday, June 4th. Juan Pierre will be there as well, but as a Miami Marlins representative. The Detroit Tigers have the first pick of the draft thanks to their MLB-worst 64-98 finish to 2017.