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Rockies offense trying to score runs in ways other than the long ball

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Rockies news and links for May 5, 2018

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Colorado Rockies are finally finding their offensive power, but will that be enough? | Mile High Sports
The Rockies continue to lead the National League in home runs, but that’s about all that has been going right for the team offensively. The team’s overall on-base percentage of .303 bests only the San Diego Padres and the Miami Marlins in the NL, two teams whose names are not synonymous with offensive juggernauts. This is no fault of Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, or the currently-injured DJ LeMahieu, who have all been among the best offensive players at their positions in all of baseball to begin 2018. Trevor Story and the brief contributions of David Dahl have both been around to slightly better than league average.

Some very meek on-base percentages are exemplified by other Rockies hitters. Carlos Gonzalez at .256 and Ian Desmond at .231 stand out. Gerardo Parra’s OBP has jumped to .313 thanks to an 8% walk rate that would be his highest since 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but a lack of power for Parra has resulted in only a 65 wRC+. Chris Iannetta is walking over 11% of the time, but the overall slash line of .218/.307/.372 leaves much to be desired. All in all, there is an obvious lack of production at three positions— catcher, first base, and the corner outfield.

Despite Charlie Blackmon’s proven ability as a fearsome leadoff man, Bud Black will shake up Rockies’ lineup | The Athletic ($)
To inject life into the offense, Rockies manager Bud Black has experimented with various lineups throughout the season. Although Blackmon has thrived as a leadoff hitter, LeMahieu is expected to take over that role when he returns from the disabled list. This will result in a formidable 2-3 combination of Blackmon and Arenado.

Colorado Rockies: Takeaways from the series with the Cubs | Rox Pile
Rox Pile’s Aaron Hurt provides takeaways from the Rockies’ winning series in Chicago against the Cubs. The pitching was excellent, and the offense broke out for 11 runs in the series finale on Wednesday. Nolan Arenado hit two majestic home runs in the final game, one to straight-away center field and one on to Waveland Avenue.

Rockies getting consistent quality starts from the rotation | Mile High Sports
The starting rotation for the Rockies has been impressive to say the least. In terms of fWAR, the staff ranks 13th, and is 14th in Fielding Independent Pitching. While these may not be elite, per se, seeing a Rockies rotation in the top half of the league is not something we’re often accustomed to seeing. Impressively, Rockies starters has the 12th best HR/9 rate in the game (1.1/9).

Senzatela optioned, will get work as starter | Rockies.com
With reliever Chris Rusin returning from the DL, Antonio Senzatela was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. With the Isotopes, Senzatela will be stretched out as a starter. Black says that using Senzatela as a reliever in MLB may become necessary again, but that the club “want[s] to get him back to probably his natural role.”

These are the NL West’s best pitches | MLB.com
MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell highlights the best pitches for each team in the National League West. It may come as no surprise to you that Adam Ottavino’s slider makes the list for the Rockies. First-pitch sliders from Ottavino have been strikes 65 percent of the time in 2018, a significant improvement from Otto’s control crises from a year ago.

This day in Colorado Rockies history: a franchise high of 24 hits in a game | Rox Pile
If you’re longing for some offense, check out this game from 2000, in which the Rockies scored 16 runs on 24 hits against the Montreal Expos at Coors Field. The combination of Tom Goodwin, Larry Walker, Todd Helton, and Jeff Cirillo went 14-for-16 on the day. It wasn’t just this game that was impressive. On this six-game homestand in 2000, the Rockies scored 72 runs.

Better late than never? Most of the late free-agent signees hope so after struggling through April | The Athletic ($)
In 7 1/3 innings, Greg Holland has allowed 8 walks, 7 strikeouts, and one home run for the St. Louis Cardinals. Since signing with the Redbirds on the fourth day of the regular season, Rockies fans have been counting their blessings that the organization was able to reel in Wade Davis instead. Holland is not alone among late free agent signees to struggle to begin 2018. Cliff Corcoran of The Athletic provides the details.