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The Rockies have not had a “super bullpen”

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Rockies news and links for June 5, 2018

The Colorado Rockies do not have a super bullpen | Rox Pile
The primary goal of the offseason for the Colorado Rockies was quite evident: building a “super bullpen.” A record-setting 3-year, $52 million deal for closer Wade Davis and 3-year, $27 million contracts for both Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee had the Rockies set up to feature one of the best bullpens in the National League. Unfortunately, the expectations have not lined up with reality to begin 2018. Though the sample size is relatively small for all the Rox relievers, the numbers are not pleasant to look at. Shaw and Chris Rusin (arguably the team’s best reliever in 2017) have allowed over two home runs per nine innings. Mike Dunn has walked more batters than he has struck out, and walks have also been a problem for Rusin and even Davis. McGee, Dunn, Rusin, Shaw, and Brooks Pounders all have ERA’s north of 5.00.

Rockies relievers were solid in the months of March and April. May has been different. And with Adam Ottavino on the shelf, the problems of the bullpen were extremely evident in each loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in their three-game series sweep of the Rockies at Coors Field over the weekend. Ottavino was on pace to have one of the best seasons for a reliever in Rockies’ history before landing on the Disabled List with a left oblique strain on May 28. Get well soon, Otto.

Colorado Rockies injury updates: Adam Ottavino and Jake McGee | Rox Pile
McGee had been kept out of action since May 30th before pitching a perfect inning with a strikeout on Sunday. McGee had been out with shin contusion but showed promising velocity in his return to the hill. Manager Bud Black also has positive news on the injury front for Ottavino, who could “conceivably” throw off a mound in Cincinnati during the team’s upcoming road trip.

Colorado Rockies: Positives and negatives from a nightmare homestand | Rox Pile
Rox Pile’s Aaron Hurt details the positives and negatives of the Rockies’ recent homestand. The bullpen struggles have already been discussed, but the news has been quite good from an offensive standpoint. A Rockies’ offense that has ranked at or near the bottom of the league in wRC+ found its groove, scoring 6.4 runs per game in the latest nine-game stretch at Coors Field.

BSN Rockies Podcast: What DJ LeMahieu means to this team | BSN Denver
In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman discusses the value of All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu for the Rockies. LeMahieu will be a free agent after the conclusion of the 2018 campaign, and has expressed himself that he doesn’t expect there to be any extension talks. With young infield options Ryan McMahon, and eventually Brendan Rodgers and Garrett Hampson rising through the ranks, it was starting to look as though LeMahieu might become expendable after the 2018 season ended. However, LeMahieu has continued to prove his worth offensively and defensively for the Rox, and showed flashes of a new-found power prior to his Disabled List stint that recently ended on Friday.

First things first | Mile High Sports
Ian Desmond has been hitting better as of late. Since May 18, Desmond has hit .264/.365/.528, good for a 127 wRC+. Since May 27, it’s been a .333/.452/.625 triple slash, resulting in a 174 wRC+. Either stretch has been considerably better than Desmond’s production over the rest of his Rockies’ tenure. While Desmond is offering encouraging signs at the dish, it’s still evident that first base has been an offensive black hole for the Rockies this season, whether it be Desmond or McMahon getting the starts. Doug Ottewill of Mile High Sports argues that a trade for a first baseman may be in order.

Sunday’s top prospect performers | MLB.com
MLB Pipeline’s Mike Rosenbaum highlighted 22-year-old first baseman Chad Spanberger among Sunday’s top prospect performers. Spanberger is carving an excellent year for himself with the Asheville Tourists, the Class A affiliate of the Rockies. Spanberger hit two home runs on Sunday after hitting two on Saturday, giving him a total of 14 for the year. PuRP No. 29 Spanberger leads the Southern Atlantic League with a .986 OPS.

Rockies select Ryan Rolison with 22nd pick | Purple Row
In case you missed it, Monday was the first day of the Major League Baseball draft. With their first pick (22nd overall), the Rockies selected left-handed pitcher Ryan Rolison out of the University of Mississippi. The Rockies have had success with drafting lefties in the first round of the draft, having selected Tyler Anderson in 2011 and Kyle Freeland in 2014.

Former Silver Creek ace Cole Winn selected in first round of MLB Draft by Rangers with 15th overall pick | The Denver Post ($)
Longmont, Colorado native Cole Winn was selected by the Texas Rangers as the 15th overall pick. Winn moved from Colorado to California for his senior year of high school to increase his exposure to scouts. Winn posted an eye-popping 0.20 ERA, with 120 strikeouts in 70 innings for Orange Lutheran in 2018.