2018 will mark Nolan Arenado’s fourth straight All-Star Game appearance in a row, second as a starter. No one is surprised: the third-baseman consistently puts together a season of RBIs, home runs, and highlight reel-worthy defensive plays. Arenado appreciates the chance to play with other star players, which gives him the opportunity to build some camaraderie and learn from whatever they have to teach him. This game gives all kinds of players the chance to play the game they love in a different context. There’s not the same pressures to win or be super competitive; those who would normally be opponents get to come together and have a good time. It’s a nice break in the season, and when you’ve got some ground to make up, like the Rockies do, it’s the fun before crunch time.
There was a lot riding on Ian Desmond when he signed with the Rockies. The team was giving him a lot of money to come in, be a veteran presence, and lead the Rockies on both offense and defense. However, he has not quite shown us that type of play. He is an all too replaceable player, meaning the team could get a similar performance from some player they pay the league minimum. This isn’t the worst thing; he’s playing much better than he was. However, when you’re promised something more, replacement level just doesn’t cut it. Who knows why Desmond hasn’t been working out for the Rockies, but he’s really just a bit too lackluster.
Bryan Shaw was a huge investment for the Rockies, but so far, things have not been paying off. The initial plan for Shaw might need some tweaking, and Bud Black reminds us that certain decisions come down to the wire and depend on the way the game is going. Shaw is working on getting ready to come back from the DL, but he claims that many of his problems were stemming from that calf strain. He pitched in a couple games for Albuquerque, and there was even improvement from the first to the second appearance. We can only hope this is the case, and that a healthy Shaw will be dominant for the Rockies.
Gerardo Parra brings to the Rockies more than just a strong hitter and fantastic outfielder: he brings the fun and the camaraderie. His consistent playing and positive attitude contributes to the Rockies in a big way. He doesn’t draw a lot of attention to himself, but he is having an outstanding season. He plays smart baseball and is often responsible for helping the Rockies hang on in various circumstances. Don’t stop doing what you do, Parra.
With three Rockies making the All-Star team, we don’t have much to complain about, but we don’t want to forget about our wonderful pitchers, namely Kyle Freeland. He’s been impressive in the 2018 season, and he’s in the top five in the National League. He didn’t make the cut, though, and Hayden Cane takes a look at why, like the Coors Field effect and the plethora of talented pitchers in the mix. It’s just up to Freeland and the other Rockies pitchers to show them all what they can do.