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The 2018 Rockies are full of second half potential

Rockies news and links for July 14, 2018

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Up-and-down first half disappointments, suggests potential for Rockies second half | Mile High Sports
The first half of 2018 has been marked by ups-and-downs in the standings and inconsistent performances for the Rockies. The Mile High Sports radio team all shared their thoughts on how the season has played out so far. The consensus was that there is a lot of potential for the second half of the season, even if there was disappointment to be had in the first half.

Bud Black’s prediction is coming true after the Rockies finally sneak a series from the Diamondbacks | The Athletic ($)
Manager Bud Black stated back in April his belief that the National League West race would be decided in September. With the Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and San Francisco Giants all within just a handful of games of each other in the battle for the division, Black’s prognostication looks quite plausible.

BSN Rockies Podcast: Colorado with a chance to enter break atop the NL West | BSN Denver
In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman recaps the Rockies’ huge recent series win over the D-Backs, and looks ahead to a possible run for the team in the season’s second half.

Rosenthal: The A’s should be buyers at the deadline; inside the Rockies’ turnaround; Mike Scioscia’s uncertain future; more notes | The Athletic ($)
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic looks at what’s happening around the game of baseball, and makes sure to mention the Rockies’ recent string of success. Rosenthal mentions an “informal pitching summit” that was held from June 21 to July 4 with Black, pitching coach Steve Foster, bullpen coach Darren Holmes, director of pitching operations Mark Wiley, and minor-league pitching coordinator Darryl Scott. The reason? Rockies starters giving up first inning runs had become a significant issue. Since June 21, Rockies starters have pitched to a 2.82 ERA entering Friday’s games, a vast improvement over the 6.53 ERA from June 1-20, the worst mark in baseball over that span.

Among a slew of other notes, Rosenthal also notes that Major League Baseball is open to the idea of pushing back player voting for the All-Star Game. Players apparently are given paper ballots to fill out on June 15, which is “waaay too early,” as Justin Verlander tweets.

Jon Gray set to be recalled from Triple-A and will start Saturday; Antonio Senzatela, who was scheduled to start tonight, headed to DL | The Denver Post ($)
Antonio Senzatela is dealing with an infection of a blister and has been placed on the 10-Day Disabled List. While Black says Senzatela is expected to be a big part of the Rockies’ rotation in the second half, Jon Gray will be recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to make tonight’s start as the Rox look to secure a series win over the Seattle Mariners.

Stark: The Useless Info Dept., Who’s Pitching Now Edition | The Athletic ($)
In his always fun “Useless Info” column, Jayson Stark of The Athletic focuses on position players pitching, a phenomenon that the Rockies were given full exposure to last week. On Wednesday, the Rockies were staked to 17-run lead over the D-Backs after four innings of play, which allowed Daniel Descalso and Alex Avila to accrue 4 2/3 innings of 3-run ball. Stark details how these performances rank historically and looks at the outbreak of position players pitching in 2018, which is two shy of the all-time record— and we haven’t even reached the All-Star break. Plus, Mark Reynolds’ weekend series against the Miami Marlins was quite awesome— a walk-off home run on Friday, a 10-RBI game on Saturday, and a pitching performance that included getting the final out of the game on Sunday.

Colorado Rockies trade talk: Carlos Gonzalez gone before the deadline? | Rox Pile
July 19 is fast approaching— the date when Carlos Gonzalez will become a “10-and-5” player (10 years of big league service time, 5 with the same team). On this date, CarGo will be allowed to veto any trade the Rockies may elect to include him in. Colin Gaiser of Rox Pile wonders if the Houston Astros could prove to be a suitable trade partner.

Colorado Rockies rumors: Reliever Jared Hughes to Denver? | Rox Pile
If the Rockies are looking to bolster their bullpen at the trade deadline, Rox Pile’s Noah Yingling breaks down a hypothetical trade proposed by MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Jared Hughes of the Cincinnati Reds is having a career year, with a 1.50 ERA in 48 innings. Hughes has been a drastic outperformer of his peripherals in recent years (largely because he does not rack up many strikeouts), having been worth a -0.3 fWAR in 64 1/3 innings in 2014 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, despite a sparkling 1.96 ERA. Hughes’ ERA is again outperforming his 3.03 FIP in 2018, but such a number is still quite palatable, especially for a Rockies bullpen struggling to find quality hurlers.