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Could Rockies’ shortstop Trevor Story enter the NL MVP conversation?

Rockies news and links for July 16, 2018

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Colorado Rockies: How Trevor Story can boost his MVP chances | Rox Pile
Rox Pile’s Aaron Hurt posits that Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story has entered the National League Most Valuable Player conversation. Story currently ranks 11th in the NL in position player fWAR, 10th in stolen bases, 8th in hits, 6th in Weighted On-Base Average, 5th in slugging percentage, home runs, and triples, and 4th in runs batted in and doubles. Aside from stolen bases, hits, and triples, Story leads all NL shortstops in each category.

There doesn’t seem to be a clear favorite for NL MVP at this point, as starting pitcher Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets leads the league in fWAR at 4.4, while Nolan Arenado of the Rockies holds the distinction of highest position player fWAR at 3.9. Story’s mark of 3.0 is right there with the others and a big second half of the season could easily propel the Rockies’ shortstop to greater heights. Defensive metrics have offered mixed reviews on Story’s play at shortstop in 2018, but highlight reel plays from the perspective of the eye test have been in bountiful supply. With a triple slash of .292/.353/.557 entering the break, Story has been on display as a five-tool player, and even won NL Player of the Week honors to close out the final week of the season before All-Star festivities.

How an intense pitching summit saved the Rockies’ season, one pitch at a time | The Athletic ($)
While Manager Bud Black may have not worked out how to solve the issue of blisters wreaking havoc on his starting rotation (Chad Bettis and Antonio Senzatela are both dealing with this issue), the on-field results from the healthy starters have been excellent as of late. In late June, Black called for a pitching summit with all the organization’s primary pitching coaches. Working in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and finally in Denver, Black and the rest of the staff gauged the issues plaguing the rotation (primarily not throwing enough pitches in the strike zone from the get-go) and delivered the information to the starters.

While early returns were positive for Tyler Anderson and German Marquez, and while Kyle Freeland didn’t require many adjustments to continue pitching at a high level, Black did not see what he wanted to from Jon Gray. Gray was subsequently sent to Triple-A Albuquerque to work out his own kinks, and returned to Coors Field on Saturday, pitching 7 1/3 innings for the first time in 2018. After the rotation allowed 7.6 runs per game through the first few weeks of June, everyone knew that something needed to be done. And through the pitching summit, not only were necessary plans for mechanical adjustments recognized, but the confidence of the starters was increased as well.

MLB Network’s Kevin Millar: The Rockies are ‘a good little ball club’ | Mile High Sports
Kevin Millar of MLB Network joined Mile High Sports to discuss the Rockies, a team which he refers to as “a good little ball club.” Millar praised the offseason acquisitions from General Manager Jeff Bridich over the offseason, even if they may not have worked out as had been hoped. Millar recommends that the Rockies focus on bolstering the bullpen even more as the trade deadline approaches, and to also add a starter if possible.