In 2018, we have seen an absolutely phenomenal Adam Ottavino. He’s striking out 41% of the batters he faces, and batters are only hitting .150 against him. However, he has started to lag in his past couple of appearances. He came back pretty strong after his stint on the DL with an oblique injury, but some of his worst playing has come in the last four games he’s played. Prior to last week, he’d only given up ten hits. Since then, though, he’s given up nine. Yes, it’s only been a few games, but it seems that something might be up. And that’s his pitches. He’s been throwing slightly higher, resulting in more advantageous launch angles for hitters. This is not a reason for panic, but maybe a little concern. It could be that he just had an off week, but there is the fear that hitters are starting to figure him out. But let’s hope it’s the former and we’ll see old Otto back soon.
In both the 2018 and the 2008 seasons, the Rockies were coming off a playoff appearance. Hopes were high, but early execution has been low. We might be looking at the hangover effect. Things are slightly different between these two teams, though. In 2007, the Rockies’ playoff appearance came pretty late, giving them plenty of time to prepare. However, in 2017, our season ended just three days into the postseason. The offensive statistics are relatively similar between the two seasons, which is to say neither are very impressive. Pitching was also a problem for both. Overall, the 2018 Rockies are doing better than the 2008 Rockies. Our record is a little better and we’re not too far behind the division leaders. There’s a lot of pressure on teams after playoff appearances, and we’ll see if the 2018 team can find their way back.
Pat Valaika arrived on the major league baseball scene and dominated as a pinch hitter. He led the league in 2017 with 16 RBIs pinch-hitting. This year has been a bit of a different story. He started the season on the roster, but, like the rest of the Rockies, struggled offensively. He’s been sent down to Albuquerque a couple times, but Bud Black clearly has shown some faith in him. Valaika has still seen playing time despite not being quite the player he was in 2017. He appreciates the time he’s had with the Isotopes, which has given him the chance to get some good at-bats and work on returning to his utility role with the Rockies. He’s got the goods, and we’re sure to see some good Valaika work soon.
Paul Jacobs was a Denver attorney who played a key role in bringing the franchise to Colorado in 1991. He was instrumental in putting together the group that became the team owners. Jacobs passed away on Monday, and he will certainly be missed.