Why Nolan Arenado isn’t the Sandblaster for Players’ Weekend | Rox Pile
Earlier this week, all 30 of Major League Baseball’s teams unveiled their players’ jersey nicknames for Players’ Weekend. Some of the most unique for the Colorado Rockies are “Lettuce” for Chad Bettis, “오승환” for Seunghwan Oh (that’s Oh’s name in Korean), “El Yolo” for Gerardo Parra, and “Mr. Duck” for the University of Oregon product Tyler Anderson.
For a couple players, however, some think there may have been a missed opportunity.
Nolan Arenado will be “Nado.” Arenado became enshrined as “The Sandblaster” after one of his best career games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017, but he told Jake Shapiro of Rox Pile that the nickname never really crossed his mind.
Kyle Freeland will be “Two One,” so there will be no reference to being a “Kyle Freeland Guy.” Understandably, Freeland was wary of putting “I’m a Me Guy” on his jersey, because those who are unaware of the context might think he’s not a team player.
Here are the best Players’ Weekend nicknames from each team | Cut4
The @CedpedesBBQ duo highlighted their favorite player nicknames for Cut4. Bettis’ “Lettuce” was their favorite from the Rockies.
Some of my favorites: Brad Boxberger of the D-Backs is going with box and burger emojis. Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners is going back to “Seager” after a stint as “Corey’s Brother” last year. As Corey Seager is out for the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the one Seager remains. And “Pico De Gallo” for Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers is a wonderful play on words.
‘I need to go a lot further, for everybody’: Charlie Blackmon’s obligation to the Rockies is growing | The Athletic ($)
Charlie Blackmon picked up his 1,000th career hit in Tuesday’s game, which wound up being a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. But Blackmon doesn’t want to stop there. He told Nick Groke of The Athletic that he “need[s] to go a lot further” for the Rockies. Blackmon will be a member of the Rockies through age 37 if he stays with the organization for the remainder of his contract.
With question marks surrounding the respective futures of Arenado and DJ LeMahieu in purple, Blackmon looks to be a mainstay for the Rox, and he will be tasked with leading younger players like David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, and Brendan Rodgers up through the ranks. Manager Bud Black is very impressed with the mentorship that Blackmon has already displayed, as evidenced by a heart-to-heart conversation he had with starting pitcher Jon Gray after he took the loss in 2017’s National League Wild Card Game.
Rox counting on veteran ‘pen down the stretch | Rockies.com
It is an unexpected disappointment (to say the least) that Chris Rusin, Jake McGee, and Bryan Shaw are all supporting ERA’s over 6.50 for the Rockies’ bullpen. The triumvirate and closer Wade Davis (who has six blown saves) were expected to be veteran anchors for the relief corps. Adam Ottavino, Scott Oberg, and trade deadline acquisition Seunghwan Oh have helped to provide some much-needed relief, but the relievers must find a way to provide cumulative results for the Rox to have success on the path to a hopeful postseason.
Thomas Harding of MLB.com provides quotes from Shaw and Rusin about how they plan to turn things around, has information on reliever Mike Dunn’s injury rehab, and covers Arenado’s call for the Rockies to play with “more energy [and] enthusiasm.”
Struggling Davis finds ‘easy fixes’ on video | Rockies.com
Perhaps a silver lining is that Davis believes he has found “easy fixes” to some of his own issues. After looking at video of Thursday’s game, in which he gave up two home runs, Davis said he will be able to cure what ails him— “as long as I don’t stress about it.”
Harding provides this story, as well as notes on an illness for Ottavino, and Antonio Senzatela’s injury progress. Black expressed confidence in the abilities of both Senzatela and Bettis to help the team in either the rotation or out of the bullpen.
Colorado Rockies: The bullpen isn’t the only issue | Rox Pile
While the ‘pen is deservedly mentioned as a reason for the Rockies’ recent losing ways, Rox Pile’s Noah Yingling doesn’t want us to forget about the team’s lack of offense either. After a 60-game stretch (starting on May 11) where the team was averaging 5.6 runs per game, the next 18 games have seen the Rockies score only 3.4 runs per game on average. While other contending teams in the National League upgraded their offenses (the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies all made notable moves), the Rockies’ signing of Matt Holliday to a minor league deal was the closest that General Manager Jeff Bridich came to bolstering his team’s offense.
NOTE: Holliday did hit his first home run of the season for the Albuquerque Isotopes on Friday night, so perhaps he will be a savior for the team after all.
Breaking down the incredibly rare feat by German Márquez — The Immaculate Inning | The Athletic ($)
Nick Groke breaks down German Marquez’s immaculate performance from Wednesday- the 92nd immaculate inning in baseball history (considerably rarer than a no-hitter). Marquez, who is only in his second full season as a Major League starter, got an early start on a journey towards being the 6th player in history to throw two immaculate innings in his career. When Groke spoke to both Marquez and his catcher Tony Wolters, the two were blissfully unaware that the feat had been accomplished.
Defense wins championships: Our players to watch who will make a defensive difference for contenders | The Athletic ($)
Mark Simon of Sports Info Solutions focuses on players to watch as making a “defensive difference” for contending teams. For the Rockies, Trevor Story gets a shoutout over the “easy” Gold Glove picks of Arenado and LeMahieu.