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Rockies seeing diminished returns from Charlie Blackmon

Rockies news and links for August 21, 2018

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What happened to Charlie Blackmon? | Beyond the Box Score
After an MVP-caliber 2017 campaign with the Colorado Rockies, Charlie Blackmon has come back down to earth in 2018. Blackmon’s fWAR has dropped by 5.7 wins between 2017 and 2018, the largest drop in all of baseball. Over at Beyond the Box Score, Matt Provenzano explains why this is. In the measurement of wRC+, Blackmon’s 2018 value of 105 is very akin to the 106 wRC+ he posted from 2011-2015. So, perhaps 2017 was a “flash in the pan,” and we’re now simply seeing Blackmon playing at his typical level. But we’re also seeing improved power and plate discipline carry over from 2017. The decline is largely due to declining defensive metrics and a decrease in hard-hit percentage.

‘Talking doesn’t get it done,’ Nolan Arenado said, but the Rockies streaked through a historically difficult stretch | The Athletic ($)
“Talking doesn’t get it done.” For Nolan Arenado, it’s the results that matter, and the results were certainly there for the Rockies on their latest road trip. A two-game series split in Houston against the Astros was followed up by a four-game sweep of the Braves in Atlanta— two teams that are leading their respective divisions. Nick Groke of The Athletic recaps the Rockies’ hot streak and provides quotes from Arenado, DJ LeMahieu, and Manager Bud Black regarding their accomplishments.

‘A lot of confidence’ and some extra juju has the Rockies rolling, this time at Atlanta | The Athletic ($)
Saturday night featured an improbable two-out rally in the 9th inning for the Rockies to pull within even of the Braves. LeMahieu’s home run in the 10th inning would put the Rockies ahead for good. To begin the 9th, late-inning relievers Adam Ottavino and Wade Davis were not warming up as they attempted to “reverse-psychology a rally.” Boy, did that strategy ever work! At The Athletic, Groke shares more from the wild win.

The Rockies’ Lack of Depth Is Costing Them Wins | FanGraphs
According to Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs, what separates good teams from great teams is that “great teams never sit still, never content to accept a weakness.” In this respect, the Rockies are not behaving as a great team would right now. Despite their recent success, the team is still reluctant to utilize their depth options. Ian Desmond and Gerardo Parra continue to start a fair number of games for the club, and their lack of production has truly hurt the team.

Johan Camargo, though “unproven,” was given a chance by the Braves and has capitalized. Chicago Cubs rookie David Bote has been hitting his way into the lineup. Where would the Los Angeles Dodgers be without allowing Max Muncy an opportunity? And the Astros without Tony Kemp and Brock Stassi? Szymborski opines that, “If the Rockies peter out over the next couple of seasons,” it will be due to the front office— not lack of talent from the players.

BSN Rockies Podcast: The role of Colorado’s depth during their historic stretch | BSN Denver
In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman discusses the ways in which the Rockies can manage the playing time of Desmond, Parra, David Dahl, and Ryan McMahon. Creasman makes sure to point out that Parra is having “a contextually very impressive season,” despite a 79 wRC+.

Colorado Rockies: Chad Bettis talks about his new bullpen role | Rox Pile
Chad Bettis has been moved back to the bullpen, a move that did not go well for the Rockies’ pitcher back in 2014. Bettis acknowledges that he was not successful pitching out of the ‘pen, but believes that he can right the ship this time around. Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry provides quotes from Bettis on the expectations he has set for himself.

MLB Power Rankings: Red Sox remain on top, but what if the A’s and Rockies crash the World Series? | CBS Sports
Many weekly power rankings continue to rank the Rockies in the mid-teens, but Matt Snyder of CBS Sports is showing the team some love, slotting them at #7 on his list. A 30-16 record in 46 games against teams above .500, the only winning record against such teams in MLB history? At least someone recognizes.

Roundtable: Who Are the Frontrunners to Take Home the MVP, Cy Young and ROY? | Sports Illustrated
Members of the Sports Illustrated staff make their picks for Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year Awards for both the American and National Leagues. Arenado appears as one NL MVP choice (shoutout to Connor Grossman).