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Ian Desmond ‘will rise to the occasion’ for the Rockies

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Rockies news and links for August 25, 2018

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Ian Desmond continues to win games for the Rockies, even in a slump. ‘He will rise to the occasion,’ Bud Black says | The Athletic ($)
Much has been made of Ian Desmond’s 2018 season. By measure of both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference, Desmond have been worth a sub-zero WAR. The fact that Desmond is making $22 million this season does not help quell the criticism that he has faced.

Yet, even amid a down year, Desmond is still coming up with big hits for the Colorado Rockies. On April 15, Desmond hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the 9th inning against the Washington Nationals to seal a 6-5 victory for the Rockies. On May 6, Desmond had a two-homer game in a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets. Desmond’s walk-off two-run shot versus the San Diego Padres on Thursday sealed what seemed to be one of the biggest wins of the year.

Nick Groke of The Athletic features quotes from Desmond on his mindset for contributing to the team. Manager Bud Black certainly endorses the veteran as well. Black lauds Desmond’s ability to contribute to the team in multiple ways, “on defense or the basepaths or with big swings.” Black believes that Desmond will continue to rise to the occasion because he has a track record of doing so.

BSN Rockies Podcast: The comeback kids | BSN Denver
In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman discusses Desmond’s walk-off homer, the Rockies’ tendency for scoring runs “right when they need them,” and offers some thoughts on “the frustrations” over there being no television broadcast for Matt Holliday’s homecoming.

Colorado Rockies: Calling up Matt Holliday is a great baseball move | Rox Pile
Holliday’s return to the Rockies makes for some exciting nostalgia but also makes sense from the perspective of roster construction, opines Aaron Hurt of Rox Pile. The Rockies organization has taken its fair share of heat for some questionable baseball decisions this season. From lack of playing time for David Dahl and Ryan McMahon to the team carrying three catchers to a relatively stagnant trade deadline, the Rockies have left fans scratching their heads on numerous occasions.

The move for Holliday, however, helps solve a glaring problem that the Rockies seem to have been dealing with for several years now- a lack of above-average right-handed bats who play the outfield. Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra, and Dahl have been the primary outfielders for the Rockies in 2018 and are all lefty bats. Raimel Tapia was called up for a brief spell, and he is also a lefty. Noel Cuevas is the closest MLB-ready right-handed hitting outfielder the organization has, and after slashing .243/.280/.331 in 63 big league games, was not considered a viable option for the roster. If Holliday can produce as well as he has in the minor leagues in 2018, or can be even half of the bat that he was from 2007-2010, he will provide the Rockies with a significant right-handed hitting upgrade.