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Making sense of the Rockies carrying three catchers

Rockies news and links for August 4, 2018

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Colorado Rockies deny roster construction as cause for pitching success | Rox Pile
The Colorado Rockies continue to carry three catchers on the active roster in Chris Iannetta, Tom Murphy, and Tony Wolters. Some argue that this roster spot could be held by David Dahl, Raimel Tapia, Garrett Hampson, or Jordan Patterson, all of whom have seen brief Major League time in 2018 and are continuing to have success with the bats in Triple-A for the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Entering Friday’s games, the Rockies rotation has posted a 3.42 ERA since June 19. For most of that stretch, the roster has consisted of the three catchers. While some have credited the triumvirate for helping the pitchers achieve success, the players themselves were quick to put that theory to bed. Iannetta, Kyle Freeland, and Manager Bud Black all told Jake Shapiro of Rox Pile that they don’t believe that carrying three catchers on the roster has coincided with the starters pitching more effectively.

Colorado Rockies morning after: It’s time to stop carrying three catchers | Rox Pile
Rox Pile’s Aaron Hurt posits that the three-catcher roster construction needs to come to an end. None of the trio have posted inspiring offensive numbers, as Iannetta’s 74 wRC+ leads Rockies’ catchers. A silver lining for Wolters has been his effective defense, with 8 Defensive Runs Saved and 6.3 pitch framing runs, according to Baseball Prospectus. Even with the embarrassing blunder in Thursday’s game, Wolters has still been a plus defender. Murphy has rated as passable defensively, while Iannetta has had more struggles, but the defensive play of both would be easier to mask if they were hitting better.

BSN Rockies Podcast: Considering changing Colorado’s bullpen roles | BSN Denver
In the latest episode of the BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman recaps the Rockies’ series in St. Louis and considers the notion that perhaps the closer role should be given to Adam Ottavino, given Wade Davis’ struggles.

Colorado Rockies: What’s wrong with Wade Davis? | Rox Pile
So, just what is wrong with Davis? Since becoming a reliever in 2014, he’s never pitched as poorly as he has for the Rockies in 2018. Rox Pile’s Ryan Ladika explores decreasing velocity and decreasing swinging-strike percentages for Davis, as well as offering some thoughts on a pitch that has been working for Davis in his sinker, which he may want to begin utilizing more.

What the Rockies see in the mirror after MLB’s trade deadline — and what their dealings reveal | The Athletic ($)
Another trade deadline has come and gone and the Rockies, as you may already be aware, did not make many additions. General Manager Jeff Bridich maintains a belief in the current roster being enough to get the team where it needs to be.

NL West: Moving forward post-Trade Deadline |’s Steve Gilbert focuses on “what’s next” for all five National League West clubs now that the trade deadline has passed. For the Rockies, there’s a specific focus on seeing improvements from the bullpen.

Is Jon Gray back for good with the Rockies? — ‘I’ve never seen him be that efficient with his pitches’ | The Athletic ($)
Jon Gray has a 1.66 ERA in his 21 1/3 innings (three starts) since returning to the Majors. He certainly passes the eye test from Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon, who says he has never seen Gray “be that efficient with his pitches.” Nick Groke of The Athletic provides heat maps that show an improved pitch location from Gray, and features quotes from Gray on his confidence, and from Black and Murphy on the improvements they’ve noticed from the Rockies’ Opening Day starter.

Oh holds court with young Korean players |
The newest Rockie Seunghwan Oh was given the opportunity to show this year’s Korean National Pony League baseball team around Busch Stadium on Thursday, which was an exciting moment for both Oh and the team. The Rockies and Cardinals organizations worked together to allow Oh, a former Redbird, to experience the occasion.