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Who’s the Rockies Cy Young candidate?

Rockies news and links for September 13, 2018

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Kiz vs. Saunders: Would you vote Jacob deGrom over Kyle Freeland for the Cy Young Award? | The Denver Post ($)
Kiszla and Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post have a back-and-forth discussion about Kyle Freeland’s candidacy for the 2018 Cy Young Award. Both agree that Freeland deserves significantly more consideration (both say that an East Coast media bias has a lot to do with the lack thereof), but Kiszla throws his support behind Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets, while Saunders would vote for Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.

Comparing the pitching campaigns of Kyle Freeland, German Marquez to Ubaldo Jimenez’s record-setting 2010 season | The Denver Post ($)
The Denver Post’s Kyle Newman stacks up the seasons of Freeland and German Marquez against the 2010 campaign of Ubaldo Jimenez, which many consider to be the “high water-mark” for Rockies’ starting pitchers. Freeland has a chance to push past Jimenez’s ERA and bWAR numbers, while Marquez has his eye on Jimenez’s strikeouts and WHIP. Marquez is already likely to break the Rockies’ record for strikeouts per nine innings with 10.24. Jon Gray’s 9.91 K/9 from 2016 currently holds that honor.

Colorado Rockies: The many things Trevor Story brings to the lineup | Rox Pile
If the Rockies didn’t have All-Star shortstop Trevor Story, it would be tough to see them leading the NL West. Lisa Lovato of Rox Pile details the importance of Story’s presence in the lineup of the Rox.

The rise of Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story | Mile High Sports
Brandon Ewing of Mile High Sports also has Story on the mind. After Tuesday night’s performance, Story became the first shortstop in Major League history to record 30 home runs, 40 doubles, and 25 stolen bases in a single season. Stealing five more bases is very achievable for Story, so he could also become the Rockies’ first 30-30 man since Larry Walker in 1997. After struggling with the bat in 2017, Story has made more contact, struck out far less (he’s had one of the best year-to-year strikeout improvements in Major League history, in fact), and leads the league with 21 extra-base hits on first pitches.

About that wacky Rockies run differential? Bud Black can sing it away | The Athletic ($)
After Monday’s 13-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Colorado Rockies found their run differential at an even zero. After Tuesday’s 6-3 loss to the D-Backs, the Rockies have once again seen their differential fall into the negative numbers, where it has been for most of 2018. Teams with run differentials in the red don’t typically have much success. It makes sense conceptually that a team that allows more runs than it scores wouldn’t be doing too well, but the Rockies have found their way to first place in the National League West with only a few weeks of regular season baseball left to play.

The teams in baseball that own the best run differential in 2018 probably won’t surprise you— the Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The Los Angeles Dodgers are close to the top as well. The last time that a team with a negative run differential reached the postseason was when the Diamondbacks did so in 2007, so it’s certainly not unheard of. The Minnesota Twins even won the World Series in 1987 with a run differential of minus-20. What has gotten the Rockies to this point is great success in one or two-run games, while taking the loss in several blowout games.

Nick Groke of The Athletic spoke to Rockies’ catcher Chris Iannetta and Rockies’ reliever Jake McGee, who both agreed that Coors Field was a key reason for their team’s inconsistent run-scoring and run-allowing. For his part, Manager Bud Black did not express much concern— he’s more focused on each individual win.

Kiszla: Dress for MVP success. Trevor Story has Brady-like tendencies and jersey of Pats QB in his wardrobe. | The Denver Post ($)
Based on a “KISS (Keep it simple, stupid)” mindset, Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post believes Story should win the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Proclaiming that “the typical voter for most valuable player has more mustard stains on his shirt than brains in his head,” Kiszla recommends throwing statistics like WAR out the window and focusing on Story leading the Rockies to their first division title in the franchise’s 25th anniversary season. Kiszla also compares Story to the shortstop’s favorite quarterback, Tom Brady, in that both have a “voracious appetite for doing real big things in real big moments.”