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As Rockies’ offense continues to flail, Arenado looks to break out of his slump

Rockies news and links from Saturday, September 1, 2018

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Arenado changes routine in midst of slump |

Thomas Harding with talked to Nolan Arenado about his recent slump at the plate and how he was working to break out of it. Entering Saturday’s game, Nolan had been 0-for-his-last-18 and was hitless covering the last four games—three of which were losses. With the Rockies desperately needing a win to stay close in the division title race, Nolan took some advice from Matt Holliday and did something he’s not used to—he relaxed.

Arenado took a “no-BP day” despite his natural build-up of energy and desire to work relentlessly on his swing in order to grind out his slump—and it worked for him. Nolan was 2-for-4 in last night’s game with a double, run scored, and scored the go-ahead run in what turned out to be a much needed win. Hopefully it sticks, and the MVP talks can continue to swirl around Nolan as he helps the Rockies fight for a Postseason berth down the stretch.

No big moves for the Rockies as their top-heavy lineup continues to struggle and the losses keep piling up | The Athletic ($)

After Friday’s 7-0 blowout at the hands of the lowly Padres, the Postseason eligibility August Trade Deadline passed and the Rockies remained silent. They had lost five of their last seven games and fell into 3rd place in the division behind the Dodgers and D-backs. As Nick Groke points out, the Rockies’ bats were in a frozen state, cold as ice, and in need of help—but none was coming. Their anemic offense was going to continue relying on the big three:

Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story combine to produce 38 percent of the team’s hits, 40 percent of their runs and nearly half of their homers. They are the bricks propping up a Rockies team in the thick of a postseason chase. The rest of the lineup more often serves as mortar.

When they’re good, they’re good. These three (plus CarGo) lead the team in OPS+, but when you take them away, no one else is above 100. In fact, the next highest is LeMahieu with a paltry 88 OPS+. Matt Holiday has been huge since returning to the team (139 OPS+), but it’s a small sample size and not as easily sustainable for the aging outfielder. Regardless, the Rockies know who they got and trust themselves to do big things—I hope we can, too.

How to increase attendance at Major League Baseball games | Rox Pile

In his Rox Pile debut, Tyson Crocker takes on the “how to fix baseball” crowd and examines a topic that to him carries more weight—not “fixing” the game to try and strengthen positive perceptions, but increasing attendance to bring in more fans to enjoy the game the way it is (not broken).

The Rockies continue to lead the pack in attendance and remain a top-10 most-visited ballpark over the last decade. There are many reasons for this (and yes, The Rooftop is one of them), and Tyler outlines three great ideas to help draw in more fans—both young and old. And yes, having a “Taco Truck Throwdown” night wouldn’t be bad at all...

Colorado Rockies: What to possibly expect from this year’s call-ups | Rox Pile

Yesterday was September 1st, and you know what that means—everyone’s favorite time of the year, active roster expansions! In this article, Kevin Henry gives his analysis of how the fresh faces in the Rockies clubhouse can help this team win important games as October approaches. To many fans’ chagrin, it could primarily be pinch-hitting and running duties.

If we look at Bud Black’s approach to September call-ups last year, the usual suspects are likely to remain in starting roles. So far, only Tom Murphy, Pat Valaika, and Noel Cuevas have been called-up, and while they are unlikely to steal many AB’s from any current position players, hitters such as Raimel Tapia, Garrett Hampson, and Mike Tauchman are waiting in the wings as Triple-A Albuquerque finishes their season. The latter trio might make it much more difficult to continue throwing Parra out there, and will look to give guys like Blackmon, Story, CarGo, and LeMahieu more rest before the playoffs begin.

Why did the Rockies trade for Drew Butera? | Purple Row

It’s a question on the mind of many Rockies’ fans—why did the front office decide to add another below-league-average catcher to the roster by trading for Drew Butera? While many have focused on the moves that weren’t made, our very own Renee Dechert decided to try and fit the puzzle pieces together and find some answers behind the front office’s second trade this season.

The biggest reason might be obscure and unsatisfactory to many, but this team values the mythology of their roster. In 2007, Matt Holliday was a hero and MVP candidate as the Rockies made it to the franchise’s only World Series appearance. Now that he’s rejoined the team, he brings veteran leadership, playoff experience, and a legendary aura to the clubhouse to inspire the young players and remind them of the Rockies greatest season.

Butera fills a “similar” role in that he’s a World Series champion who brings more stability and calmness to a team anchored by young talent. He is here to influence a young pitching staff and keep them grounded under the big lights and pressure of Postseason baseball. If he does nothing more than give Jon Gray or Germán Márquez an extra boost of confidence during a tight ballgame in late September, he’ll be well worth his weight in Vastos.

McMahon’s baseball nightmare |

Personally, my baseball nightmare is pulling a muscle trying to hustle-out an infield single during beer-league softball and falling flat on my face. I then have to be carried off the field by two or three acquaintances, and maybe my wife, while tears stream down my face and blend with the dirt smeared on my “Just hit dingers” t-shirt creating an unsightly, salty mud of sorts that will stain the garment and never fail to remind me of my own frailty and mortality... but that’s just me.