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There’s still room for a catching upgrade on the Rockies

Rockies news and links for January 1, 2019(!)

Colorado Rockies seemingly content with status quo at catcher | Rox Pile
The lion’s share of the catching duties for the 2018 Colorado Rockies went to Chris Iannetta and Tony Wolters. Barring something unforeseen, this will remain the case in 2019. Just as in 2018, we could also see a little bit of Tom Murphy sprinkled in as well. The Drew Butera of 2018 looks to be replaced by Brett Nicholas for 2019, as he signed a minor league contract with the Rockies back in November. In a small career sample of 110 plate appearances, Nicholas has slashed .252/.300/.456, which does at least indicate more offensive potential than Butera and more than what we saw from Murphy in 2018.

On the other hand, there is still a better option remaining on the free agent market in Yasmani Grandal. Grandal turned down an offer of 4 year and $60 million from the New York Mets, which likely puts him out of the Rockies’ price range. Still, this is the clear upgrade if the Rockies are looking for it. Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry has more details.

What went wrong with Wade Davis? | Beyond the Box Score
Compiling 43 saves in 2018 made Wade Davis the single-season saves leader in Rockies’ franchise history. Still, there were items to be concerned about, including Davis’ decreasing strikeout rate and rising home run rate. It was clearly Davis’ poorest showing since he became a closer in 2014. B. Ellis of Beyond the Box Score looks over the data and comes to the conclusion that Davis may have encountered some issues while throwing from the stretch, as the bulk of the damage against him came with runners on base.

Jay Jaffe’s 2019 Hall of Fame Virtual Ballot | FanGraphs
The Crowdsource Ballot from FanGraphs has selected both Todd Helton and Larry Walker for the Hall of Fame! The other names on their ballot include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martínez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, Scott Rolen and Billy Wagner. Interestingly enough, there was only one identical actual BBWAA ballot, which came from a familiar name— Tracy Ringolsby! In addition to analyzing the ballot, Jay Jaffe discusses his conversation about the Hall of Fame with Ringolsby at the Winter Meetings. Specifically, Jaffe notes that Ringolsby, once a vocal critic of Michael Lewis’ Moneyball, has come so far as to cite JAWS as a case for Walker’s induction.

Tigers aiming to round roster for ‘19 season |
The Detroit Tigers remain on the hunt for a second baseman, though Jason Beck of reports that it will not be DJ LeMahieu. MLB Trade Rumors has predicted that LeMahieu would sign with Detroit and it was perhaps interesting to note that he played high school ball at Brother Rice in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

MLB Rumors: Yusei Kikuchi deadline approaching | Lone Star Ball
The deadline for teams to sign left-handed free agent Yusei Kikuchi is Wednesday at 3 PM MT. Atypical for a Scott Boras client, there has been little to no talk of Kikuchi as of late. If a team does not sign him by the deadline, Kikuchi will return to his posting team, the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Pacific League.

2018 Dodgers Review: Yasmani Grandal | True Blue LA
True Blue LA’s craigminami reviews Grandal’s 2018, which was spent with the Los Angeles Dodgers. While Grandal had a very productive regular season, his postseason left much to be desired. Recency bias leaves him best-remembered as the only catcher to commit two errors and allow two passed balls in the same postseason game in baseball history. But judging by the Mets’ offer, teams aren’t necessarily holding that postseason performance against Grandal in their offers.

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Among other artifacts from the 2018 season, Trevor Story’s jersey from September 30 and October 7 will be preserved in the Hall of Fame to mark his accomplishment of leading the National League with 85 extra base hits. Here’s the full list: