The season that Carlos Estevez just had is an argument against big contracts for relief pitchers, like those given to his teammates Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee. But on the more positive side of things, Estevez is a reminder that you can rely on internal talent to quickly bolster your bullpen.
It’s not necessarily predictable, but for pitchers with talent like Estevez, giving them room to develop gives you a chance to add talent to the bullpen - certainly as good a chance as you have when you throw big money at veterans.
It’s been a long process for Estevez, as we all know from watching some of his rough outings in previous seasons. But the raw materials were clearly there, and once he started to put things together in 2019 he started to look like a dominant reliever at times.
Estevez improved his strikeout and walk rates this season and really thrived as a setup guy. Colin Gaiser writes about those improvements and notes some comments from Estevez about how he implemented some lessons learned from previous seasons. If he can build on this success in 2020, it will either give the Rockies more depth or at least the ability to offer more options if the high-price guys struggle.
If the Rockies are going to lean on internal options in lieu of pursuing trades or free agents to improve their weaknesses, that might make Dom Nuñez an important figure moving forward. However much we all love Tony Wolters, it’s become clear that the Rockies would benefit from an offensive upgrade at catcher.
If Nuñez can break through next season or beyond, his experience on the Rockies in 2019 might prove valuable. Kerensa Uyeta-Buckley writes about some of the lessons Nuñez learned in his first taste of the big leagues and some of the exciting moments around his debut. What might be as important as anything is that Nuñez talks about learning the everyday grind and the information he has to process in the big leagues.
If getting some of that experience now positions Nuñez to contribute in the big leagues right away in 2020, that will be incredibly valuable. Also worth noting is the fact that this article is from his hometown paper. That’s just cool.
You know, Dick Monfort probably thought he was well clear of any accusations that he’s cheap and that he doesn’t spend money. But while he has Woody Paige and those “where’s the beef” columns firmly in his rear view mirror, the changing context of the business of baseball made it such that his recent comments that he won’t be able to spend for 2020 are absurd.
Yes, the Rockies have a top-half of the league payroll, but it still doesn’t pass the smell test when Monfort acts like his hands are tied. It’s a decision he’s making, but nobody is forcing his hand. It’s a self-imposed restriction. That’s part of the larger issue at play in this piece from Ken Rosenthal, and it’s why we’re hurdling towards a labor dispute.