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Daniel Murphy and the win-now Colorado Rockies

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Rockies news and links for February 21, 2019

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Newcomer Daniel Murphy says Rockies are built to win now | Daily Inter Lake

Daniel Murphy is a proven, veteran hitter. As such, he was in a position to be selective as he looked for a new team. Whatever the merits of the Rockies’ decision to want Murphy, this article provides interesting insights on how Murphy chose the Rockies.

Murphy offers a correct assessment of the state of the Rockies when he says that the pitching staff is underrated. He also offers a suspect assessment of the state of the Rockies when he says the lineup is “deep and dangerous.” It’s great to be optimistic, of course, and maybe Murphy’s presence will make it so. But as things stand now, it is the lack of a deep lineup that is keeping the Rockies from reaching their potential.

In this article about Murphy’s arrival, Jack Magruder also touches on the veteran’s success in high-leverage situations. As the Rockies continue to seek opportunities in the playoffs and meaningful games, that will be something they will seek, even if it’s tough to measure or predict.

Ryan McMahon competing for 2B job with Rockies | MLB.com

The Colorado Rockies did not give McMahon a real shot at playing time last season. It sounds like they will actually give him a chance to prove himself this season, at least in Spring Training. Thomas Harding writes that the team plans to give him a real shot, indicated at least in part by their decision not to sign DJ LeMahieu.

McMahon had real struggles and real flashes of brilliance last season. The challenge for him and so many young players around baseball will be channeling the good and being rid of the bad. The unique challenge in McMahon’s case is the fact he will be competing with fellow prospects for playing time at second base.

MLB to crack down on sign stealing | HardballTalk

Relevant to an incident in Colorado Rockies history, Major League Baseball announced this week that they will crack down on sign stealing. Specifically, they will penalize the use of cameras and other technology to steal signs. You know, like the Philadelphia Phillies (allegedly) using binoculars to steal signs against the Rockies. OK, so maybe binoculars aren’t equivalent to these other forms of technology. Still.

Craig Calcaterra writes that these concerns about sign stealing are about pace of play as much as they are about fairness or cheating. Teams changing signs and then being confused about the changed signs will slow things down. That’s fair, although I think there is still a distinction to be drawn between a baserunner at second base cracking the opponent’s signs versus them getting the signs from technology.

Ian Desmond may find positive value through his position change | Beyond the Box Score

Get past the fact that David Dahl should be playing center field and there are some interesting pieces of analysis here. As Devan Fink notes, Desmond is likely a better defender in center field than he has been at first base. That makes him more valuable because he will offer more on defense and because it will come from a more important defensive position.

That all sounds fine, but if you think Ian Desmond is done playing first base then I think you are hilarious.

The sacrifice of Charlie Blackmon | The Athletic ($)

There are two sacrifices at play here: Chuck Nazty’s move from center field to right field and the fact that he will remain in the leadoff spot of the lineup. Both make sense, even if the move to right instead of left field might not make sense initially. With the vast expanse of Coors Field, the team will probably benefit from David Dahl using his range in that spot (even if he should actually be playing center field, but alas).

Nick Groke writes about the temptation to move Blackmon into the heart of the order, both from the perspective of the team and of the player. At this point it still seems like a “feel” move as much as anything to keep Blackmon at leadoff. Groke writes about the pressure that takes off young players who might otherwise need to lead off. And maybe it’s just a situation that falls in the “if it ain’t broke...” category.

Renaming all 30 MLB teams | MLB.com - Cut4

The suggestion for the Colorado Rockies is the Colorado Triceratops. That is based on the same history that gave us Dinger as a mascot. I actually like Dinger, so I don’t mind the name. I imagine I am in the minority in both cases.