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Kyle Freeland’s plans to be even better for the Rockies in 2019

Rockies news and links for February 7, 2019

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Coming Off A Superb Season, Kyle Freeland Hopes To Be Even More Effective By Varying Two Pitches | Forbes

Freeland continues to make his case as a pitcher who can stick at the top of the Rockies rotation in this article. Jack Etkin writes about two adjustments Freeland plans to make to stay one step ahead of hitters in 2019.

Both seem counter-intuitive when compared with typical game plans. Freeland plans to use his changeup more against left-handed hitters and his two-seam fastball more against right-handed hitters. The changeup, breaking down and in on lefties, seems particularly unusual. But Freeland’s thinking is that hitters will be adjusting to him so he wants to be ready. Just the fact that he’s thinking that way is fascinating and encouraging.

Which MLB teams are actually trying to win in 2019 | USA Today

The Colorado Rockies seem like a clear team that is trying to win even as the rest of the league struggles with the thorny issues of teams tanking and unsigned free agents. Granted, they haven’t spent this winter like they did a year ago, but they signed Daniel Murphy and are hopefully working on an extension for Nolan Arenado.

I therefore have to disagree with Gabe Lacques in where he places the Rockies in this article. He has them in the tier below those definitely trying to win as a team that “needs some breaks.” The reason: their loss of Adam Ottavino. I’m not persuaded.

Now this might be an issue with this story’s headline. The Rockies are definitely trying to win right now. Are they positioned to win now? Maybe not, and maybe that’s the framing in which they would reasonably be placed in the second tier of MLB teams.

MLB’s 100 Names You Need to Know for 2019 | USA Today

The Rockies see their second base competition checking in on this list of 100 young players to know for the upcoming season. Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers, both on this list, present an interesting discussion about prospect words like “floor” and “upside,” not to mention the contrasts in their style of play. And that’s without even mentioning Ryan McMahon, arguably the favorite to grab the second base job.

Bud Black Reveals Rockies Arenado Plans | 97.3 The Fan

It’s interesting to note how openly Black confirms what we have heard recently about the Rockies plans and hopes to try to sign Arenado to an extension. Beyond that, Black expands on some interesting thoughts on Arenado and his similarities to great players in this interview with the Dan Sileo Show. Beyond the headline even further, Black mentions two veteran outfielders who probably will not be back: Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra.

Does that mean we’re we actually doing this and giving David Dahl a clear path to a starting job? I’m going to choose to focus on that and not the part about Ian Desmond playing the outfield next season.

Colorado Rockies: Potential 2019 batting orders with a designated hitter | Rox Pile

On the heels of yesterday’s news that MLB is pondering major rule changes, Kevin Henry considers a couple lineup possibilities for the Rockies with designated hitters. Now, if the DH was actually full-time in both leagues, that very well might benefit the Rockies, as Nick Walsh noted yesterday.

To expand on that thought, it’s interesting to consider how it would potentially let the Rockies off the hook with guys they signed under traditional NL rules - guys like Ian Desmond and Daniel Murphy.

And no, I’m not arguing that Desmond would be an awesome full-time DH. I’m just pointing out the added flexibility that would come for these veteran position players, especially the one without an obvious position.