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With help and hope on the horizon, Rockies aim to turn season around

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Rockies news and links for Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Colorado Rockies injury updates: Cuevas, Dahl, McMahon, Anderson | Rox Pile

Kevin Henry has the latest updates from Bud Black on key Rockies players who have landed on the Injured List, and the news is in the “not bad” to “good” range. After a tumultuous start to the season, including an offense that has performed historically bad, the Rockies find themselves on a win streak with important bats nearing their return to the lineup.

As Kevin reports, both David Dahl and Ryan McMahon were scheduled to participate in an extended spring training game, and according to Thomas Harding (see link below), both young lefties ended up getting five at-bats each. A healthy David and Ryan would inject fresh life into an offense that is beginning to find its groove again, and suddenly there’s light at the end of the tunnel with the cavalry on the way.

Blackmon, Arenado ready for Rox to get right | MLB.com

“To each their own,” Nolan Arenado told Thomas Harding. When you’re in a hitting slump and looking for ways to climb out of it, there’s not one easy solution, and everyone is different. When quite a few hitters on the same team are slumping, some will take a step back from baseball and try to relax while others will hit the weight room or the cages and put in extra work. Well, as it turns out, all the Rockies needed was to watch some golf.

Arenado went his first fifteen games without hitting a home run. On Sunday, after watching Tiger Woods win the Masters with his teammates, Nolan hit his first bomb of the year, and has now gone yard in three straight games—all victories. Of course, having golf on the TV wasn’t itself the true slump buster, but whatever it was—relaxing, bonding with teammates, or just keeping faith in themselves—the Rockies are streaking and the season isn’t over yet.

Senzatela shows new wrinkle with put-aways | MLB.com

It’s not just the bats coming back to life, either. On Monday night, Antonio Senzatela returned to the rotation after missing the first two and a half weeks of the season while on the IL, and he was awesome. Senza pitched 6.2 innings, gave up six hits, one run, and struck out four. He powered the Rox to a much needed win and may have solidified his place in the rotation with both Chad Bettis and Tyler Anderson struggling early.

As Thomas Harding points out in his article, Senzatela tossed a masterful game by mixing in more offspeed pitches, keeping the Padres off balance, and having a remarkably consistent release point to create deception and fool hitters. Senza told Harding he was excited to pitch again and felt like Monday was his “first day in the big leagues.” If he can keep this up, he will have many more down the line to get the Rockies back into playoff contention.

Colorado Rockies: Where is the starting rotation going? | Rox Pile

Noah Yingling asks a simple question: as a struggling rotation is hit with some adversity, how will they respond and how will this staff look o the other side? The pitching has been better over the last few games—thanks to German Márquez, Senzatela, and Jon Gray—but a struggling veteran and injured lefty leave question marks remaining. Will Senza grasp the 5th spot and not look back? Will Anderson pitch better after his knee heals? What will the Rockies do with Chad Bettis? There are some wrinkles to work out still, but it does appear like the pitching staff is headed in the right direction again.

On the farm

In Albuquerque, Jeff Hoffman had a disastrous start for the ‘Topes by pitching 4 innings and giving up 10 hits and 10 runs. Jeff gave up four home runs and his ERA now sits at an ugly 13.89 over three games. It’s tough to say it, but there may not be much of a future left with the Rockies for Hoffman.

On a happier note, the Goats went off in Hartford to the tune of thirteen runs, and six different players had multi-hit games. Colton Welker, Tyler Nevin, and Vince Fernandez all had three hits, a double, and two RBI, plus Willie Abreu went 2-for-4 with a double, stolen base, and a home run.

Ryan Rolison continued his dominance to begin his career by pitching six shutout innings for the Tourists—he gave up two hits and struck out seven batters. It’s early, but I’m already running out of ways to appropriately describe how dominant Ryan has been with the club. I’m eager to see how he fares against more advanced opponents, and it shouldn’t be long before we see Rolison in the hitter-friendly confines of Lancaster if he keeps this up.

Triple-A: Reno Aces 10, Albuquerque Isotopes 1 | MiLB.com

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 13, Richmond Flying Squirrels 3 | MiLB.com

High-A: Inland Empire 66ers 7, Lancaster JetHawks 1 | MiLB.com

Low-A: Asheville Tourists 2, Hickory Crawdads 0 | MiLB.com