This is becoming the loaded question of the Rockies season. On the one hand, a lot of things look the same or at least not drastically different: his release points and some of his rate statistics, for example. And yet so much looks completely different and worse when it comes to results.
Freeland is surrendering a bunch of home runs. His ERA is north of 9.00 in his last six starts. Perhaps most concerning, he talks in this Nick Groke article about how something just “feels” off.
What’s clear from this deep dive is that the Rockies are looking into every possible reason for his struggles. They also aren’t necessarily just saying everything will be OK. Bud Black speaks about what’s going well and the tone is positive overall, but there’s clearly concern all around about Freeland.
Concern, yes. But there’s no tension or sparring in the locker room, at least not according to this piece from Luke Zahlmann. Everybody is frustrated with the pitching so far in 2019, both pitchers and non-pitchers alike. But everybody is rallying together as they try to figure it out.
Freeland stands out as a leader once again in these quotes. He also makes an interesting point about how the team chemistry is built in part on the fact that a lot of guys have come up through the system together.
What do you do when the young starting pitchers are struggling? Start making eyes at the next young starting pitchers who might help! Jeff Hoffman has been making starts and still has to polish some rough edges. As for Peter Lambert, Saunders guesses that he will debut at some point this season but not necessarily anytime soon.
I wanted to point people’s attention to this article in case you missed it from Renee Dechert earlier this week. It’s an interesting look at two different stats to consider with the team’s outfielders on defense. Raimel Tapia has been very good, which is perhaps a little surprising. The defense overall has been better, which seems less surprising.
On the farm
The Isotopes jumped to an early lead thanks to some thump from familiar names in Pat Valaika and Sam Hilliard (PuRP no. 11). In that same game, the aforementioned Peter Lambert (PuRP no. 2) was good but not great: six innings, four runs, six strikeouts and just one walk.
Unfortunately Yency Almonte got roughed up in his return to the Isotopes and cost them by blowing the save and allowing three runs in the ninth inning.
Triple-A: Reno Aces 7, Albuquerque Isotopes 6
Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats vs. Portland Sea Dogs PPD