After the Rockies lost a heart-breaker to the Padres on Friday night, Nolan Arenado let his frustrations bleed through to the media and Patrick Saunders has the details. Nolan had some choice words for his team’s effort in closing out the Padres, but he also had thoughts about the playing... conditions, which can be summed up as “COORS.”
Okay, it was a little more nuanced than that, but Nolan did claim “that was a Coors Field game.” The Rockies star third baseman also admitted they just needed to play better as a team, that they’re a “better group than that,” and the loss was still unacceptable.
What stands out most is Nolan’s declaration that the Rockies “shouldn’t have to deal with” that type of game or loss. It seems like he’s referencing Coors Field, but it’s a little obscure. It is clear that he believes the loss is a result of more than just their play, however. We’ve gotten used to that perspective from media and fans, but it feels entirely different when your franchise star comes out and says it, too.
While Nolan hinted there were forces at play outside of their control in their 12-inning loss on Friday, Mike Dunn was harder on himself for giving up four runs and recording just one out. “There’s no excuse,” he told Thomas Harding in a somber atmosphere and clubhouse that was reeling from what had just occurred at 21st & Blake.
Harding describes the bullpen’s collapse that evening as calamitous—and it might feel that way, given how good they’ve been lately. Obviously, with the context of the 6-run lead in the ninth inning, the outcome of a single game certainly overshadows the positives we’ve seen. It was an extraordinary collapse, but it was just one game.
That’s not to say there’s nothing to be concerned about. Mike Dunn, in particular, is deserving of plenty of criticism and questions regarding his ability to help this club, let alone not hurt it. If I had to guess, Dunn is sticking around longer than he should just because he’s a lefty, which the Rockies are lacking in the bullpen. But when it’s all said and done, it would benefit the Rockies to release Dunn sooner rather than later.
The Rockies recalled relief pitcher Jesus Tinoco yesterday and optioned Brendan Rodgers back down to Triple-A to get more consistent playing time. I saw many online reactions of shock and disappointment from Rockies fans who didn’t want to see the team’s top prospect leave town, but Kevin Henry argues it was the right move to make.
Rodgers was fine in limited action with the big league club, slashing .246/.300/.277 in 21 games and 65 at-bats, but he never really took off. Brendan should benefit from more consistent playing time in Albuquerque and hopefully get some power back in his swing. Without a doubt, he will be back.
Probably more important to the team right now is a fresh arm for the bullpen following the disaster on Friday that saw every available reliever get used in a single night. Tinoco will allow some others a better opportunity to stay healthy down the stretch, which will be key in the Rockies’ attempt to climb back into the playoff picture.
It’s a travesty, but David Dahl hasn’t even cracked the top-20 outfielders in this year’s fan vote for the 2019 All-Star game. Following yesterday’s game, Dahl is now slashing .338/.389/.548—good for a 129 wRC+, which ranks 9th among qualified NL outfielders. (Charlie Blackmon, by the way, now ranks 3rd with a 148 wRC+, behind only Cody Bellinger and Christian Yellich.) That’s pretty darn good, and deserves much more love than David has received, so far. Get out and vote, and spread the word!
On the farm
Yonathan Daza continues to be a hitting machine in Triple-A, and had himself another three-hit game yesterday. He is slashing .387/.426/.596 over a not small sample size of 225 AB’s, and his batting average leads the Pacific Coast League. Daza still hopes to find a way to translate his minor league success to the big leagues, as the Rockies 4th outfielder position doesn’t seem to be so locked down as we had thought.
Niko Decolati hit a home run for the Tourists and is now slashing a healthy .304/.350/.411 in his return from injury. Niko is also 5-for-6 in stolen base attempts, but his 19/3 K/BB ratio could still use some work.
Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats at Erie SeaWolves—Postponed (due to rain)
Short Season-A: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 5, Boise Hawks 4 | MiLB.com