Thomas Harding writes about the possibility of Scott Oberg getting some time as the Rockies closer as Wade Davis tries to work his way out of another funk. It’s no secret that Wade has been not good so far this year. He currently owns a career high 6.0 BB/9 to match his 6.00 ERA, and while his 4.80 FIP and .357 BABIP indicates some bad luck, opponents have an eyebrow raising 39.7% hard hit rate against Wade. Is change in the air?
Bud Black told Harding that “It’s a fair question; we’re contemplating a few things.” Besides being vague and cryptic, it proves the team is aware something needs to change. It would make sense to use your best reliever of the year in that situation, and that man would be Scott Oberg. Scott is rocking a career high 9.74 K/9 to go with his sparkling 1.99 ERA and 39 ERA-. His hard hit rate is only 29.9%, and Scott owns a .215 BABIP.
Scott Oberg’s dominance since last June has shown that he deserves the closer role. Bud Black might agree, and we’ll have a better idea soon. Bud came out and said it was “unlikely” we’d see Davis pitch on Friday, but he never said he was unavailable. Regardless, Oberg was warming up in the bottom of the eighth when it was still a 10-9 game and in a save situation. We should all be prepared for the Scott Oberg experience moving forward.
Drew Creasman discusses the Coors Field Curse and how it continues to falsely negate the incredible accomplishments of Rockies hitters, such as Todd Helton and Larry Walker in the past, and now Nolan Arenado. Drew concedes that yes, of course, Coors Field can elevate some hitting statistics. However, when compared with other “elements” that affect a hitter’s likelihood for success (i.e. handedness of pitcher), elevation is not as big for Nolan.
No, as most of us know, the Coors Field creation myth is just that—a myth. You’d be hard-pressed to find any batter who hits better on the road than at home, and Nolan has proven that he is more likely to succeed by facing lefties or with the game on the line, at home or away, than he is by hitting at 20th and Blake. Like Drew says, Nolan is a “clutch creation.”
As Thomas Harding points out, Friday night was a night of breaking bad streaks. Pat Valaika, mired in an 0-for-30 slump, picked up his first hit since April—a two-run bomb of early Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu—and the Rockies snapped a twelve game winless streak against the Dodgers. Valaika now has four hits in his last two games, double the amount of hits he had in his first 40 at-bats. Maybe—just maybe—Patty Barrels is breaking through.
On Friday, the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game rosters were announced, and left-handed relief pitcher Ben Bowden (no. 17 PuRP) will be the Rockies lone representative. Yesterday, Kevin Henry spoke to Bud Black about Bowden and what the invitation means for the young pitcher moving forward. After an incredible start to the season in Double-A, Ben is hoping to make his mark in Triple-A and knock down the door to the big leagues in the near future.
On the farm
In his first rehab start with the Isotopes, Trevor Story went 1-for-3 and made a very slick defensive play ranging to his right and throwing across his body to get a speedy runner at first. Trevor will play for the ‘Topes again on Sunday but should be back in the big leagues very soon, barring any injury setbacks.
Daniel Montano went 3-for-4 for Asheville yesterday, was a single shy of the cycle, and collected his ninth stolen base of the year. Niko Decolati had two hits, including a triple, and Grant Lavigne doubled in a run for the Tourists in a game that saw five of the team’s six hits go for extra bases.
Short Season-A: Boise Hawks 4, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 2