Craig Edwards at FanGraphs takes a closer look at what went wrong for Kyle Freeland this year leading up to his eventual demotion to Triple-A. Many have argued that Kyle’s tremendous 2018 season was somewhat of a fluke, that he could never repeat such a performance, and this year he would come back down to earth. Sure, not many would expect Freeland to repeat his 4th place Cy Young finish, but Edwards argues that what we’re seeing so far is something far more dubious than simply regression.
Using a variety of heat maps, tables, and data, Craig explains how Kyle’s issues this year aren’t based in luck, a lack thereof, or batters “figuring him out.” No, it’s simply pitches that are missing their spots and not moving like they used to—and it’s happening a lot. There has also been speculation that these issues are a result of a lingering blister and/or finger injury, which would make a lot of sense with this context. (Bud Black has denied this as a factor.) If there’s a positive to all of this, it’s that Kyle’s problems do seem fixable—or healable—and his 2019 can still be salvaged.
Nick Groke tells the story about the Rockies first round draft pick, Michael Toglia, finding out he was drafted Monday evening just before his NCAA tournament game playing for UCLA. Groke gives us Michael’s backstory and a narrative of his development into a power-hitting first baseman who has the athleticism to play in the outfield, too, and how he may eventually battle for playing time with an exciting draft pick from last year, Grant Lavigne.
Manny Randhawa has all of the Rockies coverage for day two of the 2019 MLB Draft, how the team switched their focus back to pitchers, and this year’s theme of drafting collegiate athletes instead of high schoolers. Manny gives much attention to Jacob Wallace, the Rockies fourth selection this year (100th overall), but offers insight and some scouting details for all eight draft picks from Tuesday’s action.
Now that the calendar has turned to June, Aaron Hurt of Rox Pile has to ask: is it time for the Rockies to swoon? Aaron lays out how the schedule will suddenly get particularly difficult for our boys in purple (or black vests), but will the momentum of a 9-1 homestand propel the Rockies to play winning baseball as summer heats up? Historically they have struggled at this time of the year, but it will be a good test to see how they respond to playing against playoff bound teams and division rivals in a short period of time.
On the farm
There was a bit of drama in the Yard Goats’ defeat of the Thunder on Tuesday night, as Trenton’s Matt Lipka bunted for a single with one out in the ninth inning of a Hartford no-hit bid—you know, unwritten rules and whatnot. The benches cleared once the game ended, as the Goats perceived Lipka’s bunt to be... unnecessary? Over the line? I’m not really sure.
More importantly, Rico Garcia spun yet another gem of a ballgame, this time pitching six hitless and scoreless innings while striking out a career high eleven batters. Ben Bowden finished the game off, picked up his 18th save, and struck out two batters of his own. Colton Welker provided all the offense the Goats would end up needing with a solo home run.