Aniello Piro discusses Raimel Tapia’s rise on the Rockies depth chart and how he is fitting into a team that is gradually turning to its youthful talent for production instead of aging veterans. Tapia has seen much more playing time over the past few weeks and made the most of it as the Rockies primary leadoff hitter, slashing .289/.337/.454 in the month of May.
Of course, Raimel got this opportunity because Charlie Blackmon was injured and Ian Desmond was playing inconsistently. But now Chuck is healthy and back in the lineup while Ian is playing, well, consistently. The question now is will Bud Black stick with his emerging talent in Tapia or go right back to the status quo. As Piro shows, Black has lots of nice things to say about Tapia, so hopefully he keeps his swagger up and stays in the lineup.
Even Aaron Hurt admits he doesn’t have much to complain about with the Rockies during their hot streak, but he manages to find one rather glaring hole in the roster that needs to be addressed—and likely won’t be. Sadly, it’s a fan favorite in Mark Reynolds.
Aaron is right though—Mark’s time with the Rockies should really come to an end. His article explains how bad Reynolds has been this year and how he could easily be replaced, but there are two major road blocks. First, the old Bud Black adage of sticking with his veterans. We’ve grown accustomed to it, but it can still be painful to watch.
Secondly, Mark is two home runs away from a career total of three-hundred. That’s a pretty big deal, and Jeff Bridich probably wants to see it happen in a Rockies uniform. Those dingers are coming slowly, however, and we could be in for a long ride if we’re waiting for Reynolds to reach that mark. Heh, get it? Mark.
In an interesting twist of fate, two of the Rockies top three 2019 draft picks faced off against each other on Friday night in the Los Angeles super regional. Our third overall pick Karl Kauffman took the mound for the Michigan Wolverines and spun 8.1 innings of two run ball, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out eight.
It wasn’t without some drama, though. In the ninth inning, with the bases loaded, Kauffman faced Michael Toglia—the Rockies first overall pick of the 2019 draft—who punched a single into right field to knock in the two runs charged against Kauffman. But Karl got the last laugh, so to speak, as the Wolverines held on to win the game.
On the farm
In Dominican Summer League action, the DSL Rockies went off for 17 runs scored and were led by 17 year old shortstop Michael James. Michael went 4-for-6 with two doubles, a home run, and six RBI. In seven games, he is now slashing .370/.438/.704—not bad, kid!
In Asheville, Riley Pint had another disastrous evening. He faced five batters and recorded one out (a strikeout), threw four wild pitches, and walked four batters. He seemed to be making progress coming out of the bullpen, but Saturday night was yet another major setback. On offense, Grant Lavigne went 3-for-3 with a stolen base.