Thomas Harding caught up with the four Rockies representatives at this year’s All-Star Game in Cleveland to get their thoughts and perspectives about being on the big stage with the game’s best players. Nolan and Chuck, as veterans among one of the youngest All-Star rosters ever, discuss their roles passing along baseball wisdom to the youngins of the National League and talk about their favorite part of being at the Midsummer Classic.
As for the game itself, the American League claimed victory for the seventh straight year. Arenado was 0-for-2 and Story was 0-for-1, but Dahl picked up a tough hit against Brad Hand and Charlie went 1-for-2 with a big ol’ dinger. I’d say that overall it was a nice showing for the Rockies who will go into the second half of the season with Postseason aspirations.
Kyle Newman gives his thoughts on the “juiced ball” controversy that is taking over Major League Baseball’s cultural consciousness, and he is definitely on board the idea that the commissioner's office is keeping something from the public. Call me an apologist if you must, but I have to draw the line at conspiracy theory for this one.
The ball is obviously different, we can all see that. Even Manfred has admitted, “this year the baseball has a little less drag.” Because of this production change, the ball is flying out of the ballpark at a record rate, but that’s hardly enough reason to claim shenanigans. You can argue all day whether the change is good for baseball or not, but while Newman thinks Manfred is “pulling the wool over our eyes,” I think it’s just coincidental variation.
As Charlotte Carroll writes, Justin Verlander seems to side more with Kyle Newman than I do. On Friday, the Houston Astros ace went off on Rob Manfred for trying to sweep the juiced ball controversy under the rug, and blatantly told reporters, “Major League Baseball’s turning this game into a joke,” and suggested MLB’s ownership of Rawlings—who produces the baseballs in question—might be more involved than they’d like us to believe.
Verlander went on to say more harsh statements about the state of the game of baseball and how it is being affected by “juiced” balls and didn’t hold back. Justin himself is having a perfectly fine season, however, and seems to not be affected by the new balls as badly as others, but being a Hall of Fame pitcher has that effect.
Entering the All-Star break—the season’s unofficial midway point—the Rockies find themselves with work to do. They’re a game below .500 at 44-45, and also have slid down to fourth place in the NL West. They’ve had tough competition so far, and much of the results might be disappointing for most fans and players, but they’re still only 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot and in the thick of a playoff chase.
Kevin Henry asks what the biggest disappointments have been for the Rockies so far, and suggests it is the starting rotation, Daniel Murphy, and the bullpen veterans. Do you have any other major disappointments of the 2019 season you’d like to highlight?
Noah Syndergaard, anyone? Jon Morosi has the latest on the possibility of the Mets trading their hard-throwing righty, and while the Rockies aren’t explicitly mentioned, I want them to pursue such a trade so I’m bringing it up anyway.
Jon says, “The cost for the right-hander would have to be high for the Mets to consider trading him,” but Thor doesn’t hit free agency until after 2021, so teams would get talent and control, and he could do wonders to shore up a struggling rotation and keep the Rockies championship window open during that time.
On the farm
A bunch of Tourists brought their hit-getting bats to the yard on Tuesday, as the team combined for nine runs on fourteen hits. Coco Montes led the charge with a three-hit (two doubles) night and four RBI, Terrin Vavra and Grant Lavigne both had two hits, and Niko Decolati collected his third home run of the year, a two-run oppo shot to right-center field.
Short Season-A: Hillsboro Hops 8, Boise Hawks 2
DSL 2: DSL Rockies 9, DSL Twins 4