The Colorado Rockies are in danger of losing their season and, as Nick Groke writes, even Nolan Arenado knows it. They have lost 13 of their last 15 games—which is still kind of hard to believe—and are tied with the Padres for last place in the NL West. Plus, they still have six teams ahead of them for a Wild Card spot. It feels similar to the 3-12 slump that started the year, only then there were 147 games left, and now they have just 64 to go.
Nolan knows there is a limited amount of time to turn the season around, and his frustration really shows in his quotes to Groke. “You can only lose so much in the second half,” he says, and goes on to admit, “I haven’t been doing a good job lately.” Relative to everyone else, Nolan is still having a great season, but he may be pressing in an attempt to carry this team to he finish line. Over the last month he’s slashing just .241/.327/.391, good for a 72 wRC+.
But, of course, the pitching is really to blame. The starting rotation has the worst ERA in baseball, while the entire staff collectively is second-worst—just beating out Baltimore. It feels like there is too much to fix and too little time to fix it if they want to remain relevant in 2019, but I suppose crazier things have happened...
Nick Groke had the opportunity to talk to Adam Ottavino and DJ LeMahieu before they faced their former club for the first time on Friday. They discussed the pressure (or lack thereof) of playing baseball in New York, the significance of team depth, and more.
Groke also digs into the distinctly polar opposite type of seasons the Yankees and Rockies are having, despite high expectations entering 2019, and how they got into these positions. Like LeMahieu says, the Yankees are “super legit” while the Rockies are hitting the panic button. They struck gold on new additions and new faces in the Bronx, and it has little to do with market size or wallet size. The Rockies, however, have fizzled, and it’s glaringly obvious.
The four-letter national sports media conglomerate gave some attention to the “Rockies East vs. Rockies West” narrative that’s been blowing up at the beginning of this East Coast road-trip. Coley Harvey writes about Ottavino, LeMahieu, and Tauchman all having success against their former team in the first matchup of the series, and what it meant to them to “prove their former club wrong.” I’ll give you the quick overview—they enjoyed it.
Marcus Stroman pitched a gem on Friday night (seven innings, six hits, no runs, no walks, and five strikeouts) in front of a large group of Blue Jay fans who traveled to Detroit to watch him pitch, as well as eight scouts for teams who are in the market for Toronto’s ace. Jon Morosi speculates that with the trade deadline fast approaching, it might have been Stro’s last start for Toronto before being traded. If it was, he put on quite a show.
Sadly, the Rockies were not one of the teams reportedly in attendance. I have been vocal in my desire for the Rockies to try and get Stroman into purple pinstripes, but their recent losing streak may have swayed the front office into standing pat (or being sellers) rather than looking to buy before the trade deadline.
Matthew Browning at Tomahawk Take took his crazy pills and wrote a speculative article about the Braves potentially acquiring Jon Gray from the Rockies. Sure, this season is in trouble, but we’re far from “blow it all up” territory.
Browning says the Braves would have to center a package around Ian Anderson (a 2016 first round pick) to get Gray, which is a pretty nice start. Anderson has a career 2.69 ERA and 10+ K/9 in four years with the Braves organization, but Gray is still too valuable to the Rockies current contention window. Like Browning says, “parades are more fun than prospects.”
On the farm
The Asheville Tourists pulled off an exciting walk-off win on Saturday wherein Terrin Vavra went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and the winning hit, Niko Decolati picked up three hits, and Coco Montes and Willie MacIver had two hits a piece. Asheville appears ripe with potential breakout prospects for the Rockies, and hopefully we can see a few make that next leap to Lancaster in the near future.
Christian Koss was a double shy of the cycle for the Rookie Rockies and picked up six RBI on three hits, and Ronaiker Palma was 3-for-5 with five RBI in a blowout victory over the Owlz. Sam Hilliard hit his 28th bomb for the ‘Topes, Josh Fuentes hit his 11th, and Ben Bowden pitched 1.1 perfect innings with two strikeouts.
Aaron Schunk and Michael Toglia both had big days at the plate for the Hawks. Schunk was a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored, while Toglia went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.
Double-A: Trenton Thunder 6, Hartford Yard Goats 4
Short Season-A: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 15, Boise Hawks 12
DSL 1: DSL Giants 6, DSL Colorado 3
DSL 2: DSL Rockies 13, DSL Twins 5