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The UCLA connection that ties together three current Rockies

Rockies news and links for August 17, 2019

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Colorado Rockies: Rookie Dom Nuñez and his strange Rockies connection | Rox Pile
In today’s edition of “It’s a Small World,” Jake Shapiro of Rox Pile has an interesting story of a connection among three current members of the Rockies’ organization. Prior to the 2013 draft, Pat Valaika had graduated from UCLA. Ryan McMahon and Dom Nuñez, both infielders at the time, received scholarships to UCLA and participated in a showcase game to be Valaika’s replacement.

Neither McMahon or Nuñez ended up attending UCLA as they were drafted by the Rockies in the second and sixth rounds of the 2013 draft, respectively. Drafted ninth in the same round by the same team was Valaika. All three haven’t been on the roster at the exact same time for the 2019 Rockies, but there’s a good chance they’ll all be together come September when rosters expand.

Personal milestones to watch in NL West |
While the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to have a lock on the National League West, there are still individual accolades for players on each NL West team to look forward to, writes AJ Cassavell of

Clayton Kershaw can move ahead of Sandy Koufax on the Dodgers’ all-time wins list with one more victory, San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy can reach 2,000 victories and Eduardo Escobar of the Arizona Diamondbacks could take home the RBI crown in the NL.

There was a possibility of San Diego Padres rookie phenom Fernando Tatís taking home the NL batting title but reports from Friday indicate he is likely done for the season due to a back injury.

As for the Rockies, shortstop Trevor Story is on pace to join the 20-20 (home runs/stolen bases) club for the second consecutive season. The only other Rockie to accomplish that feat in back-to-back seasons was Carlos González, who actually did so in four consecutive years. Dante Bichette also went 20-20 in 1994 and 1996, the only other Rockie to do so in multiple seasons.

The last 20-20 shortstop in back-to-back seasons? Ian Desmond, from 2012-2014 with the Washington Nationals.

Infield shifts are up this season, and pitchers can see the value in Shift Runs Saved | The Athletic ($)
For the Athletic, Mark Simon of Sports Info Solutions delves into MLB pitchers who have benefited the most from the shift according to SIS’ metric, Shift Runs Saved. The National League West is well-represented, with the Dodgers and particularly the Diamondbacks having multiple names toward the top of the rankings.

The Rockies are represented by the pitcher who has had the most shift runs saved behind him in all of baseball—German Márquez. The Rockies’ defense has saved 8.2 runs on shifts for Márquez. It helps to have one of the best infield defenses in the game playing behind you.

On the Farm

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 9, Las Vegas Aviators 7

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 7, Binghamton Rumble Ponies 0

High-A: Modesto Nuts 13, Lancaster JetHawks 1

Single-A: Asheville Tourists 12, Charleston RiverDogs 3

Short-Season A: Hillsboro Hops 2, Boise Hawks 1

DSL 1: DSL Yankees 3, DSL Rockies 2

DSL 2: DSL Tigers 7, DSL Colorado 5