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Is the Rockies front office behind the times?

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Rockies news and links for September 12, 2019

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Rosenthal: After the team’s second half collapse, would it be preposterous to trade Nolan Arenado? Well... | The Athletic ($)

First of all - yes, it would be preposterous to trade Arenado. Asked and answered. But Ken Rosenthal raises some other questions in this piece about how the Rockies are run that require further concern.

Perhaps the most damning item in this reporting is the overall feel that the players themselves feel like Rockies management is falling behind the rest of the league. There are concerning questions here about the franchise’s use of data and what information (or lack thereof) the players are given to maximize their results.

We have had those questions for a while because, you know, Ian Desmond for $70 million (and other club decisions and philosophies). But here you have those questions coming from the players, at least according to Rosenthal, an awfully reliable source.

DJ LeMahieu and Mike Tauchman have become noteworthy cases of former Rockies thriving in a new setting, and both are mentioned here by Rosenthal. He also notes that the Rockies front office is notoriously insular and that Bridich can be seen as being “increasingly negative.”

This comes in the same season as a book from Drew Goodman in which Bridich comes off as arrogant, and that’s the charitable way to describe it. It seems that we’ve got a guy in charge who apparently always thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, no matter the money tied up in the likes of Bryan Shaw, Wade Davis and Jake McGee or the negative results from Desmond. He probably would still tell me that I just don’t understand.

Put it all together, and Rosenthal paints a picture of a franchise that probably needs to gather and use data as much as any in all of professional sports, yet is coming up short in that area. That same team is run by owners and a front office that come off as stubborn, meaning that they might think 2019 was just unlucky and follow the same plan in 2020.

It’s crazy to think that a team coming off two straight playoff appearances could now feel like it’s on the verge of being toxic, but that’s where we are.

The problem isn’t Arenado’s contract. It isn’t even Charlie Blackmon’s contract, and I hardly think it’s the “lack of fun” that is mentioned again here. I would argue that those extensions for star players are moves they have gotten right. And Bridich has certainly been successful in terms of developing homegrown players.

The problem appears to be the rest of the infrastructure in the organization. Extending your star players can work if there is a solid foundation for them to lead. Relying on young, homegrown players can work if you have depth and are adaptable when you need to be. To hear it from Rosenthal and the players in this piece, those are the areas where Bridich and his front office fall short.

Hopefully they can show us this offseason that they’re willing to make real changes so as to not waste the positive progress from 2017 and 2018. If for no other reason, hopefully that happens so we don’t have to read a bunch of articles next year about why the Rockies should trade Nolan.

The Colorado Rockies offensive issues run deep - barrel deep | Rox Pile

How about some of that information about what is happening on the field? Jake Shapiro takes a look at a certain issue that has hurt the Rockies on offense this season.

Freeland making push to return to rotation in 2019 | MLB.com

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time we were making the case for Freeland as National League Cy Young winner. Now we’re just wondering where he fits in the rotation next season. Whatever efforts the lefty was making to get on track between now and the end of the season were thwarted by a groin injury.

There is also an update in here about Tyler Anderson, and it’s not terribly hopeful. He’s looking to be ready about two months into next season after having more work done on his knee. Unfortunately it sounds like a lingering issue that might continue to linger.