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Nolan keeps being Nolan for the Rockies, nearly makes his best play

Rockies news and links for September 14, 2019

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‘It would have been really cool’: Nolan Arenado was agonizingly close to making his greatest play | The Athletic ($)
“It would have been pretty cool” is a quote that can be attributed to a number of occurrences in this Colorado Rockies 2019 season. Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado happened to be talking about a play from Thursday’s game that some are saying could have been the best play of his platinum career.

I would personally say Arenado has made more sparkling plays than this over the past several years, but this was an impressive one. He had to run a long way down the left field line, battling the sun to make an over-the-shoulder catch in foul territory. Next, he made a no-look throw to the plate to try to nab Harrison Bader trying to score on the sacrifice fly and very nearly got him. The throw skipped a bit and Dom Nunez was unable to make the tag in time.

Nick Groke of The Athletic compares Arenado’s near-sensational play to Marcelo Balboa’s near goal in the 1994 World Cup.

Questions for Rox after postseason elimination |
Arenado, Bud Black, Trevor Story, Wade Davis, Charlie Blackmon, Kyle Freeland, German Márquez, Tony Wolters and Ryan McMahon all shared their thoughts about what to do to recover from the disappointing 2019 season with Thomas Harding of

My personal favorite quote was from Arenado when asked about the role injuries played in the dismal season.

“That’s not why we lost this year,” Arenado said. “I hope that’s not the excuse.”

As an advocate for structural change in the Rockies organization (how progressive of me), the other quotes were a bit disconcerting. Story, in particular said he doesn’t think the team needs an overhaul.

While injuries undoubtedly made a bad situation worse, there must be some realization that the way this roster was constructed had significant flaws from the beginning.

Rockies collapse leads back to familiar question: How do you build a quality pitching staff in Colorado? | CBS Sports
Mark Axisa of CBS Sports would tend to agree with many of the above comments. He calls 2019 “a bump in the road” for the Rockies and believes the strong core of the team can be supplanted with “smarter free agent signings.”

I would agree that the core of Arenado, Story, Blackmon, Márquez, Gray and Oberg (and you could very well McMahon and Brendan Rodgers to the list as well) is one that can be built around and made successful, but after two straight offseasons of underwhelming additions, it’s hard to have hope that these “smarter” roster decisions will be made.

With bone fragments cleared from his elbow, Rockies prospect Ryan Castellani’s “full go” for the Arizona Fall League | The Denver Post ($)
Ryan Castellani (No. 16 PuRP) was promoted to Triple-A to begin the 2019 season, but saw his numbers absolutely blow up. After 43 1/3 innings, he elected to undergo surgery to remove fragments in his elbow. He will now get the opportunity to showcase his post-surgery arm in the Arizona Fall League. Castellani expressed a high level of confidence that he will be a more effective pitcher now that he has health back on his side. He is scheduled to pitch on September 19, reports Kyle Newman of The Denver Post.