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Bullpen questions for 2020, already

Rockies news and links for Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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Díaz’s dominant September continues for Rox |

Thomas Harding has a nice story about Jairo Díaz’s excellent run over the last couple of weeks. Díaz has long been one of those relievers with a live arm but multiple barriers in the way, from injury to ineffectiveness. Here’s hoping he can keep this going and set himself up to be a big part of the 2020 bullpen.

30 players that are better than their ‘19 numbers |

Wade Davis is the member of the Rockies mentioned here. Here’s the write-up:

It has been a nightmare season for Davis, to say the least. But he has rebounded from nightmare seasons before. A point in his favor is that his road ERA this year is 3.50 in 20 appearances. It’s just that at Coors Field, his ERA is 11.10.

I don’t buy it. One could have argued that in 2018 Davis was a player who was worse than the numbers suggested, especially for those who focus on saves. He had 43 saves, but he also posted a 4.13 ERA and had trouble with walks. Still, there were things in his favor. He was still striking out about 30% of the batters he faced, and his 3.65 FIP suggested that his ERA should have been better.

In 2019, however, his ERA ballooned to 7.78, but except this year Davis’s 5.51 FIP only suggests he should have been terrible rather than godawful. His strikeout rate also fell to about 20%, and he’s having even more trouble with walks, as Davis has handed out free passes to around 13% of the batters he’s faced. The home/road splits simply can’t spin Davis’s awful season.

The glory of his home run was short-lived, but with the Rockies awry at first base, why not Josh Fuentes? | The Athletic ($)

My first impression of this article by Nick Groke was skepticism. I then did a little bit of stat line scouting and I’m still not convinced that Fuentes is a viable answer for first base. The position is a trouble spot for the Rockies, and the fact that Fuentes is being floated as a potential solution just reinforces that fact. Daniel Murphy is still probably the best option for 2020.

David Dahl had a breakout season before an ankle injury ended it |

Jack Etkin has a lot of positive quotes from Bud Black and Rockies hitting coach Jeff Salazer about David Dahl’s 2019, as well as the 2019 that could have been. It hints at what we’ll be talking about going into 2020: How can Dahl build off of what he did in 2019 and become a premier National League outfielder. Of course, the other thing we’ll be talking about is the other part of the article: Can he stay healthy? I’m among the baseball fans that believes that staying healthy is a skill. I’m excited about what Dahl can be, but I’m also worried he might be this generation’s Troy Tulowitzki.

LoDo’s iconic hot dog vendor: How Joel Watkins and his cart became an essential part of the Rockies’ game day experience | The Denver Post ($)

This one was from a couple of days ago, but it’s a nice story about a mainstay around Coors Field since 1995. The crux is that Watkins, who has been displaced once already from his regular spot due to permit issues, might be moved again due to the development of McGregor Square. It may lead to his retirement. Also, if McGregor Square comes to be known as a “Monfortstrosity,” we have to credit one Eric Garland, quoted here.