Let me start this off by saying, Purple Row readers, it’s been a blast. As the 2019 season wraps up today, so will my time as a writer for what I consider to be the very best, fan-oriented Rockies blog there is. I was so lucky to cover this team in ‘17 and ‘18 amid back-to-back playoff appearances, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s engagement as I managed to incorporate Daniel Tiger and Thanos into my portfolio of baseball writing.
With that being said, let’s get to the discussion as we enter the final day of baseball for the 2019 Colorado Rockies. It’s a bitter-sweet day—the pain of this year will be coming to an end, but no one is really happy to not have Rockies baseball anymore. I’ll be at 20th and Blake myself to send them off and wrap up my Purple Row days in style. Go Rockies!!
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On Friday night, Raimel Tapia set a new Rockies record after hitting his second pinch-hit grand slam of the season, and it was his fourth pinch-hit home run in total. As Nick Groke posits, Raimel shouldn’t get the opportunity to match or beat that record, as he should now be entering 2020 as the primary left-fielder while Ian Desmond rides the pine.
That is, of course, if Raimel is still wearing purple next season. His season has been a tale of two halves. Just like Garrett Hampson, Raimel started slowly with inconsistent playing time. But once Bud Black moved David Dahl to center field and Raimel began taking over in left, his numbers began to impressively climb. Tapia’s trade value may be at it’s peak now, and with Sam Hilliard (how about that bomb off Josh Hader—wow) and Yonathan Daza waiting in the wings, Taps might be expendable.
What’s your move here, Purple Rowers? Stick with Taps as your starting left-fielder, or get as much value as you can out of him and let the kids play in 2020 with an eye on 2021?
Thomas Harding also covered Tapia’s big night off the bench for the Rockies, and emphasizes Raimel’s strong confidence in himself going forward. Thomas also writes about Raimel’s approach at the plate—a definite free-swinger—and how he has been working on his discipline to make pitchers throw him better pitches to hit. When all aspects of his game are working, Raimel Tapia is definitely a dynamic player who can excite a crowd.
Harding also brings up Ryan McMahon’s new Rockies record. RyMac has the most home runs (24, so far) hit by a primary second baseman in franchise history, surpassing Clint Barmes. Ryan also already surpassed Clint in RBI total for a primary 2B, and he looks to be big offensive threat who can play great defense, as well, at a position usually lacking pop.
The Patrick Saunders vendetta with Jeff Bridich continues in Saunders’ latest article with the Post. Patrick throws Bridich under the bus as far as his accountability and willingness to talk to the media—maybe rightfully so—and brings up nine questions he would ask the Rockies GM once he’s ready to talk to the media.
Saunders does bring up good questions, though, such as what will he do with expensive, aging, under-performing veterans like Bryan Shaw, Wade Davis, Jake McGee, and Ian Desmond, as well as wondering if acquiring a starting pitcher will be high on Jeff’s priorities this offseason after the rotation struggled in 2019.
In a light-hearted final power rankings from Sports Illustrated, the Rockies roll into the offseason ranked 23rd by the renowned publication. This time, Emma Baccellieri writes a haiku for every team, and the Rockies poem is, well, as to be expected:
Bad start. Worse middle.
Crumble: slow, then all at once
But! Nightmare ends soon
Ah well, nevertheless. After losing nine straight games to end August and begin September, the Rockies have fought back to resemble a decent team again to finish the year. They have still been bad, but they’ve had more flashes of good, again, and Baccellieri has recognized their efforts by moving them closer to middle of the pack.
Any qualms with this power ranking, good or bad? How do you see them ranking entering 2020? It might be too soon to know, as there is still much work to be done this offseason... or so we hope.
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Don’t worry, I won’t be a stranger. I’m always talking Rockies on Twitter (see my handle above in the byline), and I’ll catch y’all on the flipside!