Let's give Jake Etkin some credit: he's been reporting on the Rockies from jump and I frequently forget about his work since it's published in Forbes of all places. But there are three interesting tidbits from this otherwise typical pre-Spring Training "best shape of his life and/or added a pitch" material. First, Bud Black calls the pause in Kyle Freeland's delivery "the flamingo pause," which I guess is better than the Crane Pause? Anyway, the second tidbit is that it's gone. It's easy to forget that Freeland only added it in 2017 during his rookie year, so it's not as if he needs it to be successful. Just don't freak out when you don't see him pause in Spring Training games.
The third, and perhaps most significant, tidbit is the team is using more analytic equipment, even if they are characteristically tight-lipped about it. Pitching coordinator Steve Merriman's role in re-working Kyle's delivery is not made explicit, but AGM and player development coordinator Zach Wilson confirmed that the team is using all the fancy toys to help Freeland and other pitchers, from Edgertronic Cameras to TrackMan. This is intriguing because when The MVP Machine came out last year, it seemed to paint the picture that the Rockies were falling way behind the curve on technology and analytics in player development. Now they're at least using the tech. Wilson admits that it's not using the tech but how you use it that matters, so we'll just have to wait and see how much it helps.
The short answer: not much. The trade still hasn’t gotten beyond the medicals phase to get to “OFFICIAL” territory, but it’s unlikely that the principles will change. But the short version is the Dodgers won the division last year by 21 games and didn’t lose any major players to trade or free agency before this deal. Adding a former-MVP like Betts isn’t going to change much except make it pretty certain that it’s World Series or Bust for the Dodgers and Wild Card or Bust for the rest of the NL West.
In other news that you can chose to be cynical about but I will not, Charlie Blackmon did one of those Good Athlete things on Monday by paying a visit to a fan in a dire health situation. Joseph Garcia thought he was the lucky beneficiary of the partnership between the Rockies and UCHealth in getting a behind-the-scenes tour of Coors Field. What he got instead was a personal visit from everyone’s favorite bearded outfielder. There’s photo and video there as well that is most definitely safe for work if you need a pick me up on this snowy Denver Friday.