There’s no secret that Rockies fans, players, and management alike are hoping for a bounce-back year from the pitching staff, especially Kyle Freeland. While Freeland’s numbers suggested a rough season for the entirety of 2019, The Athletic highlights the steps that he has taken to right the ship, starting as early as July of last season.
The past eight months have seen Freeland try to simplify his game by focusing solely on his fastball and slider, while also diving into the analytics side in the Rockies new “pitching lab.” By combining the simple with the utterly complex, Freeland has seen positive results throughout Spring Training — he has given up just three hits across five innings to go along with four strikeouts.
Here’s hoping he gets a chance to show continued successes in the regular season.
As of today, March 19th, it has officially been one week since the MLB suspended Spring Training and moved the start of the regular season back two weeks. (We know now it will be, probably, much longer.)
That one week has felt like an eternity, but fortunately, MLB Network is airing classic games with the hope of filling that baseball void that many of us are feeling. So far the schedule includes the Yankees-Royals “Pine Tar” game and the 1979 Phillies-Cubs affair that saw the teams combine for 45 runs. It’s only a matter of time before the Rockies make an appearance...right?
For most baseball fans right now, the main concern falls under the “how-long-until-games-start?” umbrella. For players and MLB executives, there is a whole other group of unknowns that stem from the draft, player service time, and salary (among other things).
The craziest part about all of this is that there will be no true answers until there is an official start date for baseball. Currently player salaries are being advanced, but how long can that go on, especially if teams have to play games without fans to start the season? And will Mookie Betts be a free agent or not when the season ends? (He currently has 102 days left of service time.)
While one week without baseball already has me down, I’m calling myself lucky for not having to iron out all the logistical details that come with this uncertainty.
Why not use all of this time you could have spent watching baseball, reading about it? Todd Helton holds a special place in the heart of all Rockies fans and would be anyone’s guess for who tops this chart, but piecing together the other four proves to be a bit more challenging (or at least three. See: Andres Galarraga).
Since Helton manned first base for parts of 22 seasons, have some fun, and see if you can figure out who else was successful trying to fill those shoes!
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Growing up in Colorado meant it was easy to call myself a Rockies fan, but Matt Holliday touching (or not?) home plate in Game 163 in 2007 turned my casual Rockies fandom into a non-stop obsession. It even lead to a brief (and extremely unsuccessful) attempt of my own to play baseball. While my time on the diamond was embarrassing to say the least, my love for the game continued to grow. No matter the team’s record, catching a game in Coors Field ranks at the top of my to-do list every summer and is simply an experience that can’t be beat. Go Rockies!