A 60-game season will improve the likeliness of the Rockies making the postseason, according to FanGraphs. Such an improvement roughly doubles their chances when compared to a 162-game schedule.
FanGraphs writer Dan Szymborski wrote back in March on how “the shorter the season is, the more margin there is for worse teams.” A 10.9 percent postseason chance for the Rockies is admittedly small, but it is far more than the 5.8 percent mark projected for a full 162.
Tony Wolfe of FanGraphs writes this June follow-up. He addresses how both heavily favored and heavily unfavored teams have seen playoff odds “pulled into the middle” in reference to how a smaller sample size of games can result in a harder-to-distinguish ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the league. Each game in a 60-game season is equivalent to 2.7 games on a 162-game scale; an ill-timed losing streak or well-timed winning streak is thereby magnified.
According to the FanGraphs model, the Dodgers’ playoff chances drop by 11.3 percent under the 60 game model—but they are still heavily favored in the NL West.
“With the sprint of the season, there’s a lot of teams who will flash back to how they feel in February where everyone’s optimistic,” Goodman said. “I certainly am, because I think the Rockies can put a competitive (expanded) roster out there, although they don’t have great depth on the mound, especially when it comes to starting pitching.”
Goodman is excited to see the 2020 campaign of a starter that could seriously boost that depth: “Kyle Freeland, who was off to a really good start in the spring, he needs to bounce back and he’d be the first person to say that. I think he’s in position to do that.”
Further depth could come from a trio of bullpen pieces that are all entering year three of their respective three-year contracts. Wade Davis (34), Jake McGee (33) and Bryan Shaw (32) look to be entering a free agent market soon, and a 2020 campaign could help prove their worth beyond their current contracts. A future deal for any of the three could easily be less than their current salary, but a solid showing over a 60-game schedule could benefit a future deal while adding crucial depth to the pitching staff late in games. That could bolster Colorado’s playoff chances even further in a shortened season.
If Daniel Murphy is indeed the Rockies’ designated hitter in 2020, Ryan McMahon could be covering at first base.
If the ‘Murphy as the DH, McMahon at first’ approach is indeed what manager Bud Black pursues, it opens an infield spot that could presumably be filled with 2015 first-rounder Brendan Rodgers. He appeared in spring training contests after undergoing season-ending labrum surgery last summer; depending on how it feels, perhaps even he could see action as a designated hitter. A delayed season has also allowed Rodgers additional time to recover.
Garrett Hampson and Chris Owings are other infield candidates that could reason themselves into the lineup. Owings was a non-roster invitee to spring training and is surely looking to prove himself on a new team after opposing the Rockies in the NL West for six years. Hampson could end up seeing more action than both Owings and Rodgers after seeing the most work in 2019.
Many Rockies in the everyday starting lineup have reportedly expressed a desire to remain in the field, rather than taking ‘half of a day off’ as a DH.
The DH luxury can be used in a multitude of ways, of course; if catcher Elias Diaz starts the regular season as hot as he did in spring training (.429/.458/.571), perhaps both he and Tony Wolters could be in the same lineup.
Ubaldo Jimenez’s hat from his no-hitter and Eric Young’s pants from a six-stolen-base game are just a few of the Rockies artifacts housed inside the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Todd Helton hit his final home run on Sept. 25, 2013 against the Red Sox at Coors Field. The bat is on display in the Hall, and the image of the bat used in this MLB.com link reveals it to be a bat with the name ‘Michael Cuddyer’ on the trademark.
If you could own one artifact from Rockies history, what would it be? I’m thinking the baseball Helton caught for the final out of the 2007 NLCS would look pretty cool on the fireplace mantle.
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In a Friday email to Rockies ticket holders, the Rockies issued a statement saying that all games of the 2020 season will be treated as new events. “Therefore, we are refunding your single game purchase for both the ticket price and service charges for any impacted 2020 events.”
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