We have officially hit the Sim All-Star Break 2020! The Sim Rockies have played 96 games and are 42-54 — 15 games behind the 57-39 first place Sim Dodgers in the NL West. Despite their record, there have been plenty of highlights (and lowlights) during this unprecedented season.
Was there ever any doubt that Nolan Arenado would make this list? Arenado was just named to his sixth straight All-Star Game and his first Sim All-Star Game. He is the starting third baseman for the National League for the fourth consecutive year as well.
At the moment, Arenado is hitting .326 (117-for-359) with 27 home runs, 68 RBI, 65 runs scored, and a 1.035 OPS. By this point in 2019, he was hitting .312 (106-for-240) with 20 home runs, 67 RBI, 61 runs scored, and a .939 OPS. That’s a pretty crazy difference, and if he keeps up this pace, maybe he’ll finally win (sim) MVP!
The Sim Rockies catching tandem of Drew Butera and Elias Díaz has been playing fairly well. Early in the season, Tony Wolters was the team’s primary catcher, but he was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on May 29 when Butera’s contract was selected.
Díaz began the season serving as Kyle Freeland’s personal catcher. However, he has proven his worth by slashing .273/.315/.383 with three home runs, 17 RBI, and eight runs scored. Butera, on the other hand, has been slashing .283/.383/.370 with a single home run, eight RBI, and ten runs scored. They may not be the flashiest of numbers necessarily, but both catchers have proven to be assets behind the plate and have come up with plenty of hits in clutch situations when the Sim Rockies needed them.
Tyler “Must See” Kinley has perhaps been the biggest surprise of the Sim Rockies season. He was a bit of a last-minute addition to the roster and has certainly pitched his keep, even ousting Wade Davis for closer at one point in the early season (Scott Oberg did it first, but then got injured so Kinley took his place). Now he is back as a set-up man.
Kinley has made 29 appearances and pitched 29 2⁄3 innings. In those 29 2⁄3 innings, he has posted a 2.12 ERA (lowest amongst the entire pitching staff) and a 0.910 WHIP (lowest amongst relievers — Jack Wynkoop has the lowest on the staff after his Sim MLB debut on Tuesday). Kinley has also only allowed seven runs (all earned), 11 walks, and 36 strikeouts. His 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings ranks third on the pitching staff, but his 3.3 walks per nine are fourth worst — tied with Germán Márquez and Jeff Hoffman.
The 29-year-old righty has yet to make the Real Rockies roster, but if he pitches as well for them as he has for the Sim Rockies, he should definitely be a staple in that bullpen.
The starting pitching has been shaky at best. Multiple players have been up and down I-25 to Albuquerque and others have been in and out of the bullpen. The most consistent starter has been Kyle Freeland, who boasts a 4.15 ERA and a 1.290 WHIP in 17 starts. Jon Gray and Germán Márquez have perhaps been the most disappointing of the bunch, especially after such great years in 2019. Márquez has been pegged as the “ace of the staff” for 2020 but he has pitched the worst of the “Big Three.” In 18 starts, Márquez has a 6.22 ERA and a 1.670 WHIP — both worst amongst the starters. He spent time in Albuquerque from May 15-May 29 where he pitched well, but has been pretty mediocre since then.
Gray was another big name to spend time in Albuquerque. He was there from May 29-June 21. The “Gray Wolf” has posted a 5.84 ERA and 1.520 WHIP in his 15 starts. Prior to his option, he had a 5.68 ERA and 1.430 WHIP in 10 starts. Both he and Márquez have been inconsistent and unfortunately disappointing, so hopefully they can figure some things out during this All-Star Break and return to the form that we’re used to seeing from them.
Slow offensive start
The Sim Rockies offense got off to a horribly slow start, especially from 2019 All-Stars David Dahl and Trevor Story. Dahl has finally taken off, but he started the season slashing .098/.229/.171 with just four hits through 41 at-bats in the first week. Story slashed .163/.200/.279 through his first week of play and also hit a home run.
Dahl is now hitting .249/.303/.470 with 13 home runs (5th), 46 RBI (4th), and 42 runs scored (5th). Story is hitting .251/.316/.543 with 24 home runs (T-2nd), 59 RBI (2nd), and 56 runs scored (2nd). He also has 11 stolen bases — four more than the rest of the team combined.
The 42-54 (.438) record is certainly the most disappointing aspect of this sim season so far. In 2019, they were 44-45 (.494) going into the All-Star Break. With this abysmal record, they are 15 games out of the Sim NL West and tied with the Sim Mets for last place in the NL Wild Card race.
The 10-game losing streak from May 7-16 certainly did not help, but they did have a six-game winning streak from June 21-27. They’ve had some small streaks, but have been unable to really string together long winning streaks.
If the Sim Rockies hope to contend for the rest of this season, they will have to figure some things out. But for now, we can all watch Nolan Arenado represent the Sim Rockies in the Sim All-Star Game, which we will broadcast live on YouTube tomorrow night at 6:00pm MT!
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Sim Rockies Batting Stats through July 12, 2020
Sim Rockies Pitching Stats through July 12, 2020
Sim NL West Standings through July 12, 2020
Sim NL Wild Card Standings through July 12, 2020