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Oberg’s return will improve an already-hot pitching staff

Colorado Rockies news and links for Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Rockies rely on great mound work to take 2020 opening series vs. Rangers | Mile High Sports

Colorado’s team pitching so far: 26 innings, 5 runs, 16 hits, 12 walks, 22 strikeouts.

The Rockies have the third-best ERA in baseball.

Brian Kilpatrick of Mile High Sports breaks down the Rockies’ opening series with the Rangers, highlighting the performance of starters and relievers. “Colorado’s bullpen allowed just one of those [five] runs in 9 23 total innings. That comes after a season in which the Rockies’ relief corps finished with the second-worst ERA and WAR among NL bullpens.”

“The caveat with all of this, of course, is that it’s an extremely small sample.” “However, all of that aside, the entire 2020 season is going to be a small sample.”

Colorado’s pitching staff will be tested tonight and Wednesday against the 3-1 Athletics, a team currently tied with the Astros atop the AL West. In Colorado’s first 24 games, Oakland is their only opponent that made the postseason last year. Four games in and the A’s are just above league average in runs scored and on-base percentage; they are just below in batting average points, slugging percentage and OPS.

The Rockies’ team performance so far has been without Scott Oberg, the qualifying team ERA leader from a year ago and presumed next-in-line for the closer spot after Wade Davis. Oberg’s 2020 campaign has been curtailed due to back soreness, and he has begun the season on the injured list.

Notes: Oberg ‘doubtful’ for home opener

Bud Black says Oberg is “probably doubtful” for the home opener on Friday. His placement on the injured list is retroactive to July 20, and he was reported to be throwing a bullpen session on Monday.

MLB News: Latest Buzz on Justin Verlander, Corey Kluber, More Injuries | Bleacher Report

Other marquee pitchers in MLB’s ‘West’ pod ran into injuries over the weekend:

  • The DodgersClayton Kershaw was scratched on Opening Day due to back stiffness. Kershaw said on Friday that his injury was “not too serious.”
  • The AstrosJustin Verlander suffered a forearm strain, and could miss the remainder of the season. (Verlander later tweeted “The report that I’m currently missing the rest of the season is not accurate.”)
  • The Rangers’ Corey Kluber threw an inning (on Sunday against Colorado) before being pulled due to shoulder tightness. It was Kluber’s first appearance in 15 months.

An atypical 2020 schedule means the Rockies get to face several AL names they don’t often see. Verlander and Kluber are two such names; they have played a combined 26 seasons in the AL and none in the NL.

The next opportunity the Rockies have to face Kershaw, Verlander or Kluber is during a 10-day stretch beginning August 14th, with the Rangers, Astros and Dodgers in order. Both the Rangers and Astros are on Colorado’s interleague schedule for 2021.

Two years, and a lot of money later, Bryan Shaw is pitching for the Mariners | The Seattle Times

Even the pitchers that were Rockies a mere 11 days ago have been seeing good results. Bryan Shaw of the Mariners and Jake McGee of the Dodgers have combined for three scoreless innings in 2020, allowing a combined one hit.

Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports Shaw actually drove the 19-plus hours from Denver to Seattle upon his release.

A’s fan trolls Astros with garbage can cutout featuring team’s mascot | Yahoo! Sports

Our very own Renee Dechert wrote on Monday how cardboard cutouts in the stands are a terrible idea. The cutouts usually feature a fan. One such cutout will watch the Rockies this evening in Oakland—and it’s not like the others.

And apparently, actor Tom Hanks had his voice recorded as a ballpark vendor for A’s games. Oakland’s broadcasts will feature his voice “mixed in with the crowd noise.”

(Add both to the list of what makes the Oakland Coliseum unlike any other.)

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