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The Rockies and the human rain delay

Colorado Rockies news and links for Sunday, May 29, 2022

The Colorado Rockies have experienced their fair share of weather-related delays in their history. Rainouts (or snowouts) are commonplace in baseball and Mother nature typically has no regard for if a baseball game is played or not. Sometimes, it happens in the middle of a game and turns what would have been a three-hour game into a five-hour game. Weather is uncontrollable and so rain delays are just a natural part of things that we have accepted in the world of baseball.

And then there are human rain delays.

It’s a classic joke. Typically in reference to a pitcher (sometimes a batter) that is so, shall we say, deliberate, in their approach to the game. Thanks to Baseball Savant, there is a handy tool to look at pitch tempo dating back to 2010, and see who is causing some innings to drag on before any action occurs.

Teenage Mutant Slowpoke Turtle (Rafael Betancourt)

Despite being one of the most effective and memorable relievers in franchise history, Rafael Betancourt is also best known for making a single inning feel like three. From 2010 to 2015, Betancourt delivered a pitch every 24.6 seconds when the bases were empty, which is the slowest tempo in the team’s data. The league average for every person to take the hill is 17.1 seconds. This stat doesn’t account for foul balls and other such factors, but it still indicates how slow Betancourt was on the mound.

Things got even slower when a runner got on base. Betancourt made his performance without runners look like he was Mark Buehrle, delivering a pitch every 30.4 seconds with runners on base. So when Rockies fans think of the definition of the human rain delay, in the eighth inning, Betancourt is going to be at the forefront of their minds.

We’ve Got a Plane to Catch

Not to be outdone, one of the notable acquisitions for the Rockies in 2022 is Alex Colomé, who is putting in a bid to be one of the slowest pitchers in team history. In his first outing of the season, Rockies fans were introduced to Colomé’s slow process on the mound. It took him nearly 30 minutes to get through five batters late in the game. Things have slightly improved over the season, but Colomé is still one of the slowest in team history right now, and the second slowest in all of baseball in 2022.

At 23.8 seconds, Colomé takes a while when the bases are empty. A slow tempo can keep the batter off-balance, but not knowing when he is going to throw a pitch is agonizing. This season, he has yet to deliver a pitch within 15 seconds to be considered “fast” by the Baseball Savant stat. As a result, when a runner gets on base, Colomé gets even slower, delivering a pitch every 32.5 seconds, the slowest in team history. Colomé is doing decent this season, but with how long it takes him to throw a pitch, you might not be awake to witness it.

Hip hip Jorge!

In terms of human rain delays for starting pitchers, many Rockies fans think of Jorge De La Rosa. It’s understandable because his delivery is so slow-moving that it’s only common sense to believe that he is unbearably slow from pitch to pitch. I was surprised to see that De La Rosa isn’t as slow as I expected.

With the bases empty De La Rosa averaged a pitch every 19.7 seconds from 2010 to the end of his time with the Rockies in 2016. That rate ticked up to 25 seconds with a runner on, which is still very slow, but it could have been worse. Since 2010, he ranks 35th in tempo for the franchise with runners on, behind the likes of many relievers. Still, perhaps that tempo of his helped him be one of the best starting pitchers in team history.

Speed it up a bit

With further analysis and in-depth research, I’m sure there is some sort of connection between a pitcher’s tempo and the effect it has on the team as a whole, let alone his performance. Every pitcher is different and so it’s only natural that some will take much longer than others. Yet, it’s always been a personal preference for me that a pitcher should work a little faster and control the pace of the game, and therefore see more success and improve the performance of the defense behind you. Plus, no one wants to feel like they can feel themselves aging when a certain pitcher takes the mound. Either way, it’s an interesting statistic to ponder and look through.

Be sure to check out Baseball Savant and explore the other various pitchers and their tempos!

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Rockies brave namesake mountains for photoshoot |

The Rockies unveiled their City Connect jerseys on Friday and did so with a photoshoot up in the mountains. Thomas Harding helps detail the journey to the mountains and the Rockies' experience through the adventure. It’s always fun when the guys get to do something out of the ordinary, and this time try out their modeling skills.

The Colorado Rockies versus the month of May is not pretty | Rox Pile

So..... the Rockies have not been good this month. Luke Mullins details some of the struggles the team has had this month. They aren’t too far below .500, but they will need to turn things around in June, otherwise, we are in for a long summer.

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On the Farm

Triple-A: Round Rock Express 14, Albuquerque Isotopes 3

It was a rough night for the Isotopes pitching staff as they allowed 14 runs on 18 hits, with all but one pitcher used giving up at least one run. Zach Neal was hit hardest allowing six runs on nine hits across five innings. Heath Holder then allowed four runs on three hits in one inning. Nick Kennedy closed out the night on the mound and allowed three runs. Offensively, Elehuris Montero had another multi-hit night while Carlos Pérez added two hits including a home run.

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 9, Richmond Flying Squirrels 3

The Yard Goats sent Noah Davis to the mound, and he delivered one of his stronger starts of the season. Davis allowed two runs on three hits in five innings of work while striking out seven. That was enough for the offense to get rolling, with Jimmy Herron and Kyle Datres driving in five runs combined thanks to a pair of home runs in the game. Ezequiel Tovar just keeps on hitting, adding a pair of knocks and bringing his batting average to .327 on the year. It’s also worth noting that Brenton Doyle and Daniel Cope both had multi-hit nights.

High-A: Everett AquaSox 12, Spokane Indians 5

Spokane also had a rough night on the mound. Despite lasting 5 13 innings, Joe Rock allowed eight runs on eight hits, with the most damage coming in the third inning when he gave up four runs. Later on, Tanner Propst was tagged for four runs in the top of the ninth which put the game well out of reach finally. On the offensive end, Eddy Diaz had three hits out of the leadoff spot while Drew Romo had a pair of hits, including a double.

Low-A: Stockton Ports 10, Fresno Grizzlies 8

It ended up a close one as Fresno narrowly lost to the Stockton Ports Saturday night. Victor Juarez started on the mound for the Grizzlies and the youngster continued a strong season, tossing five solid innings, allowing three runs on five hits. Luis Amoroso struggled in the seventh during his second inning of relief, coughing up three runs that gave Stockton the lead. Trailing 6-4, Fresno turned to Tyler Ahearn to keep the game close and give the offense a chance to rally back, but after the bases were loaded, Nick Brueser blasted a grand slam to seemingly put the game out of reach.

However, Fresno strung together an impressive rally to load the bases and come around to score on a Trevor Boone grand slam of his own. Unfortunately, they struck out with the tying runs on third and second. Hunter Goodman clubbed his 11th home run of the season, while Warming Bernabel had a three-hit night.

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