Yesterday, Purple Row’s Skyler Timmins took a look at how the Rockies offseason departures are faring on their new teams. Today, we’ll look at the players that took their places on the Rockies.
Kris Bryant (free agent, seven years, $182MM)
To put it plainly, the Rockies biggest offseason acquisition has yet to make as big of a splash on the baseball diamond as the signing did in the headlines.
Kris Bryant batting
He’s yet to find his power stroke, still searching for his first long ball in a Rockies uniform, but he’s hit at a modest clip. The lack of power is hopefully explained by his current back injury, but if he’s out for an extended period or the power doesn’t return, the Rockies will have a somewhat large hole in their future plans.
José Iglesias (free agent, one year, $5MM)
José Iglesias batting
Offensively, Iglesias has been as much as Rockies fans could have hoped for from the veteran shortstop. He’s slashing at or above his career averages, hitting consistently from the bottom third of the Rockies lineup. Defensively, it’s been a different story. Formerly known as a defensive wizard, Iglesias looked to be losing a step in 2020, and 2021 doesn’t look like it will be a step back in the right direction. He’s currently committed four errors on the year and has mixed advanced metrics. That said, his deal is team friendly and between Ezeqiel Tovar and Adael Amador, the reinforcements from the minors are on their way.
Alex Colome (free agent, one year, $4.1MM)
The Rockies bullpen has been one of the reasons for the team’s early success, but its most expensive acquisition hasn’t been able to help yet. While he hasn’t pitched too much so far, Alex Colome hasn’t had the best results. Some of it can easily be attributed to small sample size and plain bad luck, as explored by Justin Wick last week, but fortunately the rest of the bullpen has been able to pick up the slack.
Chad Kuhl (free agent, one year, $3MM)
What’s not to like? Kuhl has been the Rockies best starter in the early going as well as the most consistent supplier of name related puns. His reliance on a new sinker has paid dividends in the early going, and keeping the ball down has also helped keep the ball in the yard. His FIP indicates that a regression is definitely coming, but as long as he’s able to continue to keep his home run rate down, he’ll likely continue to have success.
Chad Kuhl pitching
Randal Grichuk (trade with Toronto)
Randal Grichuk batting
The early returns on this trade are looking good as Raimel Tapia has struggled to find his groove in Canada. Grichuk, however, is enjoying a Coors related boost in batting average and on base percentage, but also performing above his career levels in terms of park-adjusted stats. He is running a .362 BABIP so far compared to a .292 average clip, so his on base numbers will likely come down at some point, Coors Field or not.
★ ★ ★
Bryant, previously confirmed to miss the rest of the Rockies road trip, will receive a cortisone shot in his back as there hasn’t been “much progress” in his return from injury. He has been playing catch at the Rockies spring training complex, but has yet to start swinging a bat in his rehab. The Rockies missed him during their series at Chase Field, dropping two of three to the D-Backs, and will continue to do so as the team travels to Bryant’s former home, Oracle Park, for a matchup with the Giants starting today.
★ ★ ★
On the Farm
Another Sunday, another sweep for the Rockies minor league affiliates. The Isotopes led the way, knocking off Oklahoma City to earn a series sweep after losing three straight. The hit parade was led by Elehuris Montero (no. 5 PuRP), recently returned from a big league appearance. He went 3-3 with a homer and a double after entering the game as a pinch hitter. The Ryans, Vilade (no. 8 PuRP) and Feltner (no. 15 PuRP) also played well, with the former knocking a triple as part of a two hit day, and the latter earning the win, his fourth of the year, after throwing five innings and allowing two runs. The ‘Topes host the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (HOU) for their next series starting Tuesday.
Hartford secured the series win against the Rumble Ponies (NYM) on Mother’s Day Sunday. Mitchell Kilkenny (no. 23 PuRP) continued his positive trend of performances, earning his first win of the year behind a six inning, one run, no walk performance. The offense was highlighted by - who else - Ezeqiel Tovar (one hit, one run, two RBI, two walks, two stolen bases) - who is now a perfect 11 for 11 on stolen bases for the year. Michael Toglia (no. 7 PuRP) set the tone early with a two-run homer in the first, his fourth of the year. The Yard Goats return home Tuesday to host Boston’s AA affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs.
Zac Veen (no. 1 PuRP) delivered the final blow for Spokane in Game 1 (a continuation of Friday’s postponed contest), scoring Eddy Diaz (no. 30 PuRP) with an RBI fielder’s choice after the latter had tied the game with an RBI triple.
Diaz had three more hits on the day and another run scored to help propel Spokane to a come-from-behind victory over the Dust Devils (LAA). Austin Kitchen earned the win in relief with two scoreless innings of work after Andrew Quezada threw five innings of planned long relief. Evan Shawver had started Friday on the mound and was relieved by Anderson Bido for the restart Sunday. Bido got the only batter he faced out before Quezada took the mound to start with a clean inning in the third.
Game 1 was the Eddy Diaz show, but Game 2 belonged to Joe Rock (no. 16 PuRP). The 2021 Competitive Balance Round B pick bounced back from his last start and threw six innings of one run ball against the Dust Devils, allowing only three hits and two walks against three strikeouts. Helping on the offensive side, Zac Veen went 2-4 with two RBI while Colin Simpson had a two-run homer and added a couple of walks to reach base every time he came to the plate.
While two of the games did end up unplayed, Spokane ended with a four win sweep of the Dust Devils. They have an off-day Monday, then will travel to (hopefully drier) Hillsboro, OR for a six-game set against the Hops (ARI).
Single-A: Fresno Grizzlies 3, Modesto Nuts 2
In a matchup of current and former Rockies Single-A affiliates, Fresno took the win on Sunday to split the six-game week long set. Mason Green started the game on the mound for the Grizzlies, throwing seven scoreless innings and striking out seven. He earned the win and improved to 2-1 on the year, lowering his ERA to 2.96. Warming Bernabel (no. 18 PuRP) and Juan Guerrero both scored a run and provided two hits for the Grizzlies. Bernabel added an RBI and stolen base, while Juan Brito (HM PuRP) had a hit, a run, two walks, and two stolen bases of his own. The Grizzlies will continue their season Tuesday when they kick off a series against the Visalia Rawhide (ARI).
★ ★ ★
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