The weekend is a great time to kick back and reflect. This Week in Purple is the place to catch up on the news from our team at Purple Row. You’ll find links to Rockpiles and other content below as well as a platform for community discussion in the comments.
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This was a busy week in Major League Baseball, and many of the announcements were unanimous.
To kick off the week, Rookies of the Year were announced on Monday. Unsurprisingly, Diamondbacks’ outfielder Corbin Carroll took home the prize for the National League and Orioles’ infielder Gunnar Henderson took it home for the American League. This was the fifth season where both winners were unanimous. Most recently, it was Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge in 2017. Rockies rookie sensation Nolan Jones finished fourth.
On Tuesday, Managers of the Year were announced. Miami Marlins’ skipper Skip Schumaker won for the NL in his first year at the helm, and Baltimore Orioles’ skipper Brandon Hyde won for the AL after a remarkable turnaround.
On Wednesday, Cy Young winners were announced. San Diego Padres’ left-hander Blake Snell took it home for the NL, becoming the seventh pitcher to win a Cy Young in both leagues (he won in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Rays). New York Yankees’ right-hander Gerrit Cole finally earned his first and did so unanimously, becoming the 20th pitcher to win in such fashion. Both winners won unanimously in 2022 (Sandy Alcantara and Justin Verlander).
On Thursday, the MVP’s were announced and it was a historic night. Atlanta Braves’ outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. won unanimously for the NL, and Los Angeles Angels’ superstar Shohei Ohtani won unanimously for the AL (though it was his dog who was the real MVP that night, if we’re being honest). This was a historic night for numerous reasons. First, it marks the first time that both MVPs were unanimous. Second, Ohtani became the first player to win MVP unanimously twice... and did it in the last three seasons! Third, this is the seventh year where both MVPs had previously won ROY. And finally, a record five awards were unanimous in 2023. The previous record was three, which happened five times before.
In non-awards moves, the Oakland Athletics were unanimously approved by the owners to abandon Oakland and move to Las Vegas. However, they will be without a permanent home once their lease expires at the end of the 2024 season until the beginning of the 2028 season when their new stadium is expected to be completed.
The Rule 5 protection deadline was Tuesday afternoon, and the Colorado Rockies protected four players (more on that in a second). And finally, the non-tender deadline was last night and the Rockies non-tendered RHP Tommy Doyle.
But with all that said, here’s what our writers had to say this week!
To Read (Rockpiles)
We’re in the middle of a lull in the offseason where the season is definitely over, but Hot Stove Season has yet to officially kick off. But in the meantime, for his Monday Rockpile, Kenneth took a look at a pitcher that the Rockies might consider taking a flyer on: Toronto Blue Jays’ righty Alek Manoah. Thoughts?
Since it’s been so slow, for her Tuesday Rockpile, Renee decided to take a look at another pitcher who might be worth bringing back: RHP Chris Flexen. Flexen was serviceable in 2023, but not spectacular. Considering the Rox had such thin pitching in 2023, he did his job. But is he worth bringing back for 2024?
Rather than talk about another player who could be brought back, for his Wednesday Rockpile, Skyler made the case for the Rockies to trade catcher Elias Díaz. He laid out pros and cons of trading and keeping the 2023 All-Star MVP, and ultimately decided that they should at least explore a trade since they have prospects such as Brian Serven and Drew Romo waiting in the wings. Do you agree?
As mentioned, Tuesday was the deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster. The Rockies protected four players: INF Adael Amador, OF Yanquiel Fernandez, RHP Angel Chivilli and RHP Juan Mejia. For his Thursday Rockpile, Evan evaluated all four players and what this means for the Rockies’ roster going forward. The Rule 5 Draft will take place on December 6, 2023.
For her Friday Rockpile, Joelle took us down an interesting path exploring the tattoos that Rockies’ pitchers sport. Kyle Freeland’s tattoos are famous, but Lucas Gilbreath and Connor Seabold also have ink. Interestingly, all of their ink are on their non-throwing arms. Joelle explores why that is from a personal/pitching standpoint, as well as the lesser-known, unofficial “Justin Miller Rule” that says if a pitcher’s tattoos are distracting to hitters, they can be required to wear long sleeves. Interesting stuff!
To Read (Ranking the Rockies)
Fernando Abad wasn’t awful in 2023
Germán Márquez’s lost season
Ryan Feltner’s remarkable comeback showcased his huge potential
Better call Ty (Blach)!
Nick Mears showed promise in his injury-ridden first season in Colorado
This week, Skyler and Evan are proud to host the Big Huge 2023 Awards Show! For the first time since 2021, our intrepid hosts dole out the dosh and hand out the hardware for the 2023 Colorado Rockies season! Who will be our Larry Walker Most Valuable Rockie? What about the Jason Jennings Rockies Rookie of the Year? Who will win Best Hair and who will take home the honors for Cutest Couple? After an overall pretty lousy season, let’s have some fun and celebrate the best of the best!
Weekend Discussion Topics
What are your thoughts on the award winners? Biggest surprises? Biggest snubs? Who will be the next Rockie to win a big award (or at least be a finalist)? Sound off below!
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