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The source for the Rockies’ best stretch of the season (plus Pebble Report)

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, May 8, 2023

Say what you will about the 2023 Colorado Rockies as a whole, but winning six-of-seven games is a successful stretch no matter who you are.

That’s the timeline we all currently occupy as the Rockies salvaged their final game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the last day of April, then swept the Milwaukee Brewers at home before taking two-of-three on the road against the New York Mets.

Colorado split a pair of one-run contests while outscoring their competition 49-22 during this run. While some luck certainly went their way, Colorado was genuinely just one of the better teams in baseball this past week.

There is plenty to point to for this string of success. Every starter aside from Ryan Feltner on Sunday (his second start of the week in a 13-6 victory) pitched into the fifth inning of their games while allowing three runs or less. That includes the recently returned Antonio Senzatela, who took a hard-luck loss after allowing one run in five innings.

The bullpen was sturdy as well, with Jake Bird, Justin Lawrence and Brent Suter combining to allow just one run over 13 ⅓ innings. Nick Mears hit the ground running in his Rockies debut – allowing just one run while striking out four in three innings – while Brad Hand and Daniel Bard were reliable in less-heralded roles. In fact, the only reliever to allow multiple runs in the past week is Pierce Johnson, who was also two-for-two in save opportunities.

That strong staff has been supported by a resurgent offense. Randal Grichuk has been a welcome addition, going 7-for-19 in five games. Elias Díaz continued his impressive first-half with .467/.444/.667 line in 15 at-bats, Kris Bryant chipped-in two homers and five walks while Brenton Doyle and Alan Trejo added five hits apiece (including Doyle’s first big-league home run).

It’s been a full-cast, but the star has clearly been SS Ezequiel Tovar. In the past week, Tovar has led the club in hits (8), doubles (3) and total bases (17) while tying Bryant for the team-lead in home runs (2) and Díaz for RBI (7).

Tovar was a popular name for National League Rookie of the Year from both local and national writers heading into the season. But it was undoubtedly a slow start for the shortstop in his first full-season. He entered the series against Arizona at the end of April with a disappointing slash line of .192/.250/.256 in 84 plate appearances while striking out 32.1% of the time.

His performance over this recent stretch created a 50-point rise in his batting average while his SLG% soared over 140-points. It’s been a shot in the arm for not only his individual numbers and RoTY candidacy, but an injection for the entire team both at the plate and in the field.

It’s no coincidence that the Rockies have finally discovered success in 2023 as Tovar has hit his stride. There has certainly been a larger contributing cast during that time, but the epicenter is Colorado’s young shortstop. And if there is anything to learn from the past week, it’s that Tovar is the new engine of the big league team. And as he goes, so should the Rockies.

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Rockies’ Justin Lawrence throwing sweeper, reaping rewards | The Denver Post

Patrick Saunders highlights the outstanding performance of Justin Lawrence and the adaption of his sweeper — both by performance and official designation in the data.

How the Colorado Rockies went from a very bad April to hopeful May | Denver Gazette

Danielle Allentuck covers the team’s recent hot stretch. She highlights the improvements from the starting rotation, offense and defense as the largest reasons for success.

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Pebble Report: May 1-7, 2023

The Colorado Rockies farm system didn’t have an overwhelming week, failing to win a series at any level. But there were still individual performances of note and one of the brightest — once again — was Coco Montes. With already one Pacific Coast League Player of the Week award under his belt this season, Montes made a convincing bid for another this week with a 1.354 OPS in five games against Sugar Land (HOU).

Montes now owns a .343/.434/.567 slash-line for the season with 17 extra-base hits — five clearing wall — and 76 total bases in 32 games. He has recorded multiple-hits in over half of his total games, doing so four times in his current six-game hitting streak. He is tied for the PCL lead in hits with 46, sits second in total bases and third in runs (30) and doubles (11).

Top 30 PuRPs

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes (2-4, 14-19 overall)

The Isotopes’ pitching staff struggled against the Space Cowboys, surrendering a whopping 72 runs in six games with an unsightly 24 coming in Sunday’s final game. Josh Rogers was on the hook for 11 of those runs, serving up five home runs in five innings. Logan Allen gave up nine runs on 15 hits in 4 13 innings and Riley Pint was scored for nine in two appearances with five walks and eight hits issued.

They dished-out plenty of damage of their own, however. Along with Montes, Hunter Stovall and Aaron Schunk (HM PuRP) each posted an OPS well-north of 1.000 while Elehuris Montero once again showed his bat belongs in the majors with 3 HR, 12 RBI and a 1.128 OPS in six games.

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats (2-4, 13-12 overall)

Montes was not the only player worthy of PoTW consideration this week as Hunter Goodman (No. 19 PuRP) tagged three doubles, three homers and 12 RBI producing a bloated .800 SLG% in 25 AB. Kyle Datres had three dingers of his own while Grant Lavigne (No. 20 PuRP) added two of his own.

Pitching was less ideal for the Yard Goats against Reading (PHI) as Chris McMahon (No. 15 PuRP), Andrew Quezada and Case Williams allowed six runs or more in less than five innings in their starts.

High-A: Spokane Indians (3-3, 12-12 overall)

Speaking of PoTW considerations, Jordan Beck (No. 9 PuRP) went nuts on Eugene (SF) and could receive recognition by the Northwest League. In an 11-for-25 performance, Beck laced four homers to go with six runs scored and 12 RBI. He finished the series with a robust 1.444 OPS. Juan Guerrero and Zach Kokoska each tallied eight hits, with Kokoska going for extra-bases in five of them.

On the mound, Jarrod Cande delivered a great performance while two runs allowed on two hits in seven innings. He was bettered by Carson Palmquist (No. 28 PuRP), however, who twirled six shutout innings. Each struck out six in their starts.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies (3-3, 14-13 overall)

Andy Perez led the offensive charge for the Grizzlies against Stockton (OAK). Perez roped a team-high nine hits and tied Ryan Ritter (HM PuRP) with seven batted-in. Ritter also homered in the series, as did Jake Snider.

At this point, it seems Blake Adams shouldn’t be long for Fresno as he delivered another dominant performance, allowing one run in six innings with no walks and nine strikeouts. Jordy Vargas (No. 10 PuRP) had tremendous outing as well, striking out seven with just two hits and one run allowed in five innings.

Week of 7/31-8/6 (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Adael Amador 3 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 3/17 0 3 6 0
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 3/19 1 3 7 0
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 4/19 0 2 4 0
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 6/18 0 8 1 0
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 4/9 0 0 3 0
Michael Toglia 13 MLB 9/28 0 5 7 1
Sterlin Thompson 14 High-A 4/20 0 2 7 3
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 3/21 0 1 3 0
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hunter Goodman 19 Double-A 3/12 1 1 4 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 5/22 1 3 12 0
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 6/23 0 1 4 1
Ryan Ritter HM High-A 7/19 0 0 10 0
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 3/17 0 1 6 0

Week of 9/11-9/17 (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 1/1 5.0 0/0 1 10
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Case Williams 26 Double-A 1/1 2.2 7/6 3 3
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 1/1 6.0 1/1 2 5
Noah Davis 29 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 1/1 5 3/3 3 6
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 2/0 3 0/0 3 5

Season to Date (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) 36/172 2 23 43 22
Adael Amador 3 Double-A (IL) 78/255 12 37 32 14
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 83/327 13 29 67 6
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 110/438 10 52 135 18
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 68/302 6 15 68 2
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 132/487 25 73 142 20
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 127/479 25 32 132 1
Michael Toglia 13 Triple-A 79/308 16 53 82 3
Sterlin Thompson 14 Double-A 104/355 14 38 74 17
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 56/198 0 13 35 10
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB 15/49 5 8 19 1
Hunter Goodman 19 MLB 83/348 25 41 98 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 101/445 17 77 142 4
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 73/311 5 33 81 13
Ryan Ritter HM Double-A 124/441 24 62 152 20
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 126/439 14 42 116 12

Season to Date (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) 16/16 43.2 47/46 25 57
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) 14/14 66.2 51/46 26 83
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) 13/13 64.0 35/30 24 69
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 19/19 90.0 53/45 32 108
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) 15/15 67.0 48/44 25 66
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) 4/4 11.0 11/11 6 9
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A 20/20 91.2 66/65 35 94
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A 18/18 86.1 70/65 38 60
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) 10/9 31.0 27/25 20 32
Case Williams 26 Double-A 23/23 101.2 87/80 51 79
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 19/19 92.1 44/40 37 134
Noah Davis 29 MLB 14/14 56.0 33/29 33 48
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB 19/0 23.1 9/9 10 27
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 28/25 116 103/100 69 130
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 45/0 55.2 42/38 54 81

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Upcoming Schedule

Triple-A Albuquerque: 5/8-5/14 @ Las Vegas (OAK)

Double-A Hartford: 5/8-5/14 @ Binghamton (NYM)

High-A Spokane: 5/8-5/14 vs Hillsboro (ARI)

Low-A Fresno: 5/8-5/14 vs Visalia (ARI)

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