Archive for Rockies

FanGraphs Audio: Dan Szymborski Analyzes All the Postseason

Episode 839
Dan Szymborski is the progenitor of the ZiPS projection system and a senior writer for FanGraphs dot com. He’s also the guest on this edition of the program, during which he examines which managers have produced the best performances of the postseason. Also: Szymborski’s argument for playing Matt Kemp at shortstop. And: a status update on the forthcoming projections for 2019.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 49 min play time.)

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FanGraphs Audio Presents: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Ep. 4

UMP: The Untitled McDongenhagen Project, Episode 4
This is the fourth episode of a weekly program co-hosted by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel about player evaluation in all its forms. The show, which is available through the normal FanGraphs Audio feed, has a working name but barely. The show is not all prospect stuff, but there is plenty of that, as the hosts are Prospect Men. Below are some timestamps to make listening and navigation easier.

0:25 – What the guys have been up to

1:34 – TOPIC ONE: Playoff Thoughts with Jack Handey

2:14 – Plans ahead for eliminated teams

2:20 – Colorado Rockies: which prospects are ready, players headed to free agency or one year away, what sort of moves do they make given their competitive situation, featuring Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Brendan Rodgers, German Marquez, Garrett Hampson

8:34 – Atlanta Braves: the various ways to approach this offseason, featuring Nick Markakis, Kurt Suzuki, Johan Camargo, J.T. Realmuto, A.J. Pollock, Bryce Harper

14:05 – Who is the NL East favorite in 2019?

16:43 – Cleveland Indians: solving the big holes in the outfield, building on the rock solid rotation, possibly trading from the strength of elite international program

20:50 – Breaking down how Cleveland fell short in the series vs. Houston, including Kiley’s thoughts about an article from The Athletic

24:24 – We make ill-advised World Series picks

25:34 – TOPIC TWO: The Mesa brothers + Sandy Gaston workout

28:30 – Kiley’s adventure in Miami and why this even was different than other open Cuban workouts

30:42 – Eric gives his take and we get into the FBI investigation

36:48 – Does an international draft solve some of these problems? Will the FBI investigation impact the next CBA? What’s the track record of MLB and the player association fixing these sorts of issues?

43:56 – TOPIC THREE: The Kyler Murray intrigue is increasing!

44:18 – Eric usurps Mel Kiper’s draft coverage hair throne

44:50 – Eric is steamed at the football draft illuminati

50:26 – Cal quarterback/center fielder Brandon McIlwain is back on the radar in both sports

51:20 – Kiley has some beef about Kyler Murray as well

53:22 – The guys audition to be football scouts, finding some similarities with baseball

1:00:45 – Eric has to leave to go have his mind blown by Forrest Whitley

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @kileymcd or @longenhagen on Twitter or at prospects@fangraphs.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 1 hr 1 min play time.)

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The Rockies Were Bad and Still Almost Won

History won’t look back too kindly on the Rockies’ 2018 playoff run. They were outscored 13-2 in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Brewers. They produced one of the most pitiful offensive performances in postseason history. All in all, it wasn’t a great success.

A look at the team’s lineup reveals that the performance wasn’t completely surprising, either. While the club’s .334 wOBA ranked (tied for) fourth in all of baseball, the Rockies’ hitting exploits were much less impressive after accounting for Coors Field. Indeed, their adjusted batting line placed them among the 10 worst teams in all of baseball by that measure. Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and Trevor Story were the only qualified Rockies hitters to produce a 100 wRC+ or better. By definition, that left two-thirds of the lineup to below-average hitters. That was never going to be ideal, and it showed in their loss to the Brewers.

Nevertheless, the series was far from a blowout. Rockies pitchers, particularly the starters, fared well — especially considering that Kyle Freeland didn’t get a start in the series and Jon Gray, who faltered at the end of the season, wasn’t even part of the NLDS roster. Tyler Anderson, German Marquez, and Antonio Senzatela gave up just five runs in 16 innings, keeping things close enough for their teammates. Overall, Colorado trailed by more than two runs in just five of the 28 innings during which they batted. A bloop and a blast would have given Colorado the lead half of the time they stepped to the plate — and also would have tied the game on another eight occasions, as the graph below illustrates.

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FanGraphs Audio: Craig Edwards Live on Tape in Wisconsin

Episode 838
Craig Edwards traveled to Milwaukee for Games One and Two of the NLDS between the Brewers and Rockies. In this edition of the program, he discusses what he saw there. Also: what criteria must a club meet to become a dynasty? And: if teams added no players this offseason, which club would be best in 2019?

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 40 min play time.)

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The Brewers’ Best Laid Plans Were Just Good Enough

For eight innings, everything went as planned for Craig Counsell and his Brewers in their NLDS Game One matchup against the Colorado Rockies. Their MVP homered. A non-traditional arrangement of pitchers got them to the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead. Their All-Star closer took the mound needing to record only three outs. It was, more or less, the ideal scenario.

Then things fell apart a little. The closer faltered, and the Rockies tied the score. Counsell was forced to adjust. In the end, everything worked out anyway. The Brewers won the game on their home field and took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five battle against Colorado. The plan, ultimately, worked.

Let’s take a look at the finer points of that plan to get a sense of Counsell’s logic and the Brewers’ strengths.

The Starter

Ever since the Tampa Bay Rays used Sergio Romo in a one-inning start back in May, the idea of the opener has spread across the league. And while Brandon Woodruff’s appearance could easily have been mistaken for another example of that strategy — Woodruff recorded many more relief appearances (15) than starts this year (4) — that’s not how Craig Counsell saw it.

Said Counsell before the start of the game on Thursday:

I think from our perspective, Woody is — he’s not a reliever. He has the ability to do more than that, if that’s what the game calls for. So that’s — one, he’s throwing the ball really well and, two, I think he has the potential to do a little more than a reliever maybe.

Whatever the case, the decision paid off: Woodruff pumped upper-90s four-seamers and two-seamers to get batters out. The sinkers were a bit of a surprise — Woodruff had only used the pitch during one appearances all season, his final one against Detroit — but were also effective. Only one batter reached base over Woodruff’s first three innings of work — a first inning walk of DJ LeMahieu — and he was erased on a caught stealing. By the end of three complete, Woodruff had produced three strikeouts against one walk while throwing 71% fastballs. But the velocity appeared to be waning, as the graph below indicates.

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Adam Ottavino Has a Weakness

After a miserable 2017, Adam Ottavino has been able to rebound, establishing himself as one of the better relievers in either league. That’s why he was the Rockies’ first pitcher out of the bullpen the other day in the wild-card game in Chicago. Granted, Ottavino allowed the tying run. There wasn’t another run until the top of the 13th. The bottom of the 13th was led off by Terrance Gore.

Let’s tie this all together, you and me. Why was Gore ever in the game in the first place? He pinch-ran in the eighth for Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo had hit a two-out single. Gore came in and wasted no time.

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A Few Quick Thoughts About the Rockies’ Offense

When Charlie Blackmon was double-switched out of Tuesday night’s NL Wild Card game in the bottom of the eighth inning, immediately after the Cubs tied the game and the Rockies put in Wade Davis, it wasn’t hard to miss just how limited Colorado’s offense is. With their season on the line, the next nine hitters that manager Bud Black sent to the plate from that point were as follows:

Rockies’ Batting Order in Late Innings of Wild Card Game
Order # Player PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+
3 Nolan Arenado 673 .297 .374 .561 132
4 Trevor Story 656 .291 .348 .567 127
5 Gerardo Parra 443 .284 .342 .372 80
6 Ian Desmond 619 .236 .307 .422 81
7 David Dahl 271 .273 .325 .534 109
8 Carlos Gonzalez 504 .276 .329 .467 96
9 Drew Butera 182 .190 .264 .301 52
1 Pat Valaika 133 .156 .214 .246 9
2 DJ LeMahieu 581 .276 .321 .428 86
Tony Wolters 216 .170 .292 .286 45
Ryan McMahon 202 .232 .307 .376 68

Valaika, pinch-hitting for Davis in the 10th, gave way to pitcher Seung Hwan Oh, who departed in the 11th in favor of Chris Rusin via a double-switch that removed Desmond and brought in McMahon. Scott Oberg followed Rusin in the 12th, double-switched out in a move where Wolters replaced Butera. That Wolters ultimately collected the game-winning hit in the 13th owes something to the position that Cubs starter-turned-reliever Kyle Hendricks was forced into under the circumstances, but the fact that he came through, despite the meager prospects for doing so, is both Very Baseball and why the Rockies lived to fight another series. Read the rest of this entry »


Team Entropy 2018: Extra Baseball?

This is the fifth installment of this year’s Team Entropy series, my recurring look not only at the races for the remaining playoff spots but the potential for end-of-season chaos in the form of down-to-the-wire suspense and even tiebreakers. Ideally, we want more ties than the men’s department at Macy’s. If you’re new to this, please read the introduction here.

In the National League playoff picture, we’re down to two teams — the Dodgers (89-71) and Cardinals (87-73) — fighting for one spot, as the Rockies (90-70) clinched a postseason berth on Friday night by beating the Nationals for their eighth straight win. That said, neither the NL Central nor the NL West races have been decided, nor have the actual Wild Card game participants, leaving open the possibility that we could have multiple Game 163 tiebreakers on Monday. The dream scenario of needing a third tiebreaker game, in the event that the two NL West participants (the Dodgers and Rockies) finished tied with St. Louis, is off the table given the Cardinals’ back-to-back losses to the Brewers (93-67) and Cubs (94-66).

On Friday afternoon, I had the privilege of appearing on MLB Network’s MLB Now, where host Brian Kenny put the spotlight on Team Entropy at the top of the show and allowed me to talk through the various scenarios:

Pretty cool! Except that the Cardinals were busy getting pummeled by the Cubs as that happened — the show kept cutting away to the action — simplifying the picture somewhat. So here is what’s left…

The Cubs, who are hosting the Cardinals, and the Brewers, who are hosting the Tigers, can still finish in a tie after 162 games if Milwaukee can pick up a game this weekend. Either the Brew Crew goes 2-0 while the Cubs go 1-1, or 1-1 while the Cubs go 0-2. That would leave the two teams playing on Monday in Chicago (which won the season series 11-8) to determine which one wins the division, and which hosts the Wild Card game. As of Saturday morning, our playoff odds ties page shows a 25.9% chance of such an occurrence.

Likewise, the Rockies, who are hosting the Nationals, and the Dodgers, who are visiting the Giants, can finish tied if Los Angeles can pick up a game. The Dodgers, who won the season series 12-7, would host a tiebreaker game on Monday to determine the division winner, and second Wild Card team. Our ties page gives this game a 34.1% chance of happening.

Alternately, if the Cardinals win both of their remaining games and the Dodgers lose both of theirs, the two teams would be tied for the second Wild Card spot. They would play on Monday in St. Louis, which won the season series 4-3. This scenario can happen in tandem with an NL Central tie if the Brewers also split their remaining pair of games. The odds of a Wild Card tie are down to 2.4%, but that’s better than nothing, particularly with a second tiebreaker game also still an option.

With the Cubs and Cardinals playing at 1:05 pm Eastern, the Dodgers and Giants at 4:05, the Brewers and Tigers at 7:05 pm and the Rockies and Nationals at 8:10 pm, we have the whole day to savor the possibilities for chaos. Enjoy!


FanGraphs Audio: Meg Rowley Likes This Baseball

Episode 835
Meg Rowley, managing editor of The Hardball Times, approves of National League postseason race and uses this edition of FanGraphs Audio to explain why. Also discussed: how the Rockies are like a careless dad with a nut allergy and the dark side of position players pitching.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 1 hr 3 min play time.)

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Rockies’ Story Takes a Turn for the Worse

This article has been updated since initial publication to reflect developments in the diagnosis of Trevor Story’s right elbow.

Surrendering first place to the Dodgers, as the Rockies did on Monday night in Los Angeles, was bad enough. The departure of Trevor Story in the middle of his fourth-inning plate appearance may prove more damaging to the team’s postseason hopes. Via Twitter, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported on Tuesday afternoon that the All-Star shortstop is “facing potential UCL damage in [his] right elbow,” though the exact diagnosis was unknown at the time. In the wake of an MRI, the Rockies now believe that Story is dealing with inflammation in the elbow but no structural damage to the ligament. Had there been significant UCL damage, the 25-year-old shortstop would likely have been headed for Tommy John surgery, ruling him out of the remainder of the regular season and postseason (if the Rockies make it), and into the first half of next season. The Rockies are optimistic that he will miss “only a few days,” though his absence could potentially be a significant blow to the team’s playoff hopes.

Story reportedly felt a twinge in his elbow after making an outstanding play in the first inning on Monday night. He dove to his left to stop a Justin Turner grounder, then he completed a spin and made a strong throw to first base for the out. His discomfort worsened when he whiffed on a 2-1 Hyun-Jin Ryu changeup in his next plate appearance.

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Sunday Notes: Trevor Story Hovers, Then Explodes

Trevor Story has always been a good hitter. He’s never been as good of a hitter as he is now. In his third big-league season, the 25-year-old Colorado Rockies basher is slashing .291/.346/.555 with 40 doubles, five triples, and 33 home runs. In short, he’s been a beast.

According to Story, he hasn’t changed all that much mechanically since the Rockies took him 45th overall in the 2011 draft out of an Irving, Texas high school. But he has changed a little.

“I think you’d see something very similar (if you compared then to now), but there are some differences,” Story told me earlier this summer. “I had more of a leg kick when I was younger, and I was kind of bouncing my hands instead of resting them on my shoulder. Outside of that, my movements are basically the same.”

Story felt that having a higher kick resulted in him getting beat by fastballs from pitchers with plus velocity, and as he “didn’t really need a leg kick to hit the ball far,” he changed to what he considers “more of a lift than a kick now; it’s almost more of a hover.”

Leg kicks — ditto lifts and hovers — are timing mechanisms, and as not all pitchers are the same, nor is Story always the same. The differences are subtle, but they’re definitely there. Read the rest of this entry »


Something’s Gotten Into German Marquez

German Marquez is on quite the run. In the second half of the season, Marquez’s 2.3 WAR ranks third in all of baseball among pitchers behind only those marks recorded by Jacob deGrom and Patrick Corbin. His 2.29 FIP and 2.79 ERA since the All-Star break are both fantastic. He’s struck out nearly one-third of the batters he’s faced with five times as many strikeouts as walks. He’s doing all of this while pitching his home games in Colorado, and he’s just 23 years old. That’s quite the dramatic turnaround for a pitcher who put up a 4.73 FIP and a 5.53 ERA in his first 16 starts of the 2018 season. Like many young pitchers with a boatload of talent, Marquez has spent his first few years in the big leagues experimenting with different pitches and usage patterns. He seems to have found one that works.

A year ago, Marquez was primarily a fastball-curveball pitcher. He would mix in a change every now and again, and he did experiment with a slider, but it wasn’t used often and it stayed up in the zone. With a mid-90s fastball and good curve, Marquez produced a 21% strikeout rate, 7% walk rate, and an ERA and FIP in the mid-fours. In Coors Field, those still represented above-average numbers. For Marquez to progress, however, he was going to need to develop a third pitch. When Eric Longenhagen discussed Marquez ahead of the 2017 season, he anticipated the introduction of that third pitch.

Marquez also has a plus curveball in the 76-81 mph range that has a slurvy shape to it but bites hard and has solid depth. A back-foot curveball is the best weapon Marquez has against left-handed pitching right now, as his changeup is still below average. But Marquez is just 21 and his delivery is loose and fluid so there’s likely more coming from the changeup. Marquez’s command elicits similarly bullish projection because of the delivery and athleticism and he’s already throwing plenty of strikes. He’s a relatively low-risk mid-rotation arm, an above-average major-league starter.

Longenhagen mentioned the change as a potential addition, and Marquez did work to make that change more of a weapon heading into this season. That plan hasn’t exactly worked out. Marquez is throwing the changeup under 10% of the time this season. Even against lefties, he’s turned to it on just 11% of all occasions. What’s improved most for Marquez is the slider, and it is fooling hitters. Here’s Nick Hundley swinging at a slider despite holding a 2-1 advantage in the count:

 

 

The pitch works well in and out of the zone. When he throws the slider outside the zone, Marquez induces swings around 40% of the time, and batters swing and miss on two-thirds of those attempts. When the pitch is in the zone and batters swing, they make contact roughly 80% of the time, but on 44% of sliders in the zone, the hitter doesn’t bother to swing, like Evan Longoria in this 0-2 count.

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Trevor Story Is Making an All-Time Improvement

There was a time at which FanGraphs got swept up in Trevor Story mania. FanGraphs, of course, wasn’t alone in how it responded to Story’s big-league debut, because back in April of 2016, Story came out of the gate like a bolt of lightning. In his first-ever major-league game, he hit two home runs. To follow that up, he hit another. To follow that up, he hit *another.* And then he went deep twice in game number four. Story hit ten home runs that month, and he finished it with a slugging percentage of .696. It was impossible not to sit up and notice.

But there are debuts, and then there’s the rest. Many players have come up and done well at first. Fewer have sustained their success. The key to sticking around is to adjust to the opponents’ adjustments, and from May 2016 through the end of 2017, Story managed a combined 93 wRC+. Playable, certainly, yet hardly fantastic. Story was in danger of being forgotten, and, worse than that, he was in danger of being supplanted. Maybe not right away, but Story had to prove he should be considered a part of the Rockies’ longer-term core.

Here we are today, and by any measure, Story’s been one of baseball’s best shortstops. The Rockies are in first place in the NL West, and while their run differential is far worse than that of the Dodgers, Story has obviously done his part. He’s helped to push the Rockies into their present position, and all it’s required is an improvement for the record books.

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Sunday Notes: Bobby Wilson is a Soldier Who Has Seen Pitching Evolve

Bobby Wilson has caught for 16 seasons — nine of them at the big league level — so he knows pitching like the back of his hand. Particularly on the defensive side of the ball. With a .577 OPS in exactly 1,000 MLB plate appearances, the 35-year-old hasn’t exactly been an offensive juggernaut. But his stick isn’t why the Chicago Cubs acquired him from the Minnesota Twins this past Thursday. They picked him up for his receiving skills and his ability to work with a staff.

The quality and style of pitching he’s seeing today aren’t the same as what they were when he inked his first professional contract in 2002.

“The game is ever evolving, ever changing,” Wilson told me a few weeks ago. “I’ve seen it go from more sinker-slider to elevated fastballs with a curveball off of that. But what really stands out is the spike in velocity. There’s almost no one in this league right now who is a comfortable at bat.”

In his opinion, increased octane has made a marked impact on how hitters are being attacked.

“If you have velocity, you can miss spots a little more frequently, whereas before you had to pitch,” opined Wilson. “You can’t miss spots throwing 88-90. If you’re 95-100 , you can miss your location and still have a chance of missing a barrel. Even without a lot of movement. Because of that, a lot of guys are going to four-seam, straight fastballs that are elevated, instead of a ball that’s sinking.”

But as the veteran catcher said, the game is ever evolving. He’s now starting to see more high heat in the nether regions of the zone, as well. Read the rest of this entry »


The Particular Skill of Kyle Freeland

As I write this, there are 115 different pitchers this year who have thrown at least 100 innings. Among them, Kyle Freeland ranks tied for seventh in ERA-, at 62. The pitcher with whom he’s even: one Clayton Kershaw. The next pitcher down the list: one Justin Verlander. Now, we’re a site that loves its peripherals, and, indeed, if you sort by, say, FIP-, Freeland doesn’t look quite so good. But he still looks strong. According to a peripheral-based version of WAR, Freeland has been a plus. According to a runs-based version of WAR, Freeland is a viable candidate for the NL Cy Young.

I don’t hesitate to say that Freeland has been overlooked. He doesn’t get the attention of rotation-mate Jon Gray, because Gray throws that sexy power stuff, and he gets those sexy strikeouts. Freeland doesn’t do as much of the basic stuff that analysts look for, so he’s flown for this long under the radar. But if you’ll allow me some freedom here, I’d like to invoke a couple all-timer names. The images might be able to speak for themselves.

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Daily Prospect Notes Finale: Arizona Fall League Roster Edition

Notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.

Note from Eric: Hey you, this is the last one of these for the year, as the minor-league regular season comes to a close. Thanks for reading. I’ll be taking some time off next week, charging the batteries for the offseason duties that lie ahead for Kiley and me.

D.J. Peters, CF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Level: Double-A   Age: 22   Org Rank: 7   FV: 45+
Line: 4-for-7, 2 HR, 2B (double header)

Notes
A comparison of DJ Peters’ 2017 season in the Cal League and his 2018 season at Double-A gives us a good idea of what happens to on-paper production when a hitter is facing better pitching and defenses in a more stable offensive environment.

D.J. Peters’ Production
Year AVG OBP SLG K% BB% BABIP wRC+
2017 .276 .372 .514 32.2% 10.9% .385 137
2018 .228 .314 .451 34.0% 8.1% .305 107

Reports of Peters’ physical abilities haven’t changed, nor is his batted-ball profile different in such a way that one would expect a downtick in production. The 2018 line is, I think, a more accurate distillation of Peters’ abilities. He belongs in a talent bucket with swing-and-miss outfielders like Franchy Cordero, Randal Grichuk, Michael A. Taylor, Bradley Zimmer, etc. These are slugging center fielders whose contact skills aren’t particularly great. Players like this are historically volatile from one season to the next but dominant if/when things click. They’re often ~1.5 WAR players who have some years in the three-win range. Sometimes they also turn into George Springer.

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Daily Prospect Notes: 8/28/2018

Notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.

Performances from 8/26

Evan White, 1B, Seattle Mariners
Level: High-A   Age: 22   Org Rank: 2   FV: 45
Line: 3-for-4, 2B, 3Bho

Notes
We now have a full season of data to help us figure out whether Evan White’s weird profile is going to play. A plus-running backwards guy (bats right, throws left, a generally unfavorable combination due to the defensive limitations and platoon issues caused by both) who plays plus defense at first base, White was slugging .391 at the start of August, which is rather uninspiring for a college hitter in the Cal League. In August, however, White has 30 hits in 90 plate appearances and is slugging .763. He has made subtle changes to his lower half, drawing his front knee back toward his rear hip more than he did at Kentucky, and taking a longer stride back toward the pitcher. White is more often finishing with a flexed front leg, which has helped him go down and lift balls in the bottom part of the strike zone by adjusting his lower half instead of his hands. It’s a more athletic swing that was implemented before White’s explosive August, though he may just be getting comfortable with it now. Read the rest of this entry »


Believing in the Rockies’ Belief in Matt Holliday

Yesterday, Jeff Sullivan wondered aloud why the Rockies, a contending club that would benefit from some offensive help, hadn’t taken any steps to address a pretty clear weakness. Today, Colorado responded by calling up a 38-year-old outfielder who couldn’t get a major-league deal this season. If nostalgia is your thing, the Rockies’ decision to bring back Matt Holliday is a clear winner. Whatever questions Sullivan had yesterday, however, likely weren’t cleared up by this most recent move. That doesn’t mean it won’t work, of course.

From a feel-good perspective, the move is a no-brainer. Below is a WAR leaderboard for position players in Rockies franchise history.

Rockies’ WAR Leaders
Name G PA HR AVG OBP SLG wRC+ WAR
Todd Helton 2247 9453 369 .316 .414 .539 132 55.1
Larry Walker 1170 4795 258 .334 .426 .618 147 44.4
Troy Tulowitzki 1048 4415 188 .299 .371 .513 124 34.1
Carlos Gonzalez 1220 4961 225 .291 .351 .518 117 25.5
Nolan Arenado 840 3538 178 .293 .348 .540 119 24.6
Matt Holliday 698 2968 128 .319 .386 .552 133 20.2
Charlie Blackmon 884 3713 133 .301 .357 .493 113 17.1
Vinny Castilla 1098 4451 239 .294 .340 .530 101 15.5
Andres Galarraga 679 2924 172 .316 .367 .577 124 13.4
Ellis Burks 520 2054 115 .306 .378 .579 127 11.0
Ubaldo Jimenez leads all pitchers with 18.1 WAR

Holliday is one of the franchise’s greatest players, arguably the team’s best hitter of all time after Larry Walker. In 2007, Holliday hit .340/.405/.607 with a 151 wRC+ and 6.9 WAR, that last figure still the best a Rockies player has recorded since Holliday was traded to the A’s ahead of the 2009 season. He finished second in the MVP voting that year, was called safe at home, and won the NLCS MVP as the franchise advanced to their only World Series appearance. Holliday would go on to capture a title with the Cardinals, but as the place where his career started, Denver clearly has some significance to the outfielder.

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It’s Not Entirely Clear What the Rockies Are Doing

The Nationals started to unload yesterday, making moves that, depending on your perspective, were either a few weeks too late, or a week and a half too early. It had been easy for a while to say the Nationals just needed time to come around, and our projections never really lost faith, but at some point a baseball team has to make up ground, and they were unable to get into a groove. There’s plenty to be written about what’s happened to the Nationals, but that might be better left for another day, or for another time when we can have a greater understanding.

The moves the Nationals made on Tuesday mean hardly anything for their future. It was more about just giving up on the present. And as far as the individual deals are concerned, you can see how Matt Adams should have a role on the Cardinals. Likewise, you can see how Daniel Murphy should have a role on the Cubs. And yet it was far easier to see how Daniel Murphy could’ve had a role on the Rockies. The Rockies being one of the teams with a higher waiver priority than the Cubs. Murphy wouldn’t have gotten to the Cubs in the first place had another team from the National League put in a claim, and while Murphy could’ve helped anyone, it sure seems like he could’ve made the biggest difference for Colorado. I don’t really know what they were thinking in allowing him to go by.

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Daily Prospect Notes: 8/21/2018

Notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.

Johan Quezada, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Level: Low-A   Age: Turns 24 on Saturday   Org Rank: 46   FV: 35+
Line: 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 6 K

Notes
This was Johan Quezada’s first career appearance in full-season ball. An imposing mound presence at a towering 6-foot-6, he has recovered from the shoulder surgery that cost him all of 2017, and his velocity has returned. He sits 94-97 with extreme downhill plane created by his height, and he’ll show you an average slider every once in a while. Quezada’s breaking-ball quality and command need to develop as they’re understandably behind due to his limited pro workload. He’s a older-than-usual arm-strength/size lottery ticket. On the surface, he seems like a candidate for extra reps in the Arizona Fall League.

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