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Friday 13 July, 2018 | RSS Feed

Colorado Rockies: Revisiting the Chris Iannetta signing

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It’s still seems very odd for the front office to sign a guy like Chris Iannetta. Of course, he was an old friend that played with them for quite some time, but it those six seasons it wasn’t really anything outstanding.

Looking over his stats from 2006-11, there’s not really a season that sticks out to make him appear to be an All-Star caliber player, which makes me ponder as to why exactly they signed him in the first place over the other free agent catchers that were on the market. Also, why the Rockies didn’t have enough faith at the time in the two catchers they had on the bench?
On the subject of free agents, Jonathan Lucroy appeared to have been the best fit for the team. He did help out the Colorado Rockies as they moved for their postseason push and seemed to have good chemistry with the pitching staff. Yet, Lucroy wasn’t signed until March of this year by the Oakland A’s on a one-year deal. Iannetta’s contract is for two years with a team option in 2020. Chris Iannetta is set to make $8.5 million for both years and perhaps more if the team decides to use their option, but is a guy like Iannetta really worth the money? 

Short answer to the question from above, no. Here’s why: Chris Iannetta’s 2017 was…mediocre. Once again nothing really jumps out at you while going over them that should make teams say, ‘we’ve got to sign this guy’. His slash line was alright for a guy at 34, he had a .254/.354/.511 line with 17 home runs and 43 RBI.
On a sad note he did have 87 strikeouts, or a strikeout in 32 percent of his at-bats, which could be concerning. These really aren’t the numbers you want from a guy who’s going to be the everyday starter, but he probably got a pass because of his age. 

Now playing with the Colorado Rockies, Iannetta has a slash line of .235/.340/.402. This is, essentially, about the same as what he produced last year with the exception of less power. He also struck out 55 times this season, which makes him 6th on the team for the highest amount of strikeouts. However, his strikeout percentage rate is the highest of any Rockie with more than 100 ABs.

These stats are okay, but nothing to get super excited about. Chris Iannetta will most likely finish out the year as the Rockies starting catcher and probably have him through 2019 because he really can’t be used as a trading chip. As for the team option in 2020, I just don’t see them actually holding onto Iannetta. 
The real reason behind that would be the catchers they have on the bench. First off, the jury is still most definitely out on Tony Wolters, but there is one more catcher. Tom Murphy is really showing his worth and indeed has most definitely surpassed Wolters and maybe later into the season Chris Iannetta. The up and coming youngsters are really showing the front office and coaching staff that they deserve a spot on the team, especially when it comes to the catchers. 

I’m still not entirely sure as to why the Colorado Rockies signed Chris Iannetta. Perhaps because this was the 25th anniversary and he was a mainstay on the team for a while. Maybe it is to help develop guys like Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy, or maybe something entirely different.

Colorado Rockies trade talk: Which All-Stars could join the Rockies?

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While there is still plenty of baseball to be played before the July 31 trade deadline, it’s looking more and more like the Rockies are going to be buyers again in 2018.

Next week, the best players in baseball (save a few notable snubs) will be on display in Washington D.C. at the MLB All-Star Game. While it is meant to be an exhibition of the game’s greatest talent, the Midsummer Classic is also a chance for the league’s worst teams to showcase their biggest trade chips.

Though Colorado isn’t in the market for superstar shortstop/third baseman Manny Machado, there will still be plenty of talent on display that could help the Rockies secure their first division title in history.

Jacob deGrom
This might be a little far-fetched, but a blockbuster trade for the Mets’ ace is not entirely outside the realm of possibility. Bleacher Report recently listed the Rockies as one of four potential suitors for a trade and Rockies’ GM Jeff Bridich has expressed a willingness to add a veteran arm.  The Mets would undoubtedly want Rockies’ top prospect Brendan Rodgers as a part of the package and Bridich has been reluctant in the past to part with his top prospects.

Would deGrom be worth the package the Rockies would have to give up to get him? Maybe. He leads the NL with a 1.79 ERA and his 142 strikeouts are second only to Max Scherzer. deGrom won’t be a free agent until 2021, so the Rockies would get multiple years of him at the front end of a rotation that also includes Kyle Freeland, Tyler Anderson, German Marquez and hopefully a revitalized Jon Gray. In two career starts at Coors Field, deGrom has a 2.51 ERA and .176 batting average against.

Colorado Rockies injury news: David Dahl on track for quick return?

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The timeline for Dahl’s return was estimated to be six to eight weeks so Dahl is in the early part of that timeline. That’s good news for Rockies fans who are anxious for his return. Batting, running and being able to do it with no pain, as the 24-year-old Dahl told Rox Pile and other media members after his batting session, is key.

“Feels good. I’m excited. Hopefully I can keep progressing and be back soon,” Dahl said. “I think I’m progressing a little faster than what we thought. I think this week’s big just to see how I do the rest of the week and go from there.”
Dahl headed to Arizona and the Rockies spring training complex right after being placed on the disabled list and did what work he could while the broken foot healed.
An MRI showed that Dahl’s foot was well enough to begin batting and working out and Dahl wasted little time getting back in the cage.
Wednesday, however, was big because it was his first time hitting at Coors Field, a place he said he hopes to return to within a matter of days rather than weeks.

“Once they go on the All-Star break, maybe finish in Albuquerque, finish the last couple of steps. Then hopefully I’ll be right there,” Dahl said.

Dahl was hitting .275 in 91 at-bats with four homers and 13 RBI before fouling a ball off the top of his foot on May 30 against the San Francisco Giants, causing the break. Dahl was hitting .350 in his final seven games before being injured, with six of his 13 RBI coming during that stretch.

Colorado Rockies: Unpacking what the hell happened at Coors on Wednesday

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In terms of baseball, it’s certainly possible—like in the same way me going on a hike on Sunday morning is possible—but it’s wrong.

You have a pitcher who has never homered, hit his first career dinger—a 447 foot blast mind you—off of journeyman middle infielder.
This was the Colorado Rockies 19-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was the dog days of baseball taken to its most extreme.
They say, you’ll see something new every time you show up to the yard. This saying really took hold at Coors Field when D-Backs’ manager Torey Lovullo played his infield in to cut off a run at the plate during the fourth inning where his club was down 12. That sentence didn’t really make sense either, neither does the next one. Lovullo pinched hit for his pitcher in the top of the second inning with another one of his pitchers.

If 3-2 is a good baseball game, this was aesthetically horrible. It was funny and stupid and delightful and beautiful, but in the same way that crashing your 2006 Mustang overnight on I-70 in the 106 mile stretch of eastern Utah without any gas stations just so you can wake up to the sun rising over the Green River Canyon is.

I’ve never seen anything like it, you will probably never see anything like it again.

“I don’t know what to think about some of it,” All-Star Charlie Blackmon said about the game.

Catchers pitched, played first, second, third and caught.
A second baseman was a better pitcher than four actual pitchers.

The Rockies didn’t bat around despite scoring 18 runs in four innings, a MLB record for that many runs that early.

10th year veteran catcher Alex Avila threw a four pitch inning and set down five straight Colorado batters in his first career pitching performance.

The D-Backs who lost by 17, actually led the game at one point.

All-Star Trevor Story struck out on a 68 mph slider (I could throw that my Sophomore year of high school.)

I could just keep listing things but that’s rather horrible writing and uninteresting. I guess from the D-Backs perspective, that would be an apt way of putting a game where your nine guys lost by 17 and two pitchers went down with injuries.

“These are tough games when you’re on the other side,” Bud Black said.

They call these games in baseball “laughers.” Despite being down a couple touchdowns in a sport where you can only score four at a time at best, even Descalso was laughing.

“Honestly, I was more nervous for that at-bat then I’ve been in a long time,” Nolan Arenado remembered when his former infield mate of two seasons stepped to the mound to face him. Arenado would hit a RBI single off Descalso. “He was smiling at me… we’re texting right now about it. My heart was beating pretty fast because I knew I’d hear from him.”
There’s nothing more to do than laugh like Descalso did—several times—during his two-and-two-thirds innings of work (the most by a non-pitcher dating back to 1998). It was also the earliest a position player worked from the hill since Sal Bando on August 29,1979 in the Brewers’ 18-8 loss to the Royals.
Using a position player on the mound that early is the same strategy a 22-year-old frat boy has about binge drinking: “might as well. I’m going to die anyway someday.”

But in baseball, sometimes, you have to play for tomorrow, today, while today is still happening. This happens all the time in the ninth inning, but that fourth…

That’s baseball pushed to its extremes. It occurs sometimes—rarely—and it’s dumb and brilliant and we love it because it’s naughty.

We love seeing position players pitch. Maybe because we like seeing the best get humbled, maybe because we laugh and say, “that’s not supposed to be like that.” Or maybe because it makes it feel like for a brief moment, that we could be out there, striking out All-Stars on pitches below the speed limit on I-25 south of C-470.

D-Backs’ fans have been spoiled to see their club explore this fetish twice in their past three games. Quite honestly, it’s one of the only things that can give you an un-ironic laugh in a loss.

Oh yeah, about Marquez’s home run off Daniel Descalso. It was the first time a pitcher homered off a position player since June 23, 1986, when Mike LaCoss did it off of Dane Iorg. LaCoss tossed a complete game allowing only three hits and a run in the Giants 18-1 shellacking of the Padres. LaCoss’s catcher that day? None other than Bob Brenly, who just happened to be broadcasting tonight’s game in the visiting TV booth.
“It was a unique game,” Black said.

“You play 162 games a year, crazy things are bound to happen,” Blackmon said.

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