Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Colorado Rockies news and links for Friday, Sept. 4, 2020
Patrick Saunders says it best: “The Rockies’ season is on the brink.”
After jumping out to an 11-3 start, the Rockies have since gone 7-16 to jeopardize once promising playoff hopes. The Rockies are fighting for one of two third-place spots against the Giants, Brewers, and Marlins for now with the Reds and Mets still clinging to hope.
In a time when the Rockies (18-19) really need to turn things around, they need to do it in a six-game road trip against the Dodgers (29-10) and Padres (23-16). First up is the Dodgers and the Rockies have won one game of the last 17 at Dodger Stadium.
Looking for a bright side, Saunders points out that Antonio Senzatela is starting on Friday night. In seven starts, Senzatela is 3-1 with a 3.32 ERA. He’s recorded five quality starts and has been the most consistent arm in the rotation. A big part of his success is an improved slider, more pitch variety, and, as Bud Black said, “he can execute a gameplan, and in midstream, change a gameplan depending on what’s happening in the ballgame.”
Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado are often referred to as the best left side in baseball. Both are All-Stars with power and incredible defensive skills. This article has a different take, trying to decide who is better by looking at three criteria: fielding (Nolan wins), speed (Trevor wins), and hitting (Story barely wins). The first two would be hard to argue with, but the last one is debatable and Luke Zahlmann points out the difficulty in comparing Nolan’s longer career against Trevor’s better numbers this year, and Nolan hitting later in the lineup with more potential runners to drive in. In the end, Zahlmann picks Story because of his all-around game. He also says Rockies fans are lucky to have both and I hope that is the case for years to come.
For the fourth consecutive year, Ian Desmond is the Rockies’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, “an annual recognition of the MLB player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” Even though he opted not to play this season, one of the factors in that decision was being able to dedicate more time to his hometown community of Sarasota, Fla., where he wants to build up youth baseball programs.
In addition to fighting for social justice and voter participation causes, Desmond has also been active with End NF, which raises money and awareness for neurofibromatosis, “a rare genetic disorder that causes typically benign tumors of the nerves and growths in other parts of the body.” The press release with each team’s nominee also states, “Desmond is developing an organization that will focus on sports and physical fitness, health and wellness, and education. It’s part of his long-standing “Spread the Glove” efforts, which encourages fans to identify exemplary charities and to support these charities through donations and awareness.”
Clemente’s children, MLB Commissioner Rod Manfred, and representatives from MLB-affiliated networks will select the winner. Fans can vote too.
Looking for more options to help the struggling bullpen, the Rockies picked up right-handed reliever Jesus Tinoco, who they just traded to Miami on Aug. 14 for right-handed minor league pitcher Chad Smith. He was placed on waivers by the Marlins on Thursday and the Rockies claimed him. Tinoco will head to Colorado’s alternate trading site. Tinoco pitched 36 innings for the Rockies last year, posting a 4.75 ERA, 28 strikeouts, and 22 walks. In three appearances for Miami on Aug. 22, 26, and 29, Tinoco pitched five scoreless and hitless innings, while striking out three and giving up three walks.
By “watch down the stretch,” MLB.com means for teams that are still fighting for a playoff spot or are already looking to 2021. We might know which camp the Rockies are in after this six-game road trip against the Dodgers and Padres, but either way, MLB.com believes the Rockies’ player is Ryan McMahon. McMahon has flashed his power and put up six homers this year, but he’s also struck out 47 times, while hitting .212/.313/.416. With Kevin Pillar joining a crowded outfield, Garrett Hampson showing he deserves to play every day, and Josh Fuentes playing solid defensively at first base while also hitting pretty well, McMahon could lose his spot in the lineup. Thomas Harding states, “McMahon is one of several Rockies who need to find success, not only to help the team’s hopes this year but secure their place going forward.”
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