Colorado Rockies news and links for Sunday, August 29, 2021
Earlier this season, we revisited a number of players that were once Rockies and how they were doing in the 2021 season. First, Daren Gonzalez checked in on the early results for players that the Rockies moved on from during the 2020 offseason. Then, yours truly checked in on players from years past that were once the Rockies and has since found new results with different teams. Today, I’d like to combine these two article concepts and check in on the 2020 player transactions as well as a few more former Rockies playing with other teams in 2021.
As usual, Nolan is still being Nolan. In his first season in a Cardinals uniform, Arenado has been one of the driving offensive forces in the St. Louis lineup en route to his sixth All-Star Game appearance. So far this season he has hit a team-leading 26 home runs and has driven in 84 runs.
His launch angle and fly ball rate are both at career highs this season, but his batting average has not been as high as in seasons past. Through 124 games this season ,Arenado is slashing .255/.312/.491 with 39 walks and 78 strikeouts. Overall, he has maintained most of production in St. Louis as he did in Colorado. Unfortunately for him, the Cardinals season has broken down to a chase for the second Wild Card spot.
The Rangers are currently in the midst of a rough 2021 season. Former Rockies pitcher Jordan Lyles is one of the veterans on the team to provide experience to others. As a young pitcher, Lyles spent four seasons in Colorado with a 5.22 ERA while splitting time between the starting rotation and the bullpen. After his release in 2017, his career had a bit of a resurgence with the Padres, Pirates, and Brewers.
His reliability as a pitcher netted him a two-year deal with the Rangers after the 2019 season. Lyles struggled in 2020, but 2021 has been on par with his career. In 142 innings, Lyles has pitched to a 5.77 ERA but currently leads the league in both runs and hits allowed. He has a low walk total of 47 and a high strikeout total of 114, but he is prone to give up too many hits, including a career-high 33 home runs.
He is set to become a free agent this offseason, and at the age of 30, Lyles has plenty of time and potential to be a fourth or fifth starter.
David Dahl/Tony Wolters
Two players non-tendered by the Rockies in 2020, David Dahl and Tony Wolters have struggled to find success in 2021. Both players are currently on minor league deals trying to find their way back to the big leagues.
Dahl struggled in 63 games with the Texas Rangers batting .210/.247/.322 with a whopping 59 strikeouts. He battled some injuries and a demotion to the minors before being released by the Rangers earlier in August. He signed with the Brewers a week later and has been playing for the Nashville Sounds, where he has posted a .433 batting average in eight games (13-for-30) and is trying to cut down on strikeouts and improve his ability to put the ball in play.
Tony Wolters has been rotating around the National League, slowly moving his way to the West Coast. When we last saw Tony Wolters, he had just been designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs after three games. He was outrighted to the minors where he remained until he got another short call-up. In total, he played just 14 games with the Cubs to minuscule results.
Wolters was released earlier this month but he quickly signed with the Dodgers. In 13 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he is batting .222/.286/.422 with six extra-base hits.
As the lone significant trade item the Rockies moved at the deadline, Mychal Givens has continued to thrive for the Reds. Cincinnati is currently in the race for the playoffs and needed some bullpen help.
Givens has fit the bill nicely and provided a veteran arm that is a lockdown reliever. In 11 2⁄3 innings, he has allowed just two runs on six hits while striking out 11 and issuing just seven walks. Givens has also been a solid option to close out games, collecting four saves in a Reds uniform. He could be a highly-sought-after reliever when he becomes a free agent this offseason.
Another trade acquisition by the Rockies in 2020, Kevin Pillar had some solid production before becoming a free agent at the end of that season. The Rockies had some interest in bringing him back, but he eventually signed with the New York Mets. Unfortunately for the Mets, Pillar has not been the solid outfield producer that the team hoped for. He has played in 94 games and hit for a .211/.253/.390 batting line with 12 home runs and 31 RBI.
Pillar also dealt with a nasty injury after being hit in the nose with a fastball but was able to make a speedy recovery. In a season where the Mets appeared to have made all the right moves, they find themselves falling out of contention at an alarming rate.
It’s always a gamble for teams to make certain transactions and decisions. The Rockies, just like any other team, have seen players succeed and struggle after they are gone. The Rockies definitely miss the production of Nolan Arenado and the bullpen stability Mychal Givens provided this season, but in other aspects it may have been wise to let go of some players and not bring back others. The beauty of baseball is that you never know what you’re going to get.
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If an MLB expansion draft came for the Rockies, who makes the cut? An exercise in value | The Athletic ($)
Nick Groke and the other writers at The Athletic held their own mock expansion draft and provided lists that included 15 protected players and five notable players left unprotected for each team. Groke chose to protect the notable players that you’d suspect the Rockies to protect like all their big league starting rotation and the core of their new young positional core. Charlie Blackmon was left unprotected due to the large contract that is still on the table and could be too expensive for a new expansion team. Overall, it’s a fun exercise and article topic to think about.
Top 5 players to play for Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers | Rox Pile
In one of my favorite types of articles, Nathaniel Sunshine breaks down some players that have played for both the Rockies and Dodgers organizations. The teams have shared some classics like Eric Young Sr. and Juan Pierre, but interestingly enough Jake McGee made this list.
On the farm:
Things were looking good for the Isotopes heading into the bottom of the fourth, until the sky began to cry so heavily it suspended the game. This is the third straight night that rain has entered the game into a delay, with the previous games being called early, but both were after the fifth inning. The Isotopes were leading 3-0 thanks in part to a two-run Greg Bird home run for his 21st of the year. They will pick up where they left off on Sunday afternoon.
— Albuquerque Isotopes (@ABQTopes) August 29, 2021
Derrik Watson had a less than ideal debut in his first appearance in Double-A as Harrisburg scored four runs on three hits in his lone inning of work in the third. Hartford struggled to tie hits together to score runs, but a struggling Michael Toglia hit his second home run of the year which is a step in the right direction for the young first baseman.
It turned into a close game at the end, but Spokane managed to hold off the AquaSox and continue their trend of recent success. Noah Davis turned in a quality start on the mound, tossing six innings and allowing two runs on four hits. He also struck out 11 batters and did not issue a walk. His only blemish on the night were two solo home runs he allowed in the sixth. Brenton Doyle continues to enjoy his “dad strength” by hitting his 15th homer of the season and driving in three runs as part of a multi-hit game.
Fresno continues to have the best season in the farm system as they win a back and forth affair with the Modesto Nuts. Starting pitcher Tony Locey struggled through three innings, allowing six runs on seven hits. The Fresno bullpen limited Modesto to just three runs the rest of the way, however, giving the offense a chance to rally in the second half of the game. Eddy Diaz totaled three hits on the night to lead the six Fresno hitters who had multi-hit games. Drew Romo provided some excitement in the fifth inning with his sixth homer of the year when he raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
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