The third game of this series against the new-look San Diego Padres may be the biggest. The Rockies have to start establishing some kind of home-field respectability. Despite a better effort last night and an outstanding game from Nick Hundley, the potent San Diego lineup broke through against a normally reliable Boone Logan.
Once again, the glaring lack of a #1 starter is evident. Big Game James Shields matches up against Kyle Kendrick. The Rox’ 7 wins have all come when the opposition scores 4 runs or less, so Kendrick’s job is to keep damage to a minimum – something he hasn’t done in his two previous starts.
The first big roster moves of the year were made today. Wilin Rosario was sent packing for Albuquerque, what may be a precursor to a trade. John Axford rejoins the club after tending to his family needs, and Scott Oberg is back with LaTroy Hawkins going on the DL with an (alleged) biceps injury.
|San Diego Padres
RF: Wil Myers
2B: Yangervis Solarte
LF: Matt Kemp
CF: Justin Upton
1B: Yonder Alonso
C: Derek Norris
3B: Will Middlebrooks
SS: Alexi Amarista
SP: James Shields
CF: Charlie Blackmon
LF: Corey Dickerson
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
1B: Justin Morneau
3B: Nolan Arenado
RF: Carlos Gonzalez
C: Michael McKenry
2B: DJ LeMahieu
SP: Kyle Kendrick
What we’re watching:
CarGo needs a new clutch
People are getting on in front of CarGo – he has seen 31 runners on base. The percentage of those runners who score is an abysmal 13%. Tulo, who fans whine about being “not clutch” on Twitter, is 29%. StatCast “exit ball velocity” stat plus a $5 bill gets you a Happy Meal at McDonald’s – in other words, it’s pretty worthless unless coupled with results.
IMHO, 3 catchers was the last thing this team needs, even under normal bullpen wear and tear. Rosario’s trade value as catcher is near zero. Sending him to AAA for exclusive work at 1B says they are looking for an AL trade partner even more intensely – but they are not going to get any ML-ready players back.
Axford, Oberg back
Just praying the little guy gets better. An experienced arm in pen will help with Hawk going on DL. Axford will likely have a 7th role until he’s back in form. Oberg’s obliteration in LA should be a character builder. I’ve changed my mind on the Ottavino situation. Not worrying about the 9th with one solid guy means all hands on deck for the 6th, 7th, 8th, instead of holding 3 guys back for a 9th we never get to.
Insanely wild things
Forget about ERA, worry about hitting the catcher’s glove. Rockies starters:
14 starts, 71.2 IP (essentially 5.0)
5.27 BB/9 (worst in MLB), 516 balls (worst), 721 strikes (28th)
54.3% first pitch strikes (worst in MLB)
Weiss “not worried about bullpen innings”
Every fan wants a completely airtight pen, but it doesn’t exist. Relievers get hit on some nights, and have to battle while absorbing damage. Rockies relievers are holding up well:
52.1 innings (3rd most)
16 holds (most in MLB)
9 walks (2nd best, only behind Royals)
Career against Shields:
Nolan Arenado 4-for-5 (.800), 1 HR
Michael McKenry 2-for-3 (.666), 1 2B
Justin Morneau 15-for-47 (.319), 4 HR, 6 2B
Career against Kendrick:
Justin Upton 8-for-23 (.348), 2 HR, 1 2B
Matt Kemp 6-for-15 (.400)
Kendrick in previous outing:
Sucked. Next question.