GETTING TRICKY

ARENADO DRILLED ON FIASCO IN FLORIDA; BETTIS IS BACK

A Purple Monday like no other is set to unfold later this afternoon at Coors Field in downtown Denver.  Colorado Rockies’ right-hander Chad Bettis, Chettis (14-8, 4.29 in 2016), no. 35, makes his first 2017 MLB start, some 9-1/2 months following a late autumn diagnosis of testicular cancer.  Sky-high emotions are expected to dominate in the first of 4 between Colorado and the Atlanta Braves, with building engineers expressing concerns the old ball park may in fact rise up off its foundations and drift away pleasingly into the night.

Bettis takes the hill for a Rockies squad coming off a dismal 1-5 road trip through Cleveland and Miami, and his arrival, along with tomorrow’s unexpected (to me anyway) return of Kyle Freeland from the Disabled List, signals a significant transition shift for a Colorado pitching staff that’s fairly remarkably navigated the 2017 campaign to-date.  Freeland follows Bettis in a rotation that now, presuming everything goes as planned, includes those two and Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman, and German Marquez.  Antonio Senzatela and Tyler Chatwood slide out to the bullpen, presumably knocking Carlos Estevez and Zac Rosscup back to Albuquerque, and shuffling the other chairs and roles around as you work your way backward from closer Greg Holland.  Hapless Jordan Lyles has become a Padre, Scott Oberg is also an Isotope, and Adam Ottavino was on in relief of Marquez with one out in the 5th on Sunday.

Inspirational as all of this may sound, the Rockies come into week 19 of the season, with 6 to go, off another offense-challenged week at sea level.  As Agbayani notes elsewhere, only 20 games away remain, but Colorado can’t afford to lose all of them, and the way things were looking in Miami, they frighteningly just might.  After grabbing the 2nd of two in Cleveland on another Charlie Blackmon miracle and a save from Chatwood, Jon Gray took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the 6th Friday when he ran into a Giancarlo Stanton blast and Christian Yellich doubled and tied the score on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly.  The Rockies had no answers and the Marlins got to Jake McGee for 3 in the 8th.

Saturday it was Hoffman who ran into to the Stanton juggernaut (he has something like 700 home runs in his last 40 games). The right-hander was hanging-on in a 1-1 standoff when Tyler Moore doubled leading-off the 4th, Miguel Rojas singled, and with 2-out Stanton drove one into the seats in left-center.  The Rockies got one back in the 5th and another in the 8th, a day late, dollar short.  Marquez was out yesterday without his sharpest stuff.  He got burned for 2 on a 2-out opposite field slapper off the bat of opposing hurler Vance Worley, who would play the villain of the piece in more ways than one, in the 2nd, Stanton paid his respects by dumping an opposite-field job just inside the right-field line in the 3rd, and Tomas Teliz and Rojas would score behind a Mike Avilés double in the 4th.  Colorado had managed 3 in the 3rd when Blackmon got hit with a pitch and DJ LeMahieu, Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez followed with singles, but it wouldn’t be enough, and on top of that the world nearly came to an end when Nolan Arenado came to the plate in the 5th against Worley.

Arenado was working in a 1-1 count when Worley came inside with an 88 MPH 2-seamer that struck the all-star dead on the back of the left-hand, leaving the Rockies’ 3rd baseman to stagger toward the dugout, and after a short examination by trainer Scotty Gehret he would head for the showers and X-rays that mercifully turned-out negative.  Arenado is thankfully day-to-day, and speculation wavers between stand-ins by super-sub Pat Valaika versus newly arrived rookie Ryan McMahon, but with shortstop Trevor Story back in a funk, pressure is building for Valaika to play short every day, and McMahon had been penciled for platoon relief at 1st-base for Mark Reynolds, who has also cooled-off considerably of late.

But tonight the spotlight is on Bettis, who faces struggling Braves’ right-hander Julio Tehran (7-10, 5.25) in a 6:40 MT start in Lodo.  Valaika does get the call for Arenado at 3rd, he’ll bat 7th.  Parra slides up a slot into Arenado’s customary 3-hole, followed by Reynolds at cleanup and Gonzalez hitting 5th.  Freeland goes tomorrow against Sean Newcombe, Gray gets Atlanta ace Mike Foltynewicz Wednesday, and Hoffman gets the Thursday day-game (there’s no TV) against Lucas Sims.  The Milwaukee Brewers follow the Braves into town Friday for 3 over the weekend.

Despite the obvious need, Coors’ vendors will not be offering $18 Bettis souvenir pocket-packs of Kleenex for purchase.  Bring your own.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
21 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
roxnsox
roxnsox
3 years ago

Everybody’s with Chad tonight, as they should be. But even I, an emotionally-based perceiver of life, have already felt the coverage has been a bit much. But hey, it’s a fantastic triumphant story and, as a fellow cancer defeater (not survivor), I could not be more excited and happy for Chad and his mates. Hoping for some real good magic tonight at the old ballpark, and as much as that, for a rock-solid linchpin returned to the rotation. Go Chad!… Read more »

roxnsox
roxnsox
3 years ago
Reply to  roxnsox

I’ve got a 41-year-old daughter who had cancer at age 5, too. #Standup2cancer all y’all

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

Damn…….that was a loud first out.

Jordan Jankowski. Remember that name.

roxnsox
roxnsox
3 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

Uh, what? Jordan Jankowski?

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  roxnsox

Roxnsox – Jordan Jankowski is a power right-handed RP in the Astros organization until he was DFA’d yesterday. Intriguing minor league numbers until this year (like 1.5K/IP intriguing). But for whatever reason, has derailed this season, both in the minors and during a couple of brief stints with the Astros. The Astros have made several trades/pickups with the playoffs in mind and Jankowski finally became a victim of the numbers crunch (specifically, the deal over the weekend that sent Tyler… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

Name doesn’t ring a bell. Playing in the Dominican republic?

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

All the attention was on Chettis and great game pitched. Only 2 strikeouts but ZERO ZERO walks.

But I give Rockies offense grade of F. We haven’t scored more than 3 runs in a game in nine days. But defense was A+ tonight.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

Was at the game last night. That one was on the offense (or lack thereof). Three solo HRs at Coors won’t cut it. Freeland pitched well enough to win.

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago

Sam Moll traded to Athletics for cash or PTBNL.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/08/athletics-acquire-sam-moll.html

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Moll was a third rounder, 77th overall, so this is a disappointing end to his Rockies organization career. Never really showed enough stuff to make it as a big league reliever, and wasn’t one of those “deadly on lefties” guys (read: Zach Rosscup) who can make it on that alone. Good luck to him, the A’s are the perfect landing spot – pitchers park, and lots of opportunity. Looking at it a different way, in seasons past the Rockies would… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

By the way, the rain delay filler on Don Baylor actually turns out to be worth watching. I always heard the “Baylor commands respect” thing, but some of the stories here make me understand why that was true. I miss The Cowboy! Root (umm, AT&T Sportsnet) you gotta bring him back for the September playoff drive, at least a few times …

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

I don’t disagree, but you’re bumping into the Cowboy’s beloved U of Wyoming football. They might have a legit team in 2017. I know they have a legit QB (Josh Allen) and legit schedule (Iowa and Oregon in first 3 games). It will be hard to get the Cowboy out of Laramie. Moll (and Vasto) showed me nothing in ST. No deception, no real movement, nothing overpowering. Honestly, I liked Carasiti better….and it’s not like I was high on him… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

Two runs in the first is not more than three. Come on, break the three run barrier.

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago

It’s broke, really, really broke!!

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Trevor Story – we now have enough of a career sample to have a good idea of what we’ve got in him. .251/.325/.500 – 97 RC+ (park adusted; 100 is an average MLB hitter) in 805 plate appearances. That would rank about 11th in MLB offensive productivity among shortstops this year. That’s right where Javier Baez sits this year (although he plays more 2B than SS). 45 HRs total. That’s 1 HR/17.8 PA, which translates to roughly a 30 HR/full… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Agree……….trending to “above average” defender.

FWIW – with maturity and mental concentration, I think Tapia can trend to “average” defender.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Story – one final comment. Saw this fangraphs analysis right after I posted my thoughts about him: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-struggles-of-three-shortstops/ Let me just say I disagree with the pessimistic take of the fangraphs analyst. A lot of it is based on things like exit velocity, flyball rates, average flyball distance, etc. I’m open to being proven wrong, but until then I will always go with the proof being in the pudding – that is, the career results, rather than the newer fancy… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Went to this afternoon’s game, and had great seats so I’m pretty confident about my impressions: Hoffman was really bad. He may be hitting a wall here as his innings count moves into uncharted territory. Fastball velocity was 90-93, and the Braves caught up with it. Had good break on his curve, but left a lot – 4 HRs worth of a lot – up in the zone. Most frustrating moment: had the opposing pitcher down 0-2 in the 4th… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Ag – Hoffman pitched roughly 140 innings in 2016. So a natural progression for a young pitcher might be a move to +/- 160 IP for 2017. He’s currently at +/- 130 IP. So, you’re not far off. He is an excellent Tyler Anderson rescue candidate.

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani
Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago

German Marquez listed as number 5 among the top ten rookies for 2017.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/08/the-top-10-rookies-of-2017.html

21
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x