Showing posts with label Colorado Rockies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colorado Rockies. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gerardo Parra signs with Rockies; Carlos Gonzalez trade coming next?

Carlos Gonzalez
The Colorado Rockies on Tuesday agreed to terms with outfielder Gerardo Parra on a three-year, $27 million deal.

It's a curious move, because the Rockies already have a crowded outfield. With Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson and now Parra on the roster, Colorado has a logjam of left-handed hitting outfielders. That's four starting quality outfielders with only three jobs available.

I don't think a team with the Rockies' mid-market budget would give Parra an average of $9 million a year to serve as the fourth outfielder. At that price, it seems reasonable to believe their intention is to play Parra every day. And if that's the case, one of Gonzalez, Blackmon or Dickerson is going to be dealt sooner rather than later.

Cue the speculation about Gonzalez, as reports indicate the Orioles, Angels, White Sox and Cardinals all have interest. 

The market for Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton might slow again now, as teams searching for an outfielder kick the tires on what it would cost to acquire Gonzalez, who has two years and $37 million remaining on his contract. Some clubs, including the Sox, could see those financial terms as more palatable than a four- or five-year commitment to Cespedes or Upton.

That said, I'd be reluctant to cough up too many top prospects for Gonzalez, who can't hit lefties anymore, despite the 40 home run season he posted last year. Check out his 2015 splits:

Gonzalez vs. RHP: .301/.364/.633, 35 HRs, 78 RBIs
Gonzalez vs. LHP: .195/.222/.308, 5 HRs, 19 RBIs

FanGraphs has published a more detailed offering on why Gonzalez should no longer be considered a superstar player. He's oft-injured, and the wear and tear is starting to show up in his performance.

Gonzalez is a big name in the game, of course. He'd be a big-splash acquistion, for sure, but I'd say buyer beware here. And, as one article I read today put it, the Rockies might be asking for two top-100 prospects in any trade involving Gonzalez, but that doesn't mean they are going to get it.

The Sox should resist any urge to buy high on this player.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Yusmeiro Petit breaks Mark Buehrle's record

San Francisco Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit on Thursday became the first pitcher in major league history to retire 46 consecutive batters.

Petit entered Thursday's action having set down 38 straight hitters over his seven previous appearances (six of them in relief). He was given an opportunity to start in place of the struggling Tim Lincecum and retired the first eight men he faced against the Colorado Rockies in a 4-1 San Francisco win.

Oddly enough, opposing pitcher Jordan Lyles ended the streak with a two-out double in the top of the third inning.

Petit's accomplishment breaks the previous record of 45 consecutive batters retired, which was held by Mark Buehrle. The former White Sox ace tossed a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 23, 2009, and followed that up by retiring the first 17 hitters in his next start against the Minnesota Twins.

The four longest such streaks were all recorded by members of either the White Sox or the Giants. Sox fans will recall that former closer Bobby Jenks had a similar streak in 2007.

Most batters retired consecutively:
1. Petit, Giants, 46 in 2014
2. Buehrle, White Sox, 45 in 2009
3 (t). Jim Barr, Giants, 41 in 1972
3 (t). Jenks, White Sox, 41 in 2007

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter: 15 strikeouts, no walks

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw fired his first career no-hitter Wednesday night in an 8-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

I was able to watch him pitch the last three innings, and you will never see a pitcher with more dominant stuff. He struck out 15 of the 28 batters he faced in this game. His curveball was unhittable.

His performance reminded me of just how difficult it is to throw a perfect game. Kershaw did nothing wrong in this game. He didn't give up any hits. He didn't walk anybody. He didn't hit a batter, but it still wasn't a perfect game. Why? Because you need your teammates to play flawless defense to pitch a perfect game.

Kershaw retired the first 18 batters he saw Wednesday night, but his perfect game was lost when Colorado's Corey Dickerson reached on a two-base error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez leading off the seventh inning. Ramirez fielded Dickerson's slow bouncer but threw wide of first base for the error.

A couple batters later, rookie third baseman Miguel Rojas made a nice play behind the bag and a long throw to first to retire Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki to keep the no-hitter intact. The Dodgers replaced Ramirez at shortstop with rookie Carlos Triunfel to start the eighth inning. Probably a smart move, but Kershaw had no difficulty retiring the side 1-2-3 in either of the last two innings

Kershaw's no-hitter is the second one thrown in the major leagues this season. Teammate Josh Beckett tossed one in a 6-0 win at Philadelphia on May 25

The 2014 Dodgers became the 16th team in major league history to throw more than one no-hitter in a single season. They are only the fifth team to accomplish the feat since 1972, when Burt Hooton and Milt Pappas threw no-hitters in the same season for the Cubs.

Just in case you were wondering, the 2012 Seattle Mariners were the last team to throw two no-hitters in a season. Kevin Millwood combined with five relievers to throw a no-hitter against the Dodgers on June 8 of that year. About two months later, on Aug. 15,  Felix Hernandez tossed a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

White Sox add Zach Putnam to roster, designate Donnie Veal for assignment

The White Sox blew out their entire bullpen and were forced to use utility infielder Leury Garcia to pitch the 14th inning in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Moreover, White Sox relief pitchers walked 11 and hit one batter in the loss, handing the Red Sox 12 extra baserunners over the final eight innings of the game. Given such incompetence, it is remarkable it took Boston 14 innings to finish off Chicago.

You had to figure a roster move was coming Thursday after a Little League-quality performance from the bullpen, and sure enough, the Sox have designated left-hander Donnie Veal for assignment.

Veal has faced 32 batters in six innings pitched this season, and 13 of those hitters reached base -- seven on walks. That's not good enough, and that's why Veal has lost his roster spot.

The Sox have purchased the contract of right-hander Zach Putnam from Triple-A Charlotte. Putnam was unscored upon in six innings for the Knights this season. He has struck out 11 batters and walked just one in that span.

Putnam has previous major league experience. He has appeared in 15 games for the Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies and Cubs over the past three seasons, posting an ugly 8.53 ERA. We're not going to pretend Putnam is any sort of answer. He's a journeyman pitcher, but hey, he has only walked one batter in 12.2 career innings at the major league level.

If he comes in and throws the ball over the plate, that's a step up from what some of the other Sox relief pitchers have been doing lately.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

If any pitcher deserves some run support, it's Jose Quintana

White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana leads the league in only one category: no-decisions. He had a league-high 17 of them in 2013. He's had 28 of them since the start of the 2012 season, more than any other pitcher in baseball. Heck, his first start of 2014 ended in a no-decision after the Sox bullpen spit out a three-run lead.

I've lost track of how many times Quintana has pitched well enough to win, only to walk away with nothing. Lack of run support? That would be an understatement. The Sox scored three runs or less in 16 of Quintana's 33 starts last year. Seven times, they were limited to one run or less. They were shutout on three occasions.

So if there's any pitcher who deserved to be the beneficiary of a 15-run outburst, it's Quintana. The left-hander turned in another solid, consistent outing on Tuesday night, firing seven innings of two-run ball in the Sox' 15-3 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

The environment is hitter-friendly in Denver, and this game saw the Sox pound out six home runs and 19 hits. First baseman Jose Abreu hit the first two home runs of his major league career. Avisail Garcia also went deep twice, and Alexei Ramirez and Tyler Flowers hit home runs as well.

Abreu's first home run was perhaps the big blow of the game. On the 12th pitch of his at-bat in the seventh inning against Colorado reliever Chad Bettis, the Cuban slugger hit a three-run homer to extend a tenuous 4-2 Sox lead to 7-2. From there, the rout was on. Abreu homered in the eighth inning, as well, and is now tied with Minnesota's Chris Colabello for the American League lead in RBIs with 11.

Speaking of leading the league, Flowers leads all American League hitters with a .478 batting average entering Wednesday's action. That's funny to me. Should I pick him up in my fantasy league?

Cubs waste big night for Castro

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro missed a good chunk of spring training due to injury, and not surprisingly, he got off to a slow start the first few games of the season. It looks like he's back on track, though, after going 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs on Tuesday night.

But Castro's effort went for naught, as the Cubs lost 7-6 to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. I bring up his performance, though, to note he is still clearly the best shortstop in the Cubs' organization.

While I agree with Cubs fans that Castro is a frustrating player to watch at times, I disagree with those who want him traded immediately to make room for uber-prospect Javier Baez.

In case you were wondering, Baez is 1-for-18 with eight strikeouts and three errors at shortstop in six games at Triple-A Iowa so far this year. The 21-year-old also was ejected from a game for an angry outburst over the weekend. There's a good probability we'll see Baez in Chicago before the year is over, but his slow start is a reminder that he is still very much a work in progress. He needs to refine his game, especially defensively, before he's worthy of being a big-league shortstop.

The Cubs need not be in any hurry to trade Castro, who for all his faults remains the most accomplished hitter in the North Siders' lineup. The Cubs need to be adding good hitters to their roster, not subtracting the scant few they have.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Does Ubaldo Jimenez make Baltimore a contender? I'll vote no

The Baltimore Orioles have been seeking a starting pitcher the entire offseason. They finally got one Monday night when Ubaldo Jimenez agreed to a deal that is reportedly worth $50 million over four years.

Jimenez joins a rotation that includes Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris.

Is the addition of Jimenez enough for the Orioles to become a major factor in the American League East? If I were a betting man, I'd say no. I'd still put Baltimore behind Boston, New York and Tampa Bay in baseball's toughest division.

I've never been a big believer in Jimenez. Yes, he went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 32 starts with Cleveland last year. Yes, he pitched like an ace down the stretch and was one of the keys to the Indians getting into the playoffs as a wild-card team.

However, this is a pitcher who has never been consistent. Even last year in a "good season," Jimenez was all over the map. He was 7-5 with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP his first 20 starts. League average at best. He salvaged that with a red-hot finish over his final 12 outings, going 6-4 with a 1.72 ERA.

Jimenez' best season was 2010 with the Colorado Rockies, when he went 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA. But again, a closer look reveals his inconsistency. Over his first 14 starts of that year, Jimenez enjoyed the best stretch of his career. He went 13-1 with a 1.15 ERA.

But look at his last 19 starts in 2010: 6-7 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. For a National League starter, that's worse than league average. 

In 2011 and 2012, Jimenez went a combined 19-30 with a 5.03 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Basically, he was brutal for two full seasons.

What it comes down to is this: Jimenez pitched like an ace for 14 games with the Rockies at the start of 2010. Then, he stunk for three full calendar years. From the last half of 2010 through the first half of 2013, he was a below-average starter. Finally, he pitched like an ace for 12 games with the Indians at the end of last season.

Which Jimenez do you think will show up in Baltimore? I think his three years of badness outweigh his 26 good starts, which were three years apart. Twenty-six good starts in four years. That's not even a full season. That's not the stuff top-of-the-rotation pitchers are made of.

If I were an Orioles fan, I wouldn't get too excited about this signing. I don't see Jimenez having much success facing the stacked lineups in Boston and New York.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Boone -- er -- Boom times for reliever market?

As if the dump truck full of money the Mariners drove to Robinson Cano's door wasn't evidence that MLB teams are flush with cash, take a look at what left-handed reliever Boone Logan just got.

Smile, Boone! You're rich!
If you only paid attention to Logan when he was on the White Sox, you might not have noticed he's been better since since those days of getting battered around U.S. Cellular Field. In fact, after pitching to a career 5.27 ERA and a staggering 1.69 WHIP with the Sox and Braves, Logan has had a 3.38 ERA over 176 innings with the Yankees the last four years.

That's why the Colorado Rockies have decided to give him a three-year, $16.5 million contract.

That's a lot of coin for a guy who you only really want to see face left-handed hitters (.243/.312/.378 career), and rarely face right-handers (.297/.397/.475). That's if the 1.6 HR/9 he allowed -- way above his career norm -- was just a blip, and not a reversion to his homer-happy results with the Sox. Baseball humidor or no, that won't play well in Colorado.

 Logan just got more money than Javier Lopez got from the Giants (3 years/$13 million), and Lopez was maybe better (2.38 ERA the last three years vs. 3.51 ERA for Logan, though Logan did work in the AL and was charged with facing left-handers that benefited from the Yankees' home park).

With a lot of relief pitchers left to sign, it's really too early to say yet if the market is going a little crazy. I don't think it's too early to say the Rockies probably overpaid for what Logan will be able to do for them.