Rockies Links: NL West, Nick Hundley, and Larry Walker


Taking a look at the Rockies’ links for this Friday, which include columns about the team’s inactivity this off-season, new catcher Nick Hundley, and a mention of Larry Walker‘s Hall of Fame candidacy.

As the calendar flips to the new year and teams and hopeful fan bases alike look ahead to the time that hope springs eternal, the Colorado Rockies’ off-season has been a letdown thus far.

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That does not mean that the Rockies are doomed or that this off-season has been a disaster. There is still time to see more moves, and patience from Jeff Bridich in his first months as general manager is not a bad thing. Nevertheless, when the main talking points are Nick Hundley and Wilin Rosario with some general complaining sprinkled in, the Rockies aren’t exactly creating a lot of buzz.

Let’s look at today’s links.

From Mark Townsend: Rockies remain afterthoughts in refocused NL West (Big League Stew)

"New general manager Jeff Bridich may have different ideas and more of a willingness to do “what’s right.” He’s at least convinced ownership to listen on trade offers for Tulowitzki and Gonzalez, which feels like a minor miracle. But how much impact can he truly make if those above him aren’t convinced wholesale change is necessary?"

That is just one of a number of fair questions raised by Townsend in this article. For now, I am inclined to at least see how Bridich does between now and next off-season before thinking that he is being held back by the stubbornness of Dick Monfort. As for the whole question of trading Carlos Gonzalez or Troy Tulowitzki, I am all for it with CarGo but not there yet with Tulo.

I want to see this front office show some creativity and make some aggressive moves, but I still cannot imagine a world where the best move is anything other than keeping the best shortstop in baseball, injuries or not.

From Zach Marburger: Rockies sign catcher Nick Hundley (Mile High Sports)

"Trading Rosario now would also be selling low on a 25-year-old catcher who slugged over 21 home runs just a few years ago. The organization’s patience with Rosario’s defense may be wearing thin, but giving up on a guy a player still a few years away from his prime shouldn’t be considered lightly. Hundley would make the perfect caddy for Rosario, who hopefully will be able to bounce-back at the plate and either A) contribute at the same level he did in 2012-13 or B) at least reestablish his trade value."

The Rockies might keep Rosario, and as Marburger points out, that very well might be the correct move. I believe there still might be a team out there that sees trade value in Rosario right now. In an off-season where teams are overpaying for offense, that might create a good opportunity to deal ‘Baby Bull’ and get a decent return for him. Save for that, I could be persuaded that the Rockies should keep him around next season and possibly beyond.

From Jonah Keri: Hall of Fame Voting Primer: My Top 10, Plus a Randy Johnson Appreciation (Grantland)

"Larry Walker: This mostly boils down to an argument for Walker’s 1997 to 1999 peak, during which he hit .314/.410/.592 … away from Coors Field. Walker is just barely on the yes side of the border for me, while Jeff Kent — who after accounting for defense and the era in which he played could be considered an inferior candidate to Whitaker — just misses. That said, there are plenty of anti-Walker arguments and pro-Kent arguments that have plenty of merit."

Included here, obviously, because of the mention of Walker, it is always good to see a national writer who takes a more nuanced view of a candidate who happened to play half of his games at Coors Field. Keri’s efforts to point out Walkers’ all-around offensive dominance are appreciated, but let me take yet another chance to point out that Walker was also the best fielder and the best baserunner for the Rockies anytime he was in the lineup.

Yes, this is an especially sensitive issue for me and yes, I am biased, but it is becoming clearer and clearer that Walker will be criminally under-appreciated for just what an incredible all-around player he was.