Colorado Rockies: Weiss Talks McGee’s Return, DJ as All-Star
By Kevin Henry
Prior to the Colorado Rockies taking the field in Sunday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado manager Walt Weiss talked about a number of topics with the media. Here are some of his most interesting quotes.
On why DJ LeMahieu belongs in the All-Star Game…
“DJ has been one of our best players all year. You could make an argument that he’s right there with Nolan (Arenado). Look at the consistency. He’s a player who keeps better and better. On the defensive side, much like Nolan, he can change a game. In my opinion, he’s a definite All-Star and we have three infielders (Arenado, Trevor Story and LeMahieu) who should be in the All-Star Game. DJ definitely has a strong case to be in that game.”
On the progress of Jake McGee from his injury…
“McGee is doing well. He’s been able to keep his arm in shape all along since it wasn’t an arm injury. He’s been throwing virtually every day. Once he gets out there in competition, I think he’s going to return to us pretty quickly.”
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On the struggles Chad Bettis has faced and why he’s had them…
“Somewhat similar to (Jorge) De La Rosa, I think Chad got away from some of his pitch mix and fell into patterns. When he struggled as he went deeper into the outing, the ball got elevated. Location got away from him a little bit. Now he’s throwing all of the pitches. We’re seeing the curveball again and the changeup, which is a great pitch for him, is a weapon again. His fastball command is back as well. Those three things are his foundation.
“Sometimes you might lose feel of a certain pitch so you lose confidence in it. You may have some success with a particular pitch so you fall in love with it. Those two things are probably the common denominator when you see a pitcher start to fall into patterns or fall in love with a certain pitch.
“Fastball command is the key to pitching, period, whether you’re pitching in Little League or the Major Leagues. If you can command a fastball, you have a chance. Add the weapons with the secondary pitches and now you have a very good pitcher.
On how important it was for Jorge De La Rosa to have a quality start on Saturday because of Colorado’s depleted bullpen…
“You’re just hoping you get some length from your starter in that case or it’s going to get ugly. Fortunately, Jorge got us through six yesterday. We knew we only had three guys down there who could pitch. Four, if you count (Yohan) Flande, but once the starter gets through four, you’re holding on to Flande in case the game goes extra innings. You’re trying to figure out a way to use those three and in what order. It makes it interesting and makes some of the decisions a little more challenging. It worked out yesterday mostly because Jorge gave us six.
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On the important role Gonzalez Germen has played for the Colorado Rockies this season…
“He’s been the interchangeable part down there (in the bullpen). He can do a multitude of things and matches up well against left-handers so he neutralizes some matchups. He’s very very durable. That was his fourth time in five days yesterday, and some of those have been multiple-inning outings. Typically we try not to do that with guys but one of his strengths is how durable he’s been. We can use him early to bridge that gap between the starter and the back end. We can use him in matchup situations. He’s that floating piece that I’m very comfortable in using in a variety of roles.”