It’s time for another Purple Monday, today the Colorado Rockies will don their purple jerseys for the first of three against the NL West leaders, the Los Angeles Dodgers. For more on this series check out Rox Pile’s Tyler Bellis’ series preview here. In this weeks edition of Purple Monday I wanted to set you up for the Rox Pile roundtable where we will all discuss guys likely to get more playing time when the rosters expand on September 1st. I also wanted to delve into the position that has caused the Rockies a lot of problems the past two-plus weeks. Let’s get into it.
When the rosters expand on Thursday, all players on the 40-man roster will be permitted to be on the “active roster” for the Colorado Rockies and eligible to play. This will give the Rockies the opportunity to add 15 guys into the mix for playing time. While it will help, especially in the bullpen, it will put more pressure on Walt Weiss to get everyone regular playing time and at-bats, so it will be interesting to see how this is handled. Below are the 15 guys on the 40-man roster than are currently not with the Rockies.
Outfielders: Raimel Tapia
It is important to remember that the people on the 15-day DL still have a place on the 40-man roster while a move to the 60-day DL will take the player off the 40-man giving the Rockies an opportunity to add someone else. Trevor Story, Mark Reynolds and perhaps Justin Miller or Jason Motte could make this move giving the Rockies a couple more spots, but it would be conceding to the fact they are done for the year. Some candidates I would like to see added are below:
Pat Valaika: After starting the year in Hartford with the Yard Goats Valaika was called up to the Isotopes a couple of weeks ago. In 19 games he has struggled slightly and is hitting only .231. However, in his first 13 games at Triple-A he was hitting over .300 and accomplished the cycle on August 22. In Hartford he was slashing .269/.314/.450 with 13 HR’s so it seems he will make the adjustment to the higher level of play. He also has the ability to play all the infield positions except first and could be a better option than Christian Adames who has really been struggling at the plate since Story’s injury.
Jordan Patterson: Patterson has been called for and pleaded for by Rockies fans for a long time this season. It almost seems inevitable that he will get the call sometime in September. He has been mashing at Triple-A hitting .299/.385/.492, and was recently the players choice for Isotopes most valuable player of 2016. He can also play 1B as well as OF which makes him even more appealing given then Rockies need.
Sam Moll: Moll is a left-handed reliever who spent some time with the Rockies this year in spring training. He has been pretty good for the ‘Topes this year appearing in 38 games. His ERA sits at
4.87 but his ERA against left-handers is a minuscule 1.20, and he could be the possible LOOGY of the future for the Rockies. He could help a bullpen that has been in shambles.
First Base Dilemma: The Rockies were enjoying a solid season from Mark Reynolds until August 11, when the news surfaced he had a broken hammate bone in his hand. This has kept him on the DL since and will likely end his season. Since that time the Rockies have started five different guys at first base, in Daniel Descalso, Ben Paulsen, Ryan Raburn, Gerardo Parra, and rookie Stephen Cardullo. Below are their stats in games they have started at first since Reynolds went down:
Ben Paulsen: seven games started, 3-26, 1 BB
Ryan Raburn: three games started: 2-8, .250, 2 BB
Gerardo Parra: three games started: 3-9, .333, 3 BB
Stephen Cardullo: one game started: 0-3, 1 BB
Daniel Descalso: one game started, 0-4, .000
Obviously, small sample size applies here and the stats aren’t enough to base much off of. The Rockies did seem to see enough of Paulsen for right now sending him back to Triple-A when Cardullo was promoted.
A somewhat larger sample size is the fact that in the past 15 games Rockies starting first basemen are hitting a combined .160 to go along with an OBP of .263, and zero home runs. Not the production a team hopes for at a position where the most offensive production is expected.
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Recently it seems that the Rockies will commit to a Gerardo Parra and Stephen Cardullo platoon until other moves are made, which I never thought I would say. Also worth noting in the fun with small sample sizes department is that Gerardo Parra has a .333 average and OBP of .500 when starting at first base. And yes, he has one less walk in three games as a first basemen than he does in 80 games as an outfielder this year.
First base is the most logical place I see the Rockies inserting Jordan Patterson into if he gets called up in September. I am also interested to see if they would let Tom Murphy make some starts at first to get him more at bats at the major league level.
Regardless, it seems 1B will be a priority for the Rockies this offseason.