Purple Monday: Colorado Rockies Things to Watch in September
One of my favorite parts of 2016 has been watching the new guys. Trevor Story was having a season for the record books and David Dahl picked up right where he left off after his injury. Tony Wolters has also been a pleasant surprise. The recent promotion of Raimel Tapia adds another guy to the list of rookies leading to a lot of optimism.
Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson both should be in the Rookie of the Year discussion. Corey Seager is essentially a lock to win it for the National League but this can’t take away from the season these two pitchers are having. Gray will be setting a new record for strikeouts in a season for the Rockies and Anderson will be flirting with an ERA below 3.50, which, if he gets enough starts, will be in competition for best the Rockies have ever had. Ubaldo Jimenez’s mark of 2.88 will be out of reach but beating out Jhoulys Chacin’s ERA of 3.47 is very possible.
This is the guy I am most excited and interested in watching pitch the rest of the season. With his ceiling, the Rockies could have a dominate top of the rotation slotting him behind Gray and Anderson. He has had some up and downs so far in his three starts this year. His ERA (6.60) is inflated from his first outing against the Cubs as he only gave up 5 earned runs in his last two starts.
The concerning thing with Hoffman is his inability to miss bats, he only has five strikeouts in 15 innings. This won’t be enough to succeed long term at Coors. The good news is he was averaging over 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings so improvement here would be a sign of good things to come.
The Walt Weiss Decision
Walt’s contract is up at the end of this year and Jeff Bridich will have a tough decision on whether or not to offer him an extension. My vote is to keep him, especially if the team continues to play well. All signs point to the players liking him a lot, and it has shown this year. This team has bounced back following almost every heartbreaking loss. I don’t agree with most of his bullpen decisions but I blame the majority on lack of trustworthy options. It is definitely a situation to monitor.
The Rockies are typically well represented in end of season positional awards. This is thanks mostly to their defensive abilities, especially Arenado. I expect him to continue his reign at third base even with a slight increase in numbers of errors this year. LeMahieu and CarGo always have a shot to add another their display of gold gloves. I also expect these three and Charlie Blackmon to be in the discussion for silver slugger at their respective positions.
As I mentioned, Arenado should be in the MVP discussion, with Gray, Story and Anderson deserving of some rookie of the year love as well.
Next: The Top 5 Catchers in Colorado History
A Chance for .500
Right now, the Rockies sit at 65-71 which means they would need to finish the season with a 16-10 record in their final 26 games to finish at .500. This is definitely possible if they heat up to finish the season.
The Rockies were 83-79 in 2010, but since that season the most wins they have compiled is 74. This team seems poised to surpass this mark in 2016, displaying the improvement for the Rockies this year.