Santa Claus comes tonight, Colorado Rockies fans. Luckily, we got a sneak peek at his naughty and nice list when it comes to the franchise in 2020.
It’s the holidays and it’s also time to see who associated with the Colorado Rockies landed on the naughty and nice lists for Santa Claus after a pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign that saw the team post its second consecutive losing season.
We saw the list … and then it checked it twice. Here are three names/groups who turned out naughty or nice in a crazy year for all of us.
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Colorado’s left-handed bullpen options — James Pazos posted a 12.94 FIP, 16.88 ERA, and 2.813 WHIP in 5.1 innings before the Rockies had seen enough and designated him for assignment in late September. Phillip Diehl logged a 10.50 ERA and 6.69 FIP in 6.0 innings and wasn’t with the team the entire month of September as the Rockies chose to go without a southpaw in the bullpen for the last month of the campaign. Yeah, that’s how bad it was for lefties in relief in 2020.
Daniel Murphy — The veteran slashed .236/.275/.333 in 132 plate appearances. He received just 25 at-bats the entire month of September (going 2-for-25) as Josh Fuentes quickly surpassed him at the plate and the field as the season wore along. Murphy’s two seasons in Colorado were injury-filled and unproductive and being benched for the last month of his two-year deal was largely symbolic of his time in purple.
Front office and ownership — From a feud with Nolan Arenado to cutting ties with David Dahl to a clear lack of direction on what’s to come with Arenado, Trevor Story, and so much more, yeah, we have a lot more questions than answers entering 2021.
Daniel Bard — Easily the best story in Major League Baseball in 2020, Bard showed that taking a chance on a pitching reclamation project can pay off in Colorado. Coors Field and altitude be damned, Bard became the closer for the Rockies and proved that, at age 35, a solid comeback from the “yips” is absolutely possible. Side note, kudos to former Rockies pitcher Tyler Matzek for his return to the bigs in 2020 as well as a vital part of the Atlanta bullpen.
Raimel Tapia — The 26-year-old outfielder took a leap forward in his progress, posting 0.8 bWAR and sliding productively into the leadoff spot in the order. Tapia still has plenty of room to grow, but his 96 OPS+ in 2020 was by far the highest of his career. With Ian Desmond predicted to come back in 2021, Kevin Pillar still a free agent (but reportedly being chased by Colorado), and Dahl in Texas, there are plenty of questions for what 2021 could look like for Tapia. For now, however, we’ll raise a glass of egg nog to the steps he took in 2020.
Rockies social media — Despite a pandemic and a down season on the field, the Rockies social media team continued to find ways to creatively connect with fans, even though they couldn’t be inside the ballpark. Call us biased, but @Rockies is the best baseball Twitter follow in the game.