Tag Archives: Charlie Blackmon

Phillies welcome the Colorado Rockies for a weekend in South Philly

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Charlie Blackmon is developing into a Phillies-killer with Colorado

The Philadelphia Phillies (24-19) are coming off just their third series loss of the season after dropping the final three games of a four-game set to the visiting Milwaukee Brewers this week.

One of those series defeats came at the hands of the Colorado Rockies (20-22), who took three of four games from the Phillies out at Coors Field in Denver back in mid-April.
Now a month later, the Phillies will try to avoid losing four straight games for the first time in the 2019 campaign when they host the Rockies for three over this weekend at Citizens Bank Park.
Colorado, an NL Wildcard playoff team in each of the last two years, has a losing record over the first seven weeks. However, manager Bud Black has them playing much better of late. The Rockies have gone 17-10 since the first two weeks or so. They have lost just one series (5-1-3) over the last month.
The Rockies currently sit in fourth place in the National League West Division, 7.5 games off the pace set by the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are tied with the New York Mets, three games off the second NL Wildcard pace being set by another of their division rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Colorado ranks 5th in runs scored and second in extra-base hits (tops in triples) in the National League. As a team, the Rockies home-road splits reveal two entirely different portraits. At home, Colorado is slashing .284/.354/.504, while on the road their batters have produced just a .217/.271/.382 slash line. However, since Citizens Bank Park is such a positive offensive environment, those negative road numbers may prove less relevant.
The Rockies attack is led by the consensus top third baseman in the game in 28-year-old Nolan Arenado, who is slashing .314/.360/.598 with a team-high 11 homers and 35 RBIs. Veteran right fielder Charlie Blackmon is slashing .295/.359/.566 and leads the club with 25 extra-base hits.
Blackmon has become another in the group of modern day Phillies-killers across Major League Baseball. He enjoys a career .342/.421/.615 slash line with 10 homers and 22 extra-base hits over 184 career plate appearances against the Phillies. At Citizens Bank Park, Blackmon is slashing .314/.385/.671 with seven of those home runs. At least we won’t have to hear “The Outfield” or Coors fans singing “….TONIGHT!” during his at-bats here in Philly.
All-star shortstop Trevor Story leads the club in runs scored and stolen bases and is second in homers and RBIs. However, he injured his knee in a collision with outfielder Raimel Tapia at Fenway Park on Wednesday. “Just a knee bruise,” he said per Nick Groke with The Athletic. “It’s good news for sure.
The Rockies are rumored to be promotiong their top prospect, shortstop Brendan Rodgers, for this series against the Phillies as insurance. Ultimately, Rodgers may end up competing with Ryan McMahon for the starting second base job.
Meanwhile, the Phillies continue to lead the National League East Division standings. Their lead is now down to just 1.5 games, two in the loss column, over the Atlanta Braves. The Mets are three games back in that loss column and the Washington Nationals are sitting six games out.
The roller coaster offensive attack has been on full display from the Phillies once again over the last two weeks. After scoring at least five runs in seven of their previous nine games, the Phillies scored just six total runs in dropping the final three to the Brew Crew.
The Phillies are 1-3 over the first four games of what was a tough 23-game stretch. It’s a slow start that the club really needs to reverse this weekend, especially considering that the Rockies are the last team until June 7 they will face who currently hold a losing record.

FRIDAY STARTING LINEUPS

PHILLIES LINEUP

  1.  Andrew McCutchen, left field
  2. Jean Segura, shortstop
  3. Bryce Harper, right field
  4. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  5. J.T. Realmuto, first base
  6. Cesar Hernandez, second base
  7. Odubel Herrera, center field
  8. Maikel Franco, third base
  9. Cole Irvin, pitcher

ROCKIES LINEUP

  1. Charlie Blackmon, right field
  2. Trevor Story, shortstop
  3. Nolan Arenado, third base
  4. Mark Reynolds, first base
  5. Raimel Tapia, left field
  6. Ian Desmond, center field
  7. Brendan Rodgers, second base
  8. Tony Wolters, catcher
  9. Jon Gray, pitcher

INJURY REPORT

Phillies: Super-utility player Scott Kingery, by far the club’s most valuable bench player, is on a rehab assignement with Double-A Reading and is likely to be activated for this series. Righty relievers David RobertsonVictor AranoTommy Hunter and Edubray Ramos all remain out and will not be back this weekend. Ditto for outfielder Roman Quinn and starting pitcher Vince Velasquez.
Rockies: Story is considered day-to-day with a bone bruise on his knee. Lefty reliever Jake McGee is on a minor league rehab assignment but unlikely to return this weekend.

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

  • Cole Irvin: 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.857 WHIP, 2.11 FIP
  • The 25-year-old lefty made his big-league debut last Sunday. He went seven innings, allowing just five hits and one earned run while striking out five and walking one against the Royals in Kansas City.
  • A California  native, Irvin was the Phillies fifth round pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of Oregon. He was 2-0, 2.25 ERA, 1.222 WHIP, 36 hits allowed over 36 innings across six starts at Triple-A prior to his promotion. He struck out 23 and walked eight opposing batters.
  • Jon Gray: 3-3, 4.25 ERA, 46 hits allowed over 48.2 IP across eight starts with a 51/19 K:BB
  • Gray allowed just two hits, walked four, struck out five over six shutout frames in beating the Phillies at Coors Field on April 21. In his most recent outing, Gray allowed eight hits including a pair of homers and three earned runs in a no-decision vs the San Diego Padres at Coors Field last Sunday.
  • A 27-year-old righty who was the Rockies first round pick at third overall in the 2013 MLB Draft, Gray has pitched twice before at Citizens Bank Park. He lasted just 4.1 while surrendering seven runs, six earned, in a 10-6 Phillies win on August 12, 2016. Then on June 12 of last season, Gray went six innings, allowing four earned but on just three hits, striking out 10 batters in a 5-4 Phillies victory.
  • Gray throws a four-seam fastball with natural sinking action that is rated as an extreme groundball inducer. He also throws an extremely hard slider. He has a curve, changeup and sinker in his repertoire, all of which he uses much less frequently.

PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES

  • Friday night begins “Armed Forces Weekend” at Citizens Bank Park. From Friday through Sunday, players and club personnel will wear camouflage-designed caps, which feature a five-starred emblem to represent the five branches of the U.S. military, and will also wear camo-themed socks.
  • The Rockies won five of the seven games played between the two teams during each of the past two seasons. The Phillie lead the all-time series between them by a 109-88 margin.
  • Rhys Hoskins has the lone home run off Gray among current Phillies players, but it’s his only hit off the right-hander over seven career at-bats. Andrew McCutchen has enjoyed the most success with a .471 average over 17 at-bats.
  • Major League Baseball has announced that Day 1 of the 2019 MLB Draft will take place on Monday, June 3, at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in New Jersey beginning live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 7 p.m. EDT. Prior to the start of the Draft, MLB Network will air a preview show, simulcast on MLB.com, at 6 p.m. EDT. The Phillies have the 14th overall pick in that first round.

Why the Diamondbacks / Rockies will win the NL Wildcard game

NL West rivals will meet in the NL Wildcard Game

The New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins by an 8-4 final score in Tuesday night’s AL Wildcard Game.

I called it 7-4, Yankees, in yesterday’s AL Wildcard preview and prediction piece. Now it’s time to take a look at the National League matchup.

Wednesday night will find the NL Wildcard Game taking place at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. There the Arizona Diamondbacks will host the NL West Division rival Colorado Rockies.

The winner of this win-or-go-home matchup will move on to face yet another division rival. That would be the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will host the NLDS opener beginning on Friday.

Arizona has a first-year big league manager in Torey Lovullo. The 52-year old played 303 games in Major League Baseball, mostly as a utility infielder, spread across eight seasons between 1988 and 1999.

Lovullo did have extensive minor league experience. He registered more than 5,000 plate appearances over a dozen minor league seasons from 1987-99. He then wrapped up his playing career overseas in the Japanese Central League in the 2000 season.

Following his retirement, Lovullo was hired as a minor league coach by the Cleveland Indians. He would rise during the 2000’s to become one of the most successful managers in the minors, becoming a frequent big league managerial candidate and interviewee.

Following stints as bench coach under John Farrell with both the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, Lovullo finally received his own chance to manage a big league club when hired to guide the Dbacks last November.

The Rockies are skippered by 60-year old Bud Black, a successful starting pitcher over 16 MLB seasons. Black compiled a 121-116 record over 398 games, including 296 starts. In all, the lefty tossed more than 2,000 innings with a career 3.84 ERA between 1981 and 1995.

Black’s best season came in 1984, when he went 17-12 in 257 innings over 35 starts for the Kansas City Royals. He notably surrendered both Reggie Jackson’s 500th and Mike Piazza’s first big league home runs, and was the starting pitcher for the Royals in the infamous George Brett ‘Pine Tar Incident‘ game.

Black became a pitching coach under Mike Scioscia following his retirement, and in that role was a member of the 2002 Anaheim Angels team that won the World Series.

In 2007, Black became manager of the San Diego Padres. Over nine seasons he compiled a 649-713 record. His 2010 Padres club finished 90-72 and in 2nd place in the NL West. He was fired as the Padres floundered early in the 2015 season. Black was then hired to manage the Rockies last November, just three days after Lovullo took the same job in Arizona.

So each club enters this game with a manager who just wrapped their first season guiding their club. The Dbacks finished 93-69 under Lovullo, tied for the fifth-best record in the game. The Rockies went 87-75 under Black, clinching their postseason berth on the final weekend.

Arizona was an expansion franchise that began play in 1998. The Diamondbacks have been to the postseason five times in their history, and won the 2001 World Series. This is the club’s first playoff game since the 2011 season.

The Rockies were also an expansion franchise, beginning play back in 1993. They have been to the postseason just three times, and were swept by the Boston Red Sox in their only World Series appearance in 2007. Earlier that October, Colorado had swept Arizona out of the NLCS in the only postseason meeting between the two clubs prior to this Wildcard Game.

WHY THE DBACKS WILL WIN
These are two high-scoring teams who match up fairly even in the offensive aspects of the game. But it is on the mound where the Diamondbacks enjoy a clear advantage.
The Arizona pitching staff compiled the third-best ERA (3.66) in all of Major League Baseball this season. The Dbacks arms tied for sixth in Batting Average Against (.240), and were sixth in strikeouts. The staff allowed the third-lowest home run total in the big leagues.
Drawing the starting pitching assignment for this Wildcard Game will be their ace, Zack Greinke. Turning 34 years old later this month, Greinke went 17-7 this year, allowing 172 hits over 202.1 innings across 32 starts. He had a fine 215/45 K:BB ratio, a 1.072 WHIP, and a 149 ERA+ mark.
Since this is an “all hands on deck” situation, Lovullo could turn to any of his remaining starting pitchers. Most likely that would mean lefty Robbie Ray or right-handers Taijuan Walker and Zack Godley.
In addition to those strong starters, Lovullo has a variety of effective options among his normal relief corps. Those include righties J.J. Hoover and Jimmie Sherfy, and lefties Jorge De La Rosa and Andrew Chafin.
When it comes down to the late innings, a pair of right-handers at opposite ends of the career spectrum can shut things down. 25-year old Archie Bradley is a converted starter who has been lights-out in the bullpen. 40-year old Fernando Rodney saved 39 games and is a 3x All-Star.
Offensively, Arizona was 8th in Runs, 7th in OPS and Steals, and 6th in Total Bases. They can hit, run, and score with any team.
That offense is led by perennial MVP candidate first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The 30-year old slashed .297/.404/.563 this season with 36 homers, 73 extra-base hits, 120 RBI, 117 runs scored, and 18 steals.
Lefty-swinging third baseman Jake Lamb turns 27 years old next week. He had strong final numbers of 30 home runs and 105 RBI, but hit just .204 after June. Center fielder A.J. Pollock’s return after missing most of last season has been huge. He leads the club with 20 stolen bases, and had 53 extra-base hits in just 466 plate appearances.
While Lovullo’s lineup has a variety of weapons beyond that handful, a late-season addition has proven to be the single most dominant over the last couple of months.
30-year old right fielder J.D. Martinez was obtained from the Detroit Tigers prior to the trade deadline. All he did after the trade was slash .302/.366/.741 with 29 homers and 65 RBI over just 257 plate appearances in 62 games. 
When I first came, I really wasn’t doing that well,” said Martinez in an interview with Marly Rivera for ESPN. “I was struggling. I felt like I was trying to be someone that I wasn’t; trying to do a lot more. And the guys were like nothing, they were like, ‘Dude let’s go,’ every day picking me up, picking the whole team up. I felt a part of the team very quickly here.
If Greinke dominates for five or more innings, great. If not, Lovullo can become a Brian Kenny disciple and go “bullpenning”, as Girardi did with the Yankees last night. Dominating pitching, some big hits from Goldschmidt, Martinez, Pollock and company, and the Dbacks advance.

WHY THE ROCKIES WILL WIN

The Rockies offense got to the Dbacks strong pitching for five or more runs on seven occasions this season. They won five of those games. It’s my opinion that this will be the biggest single key for Colorado if they are going to win tonight – score at least five or six times.

The Colorado offense is equipped with the talent to score on anyone. The Rockies were third in Runs scored, second in Hits, and fifth in OPS this season in all of Major League Baseball.

Black’s attack is led by MVP candidate third baseman Nolan Arenado. The 26-year old is one of the best young players in the game. He has been an NL All-Star each of the last three years, and has won a Gold Glove in each of his four previous big league seasons.

This year, Arenado slashed .309/.373/.586 with 37 homers, 87 extra-base hits, 130 RBI, and 100 runs scored. Not just a Coors Field product, his numbers hold up on the road as well.

The Rox also have another legit NL MVP candidate in center fielder Charlie Blackmon. The 31-year old was an NL All-Star for the second time this year. He slashed .331/.399/.601, tying for the NL batting title. The long-bearded Blackmon bombed 37 homers, had 86 extra-base hits, drove in 104 runs, scored an NL-high 137 times, and stole 14 bases.

34-year old first baseman Mark Reynolds banged 30 home runs, reaching that 30-homer plateau for the first time in six years. He also provided 97 RBI. Shortstop Trevor Story added 24 homers and 82 RBI.

The Rockies’ second baseman, DJ LeMahieu, is one of the most underrated players in the game. The 29-year old made the NL All-Star team for the second time in three years this summer. He hit .310 with a .374 OBP and scored 95 runs.

Veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy came over from the Texas Rangers in a trade deadline deal, adding yet another solid offensive weapon to the mix. Lucroy hit .310 with a .429 OBP in 46 games following the deal.

On the mound, Black is sending out 25-year old right-hander Jon Gray to start the Wildcard Game. Gray was the Rockies first round pick at third overall in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.

I have a lot of positive emotions coming in here, and it leads me to think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Gray per Patrick Saunders at The Denver Post. “I don’t think it’s going to be a tight game for me. I don’t think I’m going to be feeling that nervous. I’m just going to go out there and control what I can. The results are the results. But the effort is going to be 100 percent for me.

Gray was sidelined by a stress fracture in his foot from mid-April through nearly all of June. He returned to go 10-4 over the final three months of the season, striking out 103 batters over 98 innings in that period. Should Gray falter at some point, Black would likely turn to a mix of his starters and regular relief corps.

Black’s top righty options on the mound would likely be German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela, Adam Ottavino, and Pat Neshek. From the left side it would mean Kyle Freeland, Chris Rusin, Jake McGee, Tyler Anderson, and Mike Dunn are the best bets to see action.

The regular closer is Greg Holland, a 31-year old right-hander who was one of baseball’s biggest comeback stories this season. He saved 41 games, allowing just 40 hits over 57.1 innings with a 70/26 K:BB ratio. It all added up to an NL All-Star season for Holland, who missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery.

The Rockies recipe for victory is to have their bats come out hot, putting pressure on the Dbacks offense to match them. Arizona is very capable of that, so I would see a Colorado win coming only via out-scoring the Dbacks in a high-scoring affair in which both pitching staffs are battered around the ballpark, with perhaps Holland finally shutting the home team down to secure the win.

THE MATCHUP AND PREDICTION

As NL West Division rivals, these two clubs are extremely familiar with one another. They met 19 times during the regular season, with Arizona taking 11 of the head-to-head matchups. 

Only the Dodgers had a better record at home than the Dbacks 52-29 record at Chase Field. However, the Rockies battled them to a 5-5 split of their 10 games in the desert this season.

We’ve spent a lot of hours breaking it all down,” Arizona GM Mike Hazen said on Tuesday per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. “But in the end, once 5:08 p.m. (WDT) hits tomorrow, it’s about executing. It’s about going out and playing a good brand of baseball that we have all year. It’s about going out there, making our pitches, making them work on their side of it. And that’s all there is to it it’s a baseball game. The more relaxed and freer we’re going to play tomorrow, the better chance we have for good results.

The forecast high is for 98 degrees today in Phoenix, and so the roof will be closed this evening, making this an indoor playoff game.

Greinke made five starts this year against Colorado. He allowed just 30 hits over 34.1 innings in those starts with an incredible 37/2 K:BB ratio. He won the last three of those outings, including a pair of dominant starts at home.

Gray made just three starts against Arizona, but two of those came in September. In those two more relevant outings he allowed 12 hits over 12 innings with a strong 16/3 K:BB ratio. On September 12, Gray struck out 10 Dbacks hitters over seven strong innings, leading the Rockies to a 4-2 win at Chase Field.

While that recent outstanding outing by Gray provides some hope for the Rockies faithful, I don’t see a repeat happening tonight. I do, however, see the 14-year veteran Greinke posting up a big game. He and the Dbacks bullpen should shut Colorado down enough for the bats to open it up at some point. I’m calling it 9-4 in favor of the Diamondbacks, who advance to Dodger Stadium on Friday.

Rockies draw close enough to earn their own ‘Magic Number’

Pat Valaika hustles one of his two key hits in Rox victory

The Colorado Rockies defeated the host San Diego Padres on Sunday by an 8-4 score at Petco Park. In so doing, the Rockies lowered their ‘Magic Number’ to just six in order to clinch the second NL Wildcard playoff berth.

Colorado sits with an 84-72 record following victory. Also on Sunday, the Milwaukee Brewers (82-74) and Saint Louis Cardinals (82-74) both lost.

They are the only two teams capable of catching the Rockies as we enter the final week of the 2017 MLB regular season.

The win also raised the Rockies final road record on the season to 41-40. It marks just the club’s second winning season on the road in their quarter-century existence. The only other team to finish with a winning road record was the 2009 club, the last Rockies team to reach the postseason.

The Rockies received a workmanlike effort over five innings on the mound from rookie German Marquez. The 22-year old righty allowed five hits and walked three batters, striking out two. He also earned the official win, raising his record to 11-7 on the season.

Manager Bud Black then utilized five different relievers to battle through the rest of the game. The Padres got to the first of those, Scott Oberg, for a pair of runs.

But the final four arms out of the Rockies bullpen totally shut down the San Diego bats. Pat Neshek, Jake McGee, Carlos Estevez, and closer Greg Holland combined to strike out seven over the final three innings, allowing no base runners.

In what would prove to be a back-and-forth game, Colorado took a slim 5-4 lead into the top of the 9th inning. Padres skipper Andy Green turned to 29-year old lef-hander Buddy Baumann out of his bullpen.

Baumann retired the first batter he faced. But then Pat Valaika and Charlie Blackmon each took him deep, Valaika homering to left field and Blackmon to right. An RBI double from Mark Reynolds later in the frame provided the Rockies final margin of victory.

“We’re in the driver’s seat,” Valaika said per MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. “We’re not really chasing. This is on us. All we have to do is win some games. That’s a good feeling for us.

Now any combination of the Rockies winning games and the Brewers losing games that equals six, and five with the Cardinals, will clinch it for Colorado.

The games are magnified,” Black said per an AP story at Fox Sports. ”Our guys are embracing it.

Black’s squad will finish up this week at home in Coors Field. There the Rockies will host the Miami Marlins for three games beginning tonight. Then following an off-day on Thursday, the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers will come in for a three-game weekend set to end the regular season.

Milwaukee is off on Monday, then will host the Cincinnati Reds for three games. The Brewers close out the regular season next weekend with three at Saint Louis. Prior to that series, the Cardinals will host the Chicago Cubs for four games beginning on Monday.

Surprising Mark Reynolds helps Colorado Rockies to surprising start

At the start of the 2017 season in Major League Baseball, the Colorado Rockies were not considered a favorite in the NL West Division.
Most prognosticators had the four-time defending division champion Los Angeles Dodgers as the favorites once again. 
If someone was going to dethrone LA, it was likely to be their arch-rivals, the San Francisco Giants.
Either the Dodgers or Giants have won eight of the last nine NL West crowns. The Giants have captured three World Series championships during that stretch.
The Rockies joined the division in MLB’s 1993 expansion. They last won the division title, well, never. In fact, the Rox have been to the postseason just three times. They went as the NL Wildcard in 1995, 2007, and 2009. That 2007 team is the only Colorado team to reach the World Series.
Yet here we are, nearly seven weeks into the 2017 season. And there at the top of the National League West Division standings are those Colorado Rockies. The Rockies are 25-15 following a 7-3 inter-league victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
Colorado is not just a Coors Field phenomenon either. The club has a 13-10 record in the Mile High City. They also sport a winning 11-5 mark away from Denver.
As a result, the Rockies are three games up on the Dodgers, against whom Colorado has gone 5-4 in head-to-head matchups this season. They have also taken six of seven games over the Giants. The Arizona Diamondbacks, currently 2.5 games back in second place? Colorado has taken four of six.

ROCKIES OVERCOMING INJURIES

When a team is having as good a start as the Rockies are, there are a number of things going right. Manager Bud Black has gotten great pitching from a pair of rookies, 24-year old Kyle Freeland and 22-year old Antonio Senzatela.
The Rockies has also overcome key injuries and illness issues. Perhaps their best anticipated starting pitcher, 25-year old Jon Gray, has been out for over a month with a broken foot. Gray is not expected back until mid-June at the earliest.
Starting shortstop Trevor Story (shoulder), pitcher Chad Bettis (cancer), catcher Tony Wolters (concussion), catcher Tom Murphy (arm fracture), and outfielder David Dahl (rib) have all missed time. All but Bettis, who just completed chemotherapy treatments, are on their way back.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado and center fielder Charlie Blackmon each won a Silver Slugger Award last season. Arenado was a Gold Glover. Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu won a Gold Glove in 2014 and was a 2015 NL All-Star. They are each off to strong starts.
But the Rockies expect to get solid production from those players. One of the biggest keys to the club getting off to such a hot start has been some relatively unexpected production.

UNEXPECTED PRODUCTION FROM A JOURNEYMAN

Mark Reynolds is the club’s 33-year old first baseman. The Rockies are the journeyman slugger’s seventh MLB organization. This is his second season with Colorado, the 11th of his big league career, and that he is even with the ball club is a bit of an upset.
Rockies
As spring training was wrapping up, Brad Faber here at FanSided wrote that the Rockies had decided to bring back Reynolds, mostly due to an injury to big free agent signing Ian Desmond.
Reynolds had been signed to a minor league deal at the start of spring training. In 2016, he hit for a .282/.356/.450 slash line over 441 plate appearances with Colorado. He contributed 14 home runs and 24 doubles ,knocking in 53 runs and scoring 61 times.
At that time, Faber noted that Desmond “was signed to a five-year, $70 million deal over the offseason, is expected to reclaim first base upon his return. Desmond is currently out with a broken hand.”
Well, Desmond has been back since for three weeks. And yet there is Reynolds, still manning first base for the Rockies. Desmond has instead been pushed out to left field, where he has played in a dozen of his 13 games since returning to the lineup.

REYNOLDS HITS WAY TO STARTING JOB

Reynolds has simply refused to allow Black to even consider removing his bat from the Rockies lineup. Through Tuesday night he has a .326/.399/.630 slash line. Reynolds leads Colorado hitters with a dozen homers and 33 RBI, and is second on the club with 26 runs scored.
Since Desmond’s return, Reynolds has upped the ante a bit, hitting .356/.453/.622 with four homers and 10 RBI.
“He’s been playing phenomenal,” said Desmond per an AP report carried by the New York Times.
“He’s been a huge part of us…carrying us. It doesn’t seem like there is any signs of slowing down, which is awesome.” ~ Desmond
Furthermore, that phenomenal play has helped the team overcome an unusual slow start from star Carlos Gonzalez. The right fielder, a three-time NL All-Star and Gold Glover, is hitting just .213/.282/.315 thus far with two homers and 11 RBI.
Following a streak earlier this month in which he homered in three straight games, Reynolds was quoted by Nick Groke for The Denver Post:
“I want to keep playing. If you want to play, you have to produce — especially in my situation. I’m just trying to produce every night and hopefully be in there the next day.”
Reynolds has been playing and producing all season, and the Rockies are at the top of the NL West pile in part because of that production. If he can continue at even a reasonable fraction of this pace, Reynolds may help Colorado end a season at the top of the mountain for the first time.

Rockies May Be Ready to Move CarGo

In November of 2008, the Colorado Rockies sent their all-star left fielder Matt Holliday to the Oakland A’s.
In exchange, the Rox received emerging closer Huston Street, young starting pitcher Greg Smith, and a 22-year old outfielder named Carlos Gonzalez.
Smith was a non-factor, making only eight appearances with the Rockies in 2010. Street lasted three strong seasons as the closer in Denver, helping the Rockies reach the postseason in 2009–the last time they have appeared in the playoffs.
But the real prize in that trade turned out to be Gonzalez. Over the last eight seasons, ‘CarGo’ has been a 3x NL All-Star, a 3x Gold Glove Award winner, and has won three Silver Sluggers as well. He finished third in the 2010 NL Most Valuable Player award voting.
One of those All-Star seasons came just this past summer. Gonzalez hit for a .298/.350/.505 slash with 25 home runs, 42 doubles, 100 RBI, and 87 runs scored.

CARGO CONTRACT EXPIRING

Now as the Rockies contemplate their future, they may have to consider moving on from their star outfielder. Gonzalez turned 31 years old last month, and is entering the final year of his contract, for which he will be paid $20 million.
There has been some talk of a contract extension. GM Jeff Bridich was quoted earlier this month by Thomas Harding for MLB.com:
“Are we going to look to improve things in 2017 and add Major League players to our process for 2017? The answer is yes,” Bridich said per Harding. “I’m hopeful that doesn’t have to come at the expense of players like Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon.”

ROCKIES HAVE OUTFIELD DEPTH

But the Rockies do have other options, including a glut of left-handed hitting outfielders. Young David Dahl is ready to take over full-time in left field, Silver Slugger winner Blackmon will be back in center, and veteran Gerardo Parra returns as well.
The Rockies also have their top outfield prospect, Raimel Tapia nearly ready to take over in right field. Tapia will be 23 years old when spring training opens. He got his first taste of the big leagues over 22 games this past season.
Gonzalez has said that he still considers himself an outfielder for now. However, he would not be against moving to first base as the younger outfielders more fully develop.
The question the club is considering is whether to deal CarGo now, or try to sign him to a long-term extension. They could also just carry him into the season, making him an attractive July trade candidate.
“They want an extension, but there are a lot of things to be negotiated to get that done,” Gonzalez told Wilmer Reina. This came from a story in the Versión Final newspaper in Gonzalez’ hometown of Maracaibo, Venezuela per a report by Patrick Saunders at The Denver Post.
The answer to the CarGo question is almost certainly going to come from the quality of any offers received from other clubs this winter.
Those conversations are likely already going on, and certainly will continue, if not come to a head, at next week’s Winter Meetings.