Denver Submit sports activities author Patrick Saunders with the newest installment of his Rockies Mailbag.
Pose a Rockies — or MLB — associated query for the Rockies Mailbag.
Who do you suppose the Rox will choose up earlier than the season begins?
— David J. Akman, Redding, Calif.
David, that’s the multi-million-dollar query. I do know normal supervisor Invoice Schmidt desires so as to add energy to the outfield, and he’ll check out a slick-fielding shortstop and discover each reduction pitchers and starters. Making a commerce or two is feasible, too.
But when I needed to choose one participant the Rockies will make a run at, it could be free agent Kyle Schwarber. He might be a chosen hitter, play left subject, or fill in at first base for the Rockies. I do know that the Rockies are all in favour of Schwarber, however that doesn’t imply they may land him.
Schwarber slashed .266/.374/.554 in 113 video games final season with Boston. Regardless of lacking a month with a hamstring damage, he hit 32 residence runs for Boston. Think about the harm he might do at Coors Discipline.
The Rockies, nonetheless, can have loads of competitors for Schwarber. The truth is, NBC Sports activities Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury wrote that the Phillies have been “in full pursuit” of Schwarber within the days main as much as the lockout.
There have been pre-lockout reviews that the Rockies have been taking a look at Kris Bryant, however with Scott Boras as his agent, I don’t see the Rockies paying the type of cash Bryant will demand.
We’ve two associated questions concerning the present Main League Baseball lockout.
After watching an unimaginable weekend of NFL playoff video games that have been all gained on the final play of the sport, what can baseball do to make the sport far more entertaining? Being in a labor dispute can not assist. Do the homeowners and gamers not notice their sport is slowly going the way in which of the rotary telephone?
— Robert Emmerling, Limon
What’s the newest on the baseball lockout? Spring coaching is arising quick and I can’t think about both aspect actually desires to pull this factor out (contemplating) how a lot cash is on the desk.
— David, Denver
Gents, as I’ve stated greater than as soon as, out of sight and out of thoughts will not be a great place for baseball proper now. The game can’t compete with the NFL postseason, in any 12 months, however the sizzling range season continues to be an necessary a part of baseball’s profile. Proper now, it’s been principally crickets.
Final week, I used to be satisfied that spring coaching wouldn’t start till March 1 — on the earliest. I used to be additionally involved that regular-season video games can be missed. Nevertheless, MLB and the MLB Gamers Affiliation met Monday for greater than two hours and extra face-to-face conferences are scheduled. That’s positively a constructive signal.
Nevertheless, how optimistic we needs to be depends upon which reporter is writing the story. Each MLB and the MLB Gamers Affiliation leak info to key nationwide reporters akin to The Athletics’ Evan Drellich and ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
On Monday, Drellich, for instance, centered on MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem saying “MLB is keen to lose video games over a number of the excellent points the edges have.”
Drellich additionally wrote this: “Some on the gamers’ aspect have been irked, too, by Rockies proprietor Dick Monfort, the chair of commissioner Rob Manfred’s seven-owner labor coverage committee. Monfort, individuals with data of the assembly stated, complained concerning the issue no less than some homeowners have affording groups, and the ancillary prices of possession akin to safety and COVID-19 measures.”
The underside line: There may be numerous work forward and compromises to be reached earlier than a brand new collective bargaining settlement is signed.
To Robert’s level, I don’t suppose we will examine unimaginable NFL playoff video games to major-league baseball. The sports activities are so totally different and each have their charms. Consider me, I’ve fallen asleep on the sofa watching numerous NFL video games. Though nothing is a greater sleep assist than the dulcet tones of a run-of-the-mill PGA event.
However you’re proper, Robert, baseball is going through main issues. There are too many different leisure choices obtainable and numerous younger followers suppose that baseball is just too gradual and boring. I wrote about that final spring in The Submit’s “state of baseball collection.”
The size of baseball video games and the tempo of play stay enormous issues. Common-season video games lasted 3 hours, 10 minutes final season, the longest ever. Playoff video games averaged 3 hours and 42 minutes. As a narrative in The Ringer identified, even when you take away the 13-inning, 5-hour, 14-minute recreation between the Crimson Sox and Rays, the common for nine-inning playoff video games was nonetheless absurd 3:38, the best ever.
Baseball must get up and make some modifications, although I’m wondering if the gamers are actually conscious of that.
Patrick, given Todd Helton’s rise within the Corridor of Fame voting over the previous few years, when do you suppose he’ll get voted in? With extra votes opening up as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling exit with their remaining 12 months of eligibility, I believe subsequent 12 months might be a great one for the Toddfather, in addition to Scott Rolen, Andruw Jones and Gary Sheffield.
— Ron, Parker
Ron, I talked to Helton on Monday and he stated he’s inspired by his progress within the Corridor of Fame voting. He’s not making it this 12 months, in fact, however he continues to pattern up. When the voting was introduced Tuesday, the Rockies’ first baseman, in his fourth 12 months on the poll, acquired 52% of the votes, up from 29.2% in 2020 and 44.9% final 12 months.
Helton gained’t make it subsequent 12 months and maybe not till 2025, however I’m assured he’ll clear the 75% threshold and be inducted into Cooperstown.
Hey Patrick, with the inevitable departure of Trevor Story, do you suppose Brendan Rodgers will play shortstop or second? Additionally, when that call is made, what are the choices to play on the alternative aspect of the infield?
— Aaron Harm, Omaha, Neb.
Aaron, except the Rockies make a transfer to accumulate somebody, simply who would be the beginning shortstop shall be one of many main questions of spring coaching. Rodgers nonetheless considers himself a shortstop however I’ve been instructed that the Rockies suppose his greatest place within the majors is at second base.
So, if Rodgers is at second, who’s at quick for the short-term? As I wrote in November, the Rockies are taking a look at quite a lot of choices, together with signing a free agent, making a commerce, and even giving Ryan McMahon at a shot at shortstop. An alternative choice is giving rookie Alan Trejo an opportunity.
Ezequiel Tovar, who put collectively a strong 2021 season at each ranges of Class A, and was spectacular in the course of the Arizona Fall League, is taken into account Colorado’s shortstop of the longer term.
Patrick, what’s the newest on Zac Veen? I do know he’s nonetheless younger, however do you suppose he has a shot at cracking the bigs come September?
— Mikey N., Oakland, Calif.
The Rockies might need struck gold with Veen, the ninth general choose within the 2020 draft.
Veen, who turned 20 final month, had a terrific first season of professional baseball, main low-A Fresno to the playoffs. In 109 video games, he hit .300 with a .398 on-base share, mashed 15 residence runs, drove in 76 runs and stole 36 bases. Veen primarily performed proper subject.
Most encouraging, Veen steadily improved because the season went on. On Aug. 24, he turned the fifth participant in Fresno historical past to hit for the cycle, and he did it with aptitude, hitting his first profession grand slam whereas driving in seven runs.
There isn’t a method that Veen makes his major-league debut in 2022. Might he make it by September 2023? Probably, however I might suppose 2024 is extra lifelike.