Houston Astros vrs Colorado Rockies Series Preview

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Q&A Session with Rox Pile (Rockies Fansided Site)

Jun 14, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (L) is greeted by third base coach

Stu Cole

(R) after hitting a two run homer against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

CTH: Are the Rockies going to become sellers at the trade deadline? Any idea where players might be on the move too?

ROX: I suppose the question differs from “should they,” and “are they,” though with a new GM in Jeff Bridich. Hopefully, they’ll actually pull the trigger on some moves like the should. I expect them to be active near the deadline with a move or two though they probably won’t make as many moves as most people think. Guys to watch who might get moved include Justin Morneau, Boone Logan if they can somehow convince someone to (a) take his contract, and (b) take his ineffectiveness. Also, Kyle Kendrick (everybody needs starting pitching, as hard as that is to believe), Wilin Rosario (who is without a position but has a great bat).

Sure, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. I do not anticipate either of those guys being moved, but I suppose you never know.

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CTH: What is it like watching Nolan Arenado develop into a star?

ROX: It is amazing. He is the Rockies’ franchise player going forward (no shade to Tulo, it’s just that Arenado represents this next generation of Rockies in the same way Tulo did when he burst onto the scene in 2009 with Todd Helton at the helm). His defense is just… unreal. I compare him to Giancarlo Stanton — even if he’s not on your team, you can’t help but cheer for Arenado if you’re a baseball fan, because you want to see the incredible things he can do on a diamond.

CTH: Were you disappointed you did not get Dillon Tate? Were you surprised when Rodgers was still there with the third pick?

ROX: I really liked Tate and thought the Rockies would be wise to go after college pitching, though they came away top heavy with high schoolers, so their philosophy was obviously different than what we’d anticipated. That being said, the Rockies arguably had the second best draft in baseball (behind you guys, or so everyone says), and getting Brendan Rodgers, who seemed to be the consensus best player available, at #3 was a steal.

CTH: Do you think a Rockie pitcher will ever have prolonged success? Can the team win with the next generation of young pitchers?

ROX: Oh, absolutely – and pitchers have. Look at Jason Jennings, Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook, Ubaldo Jimenez, and right now Jorge De La Rosa. Each of those guys has had some very nice seasons individually, and taken together. They’ve all had nice careers in Denver, though, granted, the definition of success is slightly altered in the Coors Field environment. Nevertheless, De La Rosa may be the best test case for this since he had such incredible success with the Rockies, and specifically, at home. How can a pitcher do so consistently well at Coors Field? Let’s hope De La Rosa is teaching all he knows to Eddie Butler, Jon Gray, Chad Bettis, David Hale, Tyler Matzek, and Jordan Lyles.

CTH: What can you say about the development of Jon Gray?

ROX: Well, he hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game since April, and after a very rough start to his AAA career, he’s looked much, much better every outing over the past six weeks. The Super-Two deadline is upon us and past, and there’s lots of rumbling that he may be up very, very soon. He’s worth a shot. If the Rockies are out of it (which they are, and will continue to be), it’s worth it to let Gray, Butler, Bettis, and Hale take their lumps and show the Rox what they may have for the next few years.

CTH: I know Troy Tulowitzki has picked up recently, but what caused his early struggles at the plate?

ROX: Early on, he either wasn’t seeing the ball very well or wasn’t patient enough at the plate (and considering his miserable K: BB ratio early, likely both). Now, he’s been able to get on base more consistently, and in turn, has hit for more power in the last two weeks. The Rockies need him to be good if they have any faint hope of winning anything of consequence in any way. Even then, they need 59 other things to go right, too — so his improvement is at least a huge sigh of relief for Rockies fans who were growing increasingly frustrated with him early.

CTH: Which of the Rockies hitters are the hottest at the plate, and which hitters are cold?

ROX: That’s tough — the Marlins destroyed us at their place this weekend, so… nobody? I suppose there are two bats to watch for, though: DJ LeMahieu is at the top of the National League in hitting and took an eight-game hitting streak into the weekend. He’s earned the leadoff and second spot in the order with his consistent hitting this year, after starting the season hitting eighth, and the Gold Glove winner ought to be an All-Star this year. The other one to watch is Corey Dickerson, fresh off the disabled list, who’s hit doubles in his first two games back with the club. Dickerson is a guy who I believe will win a batting title (or two, or three) in his career, a true hitter, and somebody to really watch at the plate.

Thanks to Bobby DeMuro (@BobbyDeMuro) for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find his here.

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