Tag: Colorado Rockies

Alexi Amarista to Rockies: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Colorado Rockies have signed veteran utility man Alexi Amarista to a contract. 

The team officially announced a one-year deal with Amarista for 2017. 

An agreement between Amarista and the Rockies has been in the works for weeks, with Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reporting on Dec. 26 it would be a one-year deal with an option for 2018.  

The official announcement does not mention an option year in the contract, but the Rockies do upgrade their depth all over the field with Amarista next season. 

The 27-year-old Amarista has played six positions during his MLB career, including two brief appearances as a pitcher in 2015 and 2016. He was primarily an infielder with the San Diego Padres last season, shifting between second base, third base and shortstop. 

The Rockies have spent their offseason trying to add more versatility. Gerardo Parra has the ability to play all three outfield positions and Ian Desmond will be the team’s starting first baseman and has experience at shortstop and center field. 

Amarista doesn’t offer much with the bat, owning a .230/.276/.320 slash line in six seasons with the Padres and Los Angeles Angels. Moving to hitter-friendly Coors Field could provide a boost to his offensive numbers, but the Rockies are signing him for depth more than anything else. 

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Chad Bettis Declared Cancer-Free After November Surgery

Colorado Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis has been declared cancer-free after a November surgery removed a malignant testicle.

“I’m feeling great. Got an early Christmas present. Doctor said I was cancer-free. Ready to push forward,” Bettis said on MLB Network Radio on Wednesday.

Bettis, 27, is expected to be ready for spring training. He went 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA and 1.41 WHIP across 32 starts last season.

“My understanding is that I will be physically ready to have a normal spring training, and I greatly look forward to the upcoming season,” Bettis told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. “I thank my friends and family for their love and kindness and ask that privacy be shown to both my wife and myself until spring training begins.”

A former second-round pick, Bettis is 23-19 with a 5.01 ERA and 1.49 WHIP since first coming up to the majors in 2013. He has been part of the Rockies’ regular starting rotation in each of the last two seasons. While his standard numbers aren’t impressive, Bettis has posted a combined 4.4 WAR in 2015 and 2016, with his FIP indicating he’s a product of bad luck, per FanGraphs.

The Rockies don’t have much in the way of elite starting pitching, so Bettis’ health is paramount to their 2017 chances. Bettis will likely be their No. 2 or No. 3 starter if he gets clearance from doctors to pitch in the regular season.

Of course, all of this pales in comparison to the good news that Bettis has been given a clean bill of health. Bettis said he will have to undergo a blood test every three to six months going forward, but he was not subject to any chemotherapy or radiation treatment, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

“This only reinforces my belief that each of us needs to be totally in tune with our own physical health, and that taking action sooner than later when we feel like something is off can sometimes literally be the difference between life and death,” Bettis told Crasnick. 


Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

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Rockies’ Aggressive Offseason Could Position Colorado as MLB’s 2017 Sleeper Team

When Mike Dunn gets $19 million from the Colorado Rockies, it tells you it’s always great to be a left-handed reliever.

It also tells you Ian Desmond was right.

When the Rockies made Desmond’s five-year, $70 million deal official this week, Colorado’s new first baseman (or will he be an outfielder?) spoke of joining a team on the rise.

“They’re close,” Desmond told reporters, including Thomas Harding of MLB.com. “That’s an industry-wide consensus. Ownership and management are committed to turning that corner. I’m right there with them on board.”

I’m not sure I’d yet call it a consensus, but there is a growing feeling the Rockies are getting better. They haven’t had a winning season since 2010, but even as they were losing 87 games in 2016, they won praise for their young talent, both on the big league club and in the system.

Already this winter, they’re winning praise again.

“They’re my sleeper team for this year,” one National League scout said this week.

It’s hard to consider the Rockies more than just a sleeper, given the presence of the high-spending Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in their division. With all three teams needing back-end bullpen help this winter, the Giants spent $62 million over four years on Mark Melancon (a Colorado native), and the Dodgers topped that by spending $80 million over five years on Kenley Jansen.

Dunn isn’t Melancon, and he isn’t Jansen. He has four saves in eight major league seasons. Jansen had three saves in the 2016 postseason alone.

But spending what they did on Dunn (the $19 million is over three years) continues a winter trend for the Rockies. Instead of looking like a team trying to find its way, Colorado now looks like one pushing to win.

Signing Desmond to the second-biggest free-agent contract in franchise history (behind Mike Hampton’s $121 million in 2000) was part of that. But so were the other moves the Rockies have tried to make, and the ones they still could pursue.

While the Rockies signed Desmond as a first baseman, his experience playing the outfield last season with the Texas Rangers opens the possibility the Rockies could sign someone else to play first—Mark Trumbo? Edwin Encarnacion?—and trade one of their outfielders.

Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reported the Rockies wanted Kevin Gausman from the Baltimore Orioles as part of a deal for either Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez. Kubatko wrote the Orioles “aren’t trading Kevin Gausman,” which is no doubt true.

The bigger point, at least from the Rockies’ perspective, is that general manager Jeff Bridich is thinking big when he looks for pitching help. As Yahoo’s Jeff Passan tweeted during the winter meetings, the Rockies would like to trade for “a front-of-rotation-type pitcher.”

The Rockies don’t have one of those in their current rotation. They do have promising 25-year-old right-hander Jon Gray in the big leagues and equally promising 23-year-old right-hander Jeff Hoffman nearly ready in the minors. Hoffman was one of three prospects the Rockies got from the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2015 Troy Tulowitzki trade.

Trading Tulowitzki was a big move for the Rockies, one ownership had previously resisted. It turned the team and the clubhouse over to the next generation, a group that includes star third baseman Nolan Arenado and shortstop Trevor Story, who was a strong Rookie of the Year candidate before a thumb injury ended his season in July.

With Arenado, Story, National League batting champion DJ LeMahieu and outfielder David Dahl, there was a strong sense in the Rockies clubhouse that they are a team on the rise. Scouts who followed the Rockies said the same thing and cited more young players the club has coming in the minor leagues.

They’ll go into 2017 with Bud Black as the new manager, which figures to be a positive not because Walt Weiss was bad (he wasn’t), but because Weiss and Bridich admittedly weren’t seeing eye to eye.

The challenges remain, from the payroll that will still trail the Dodgers and Giants by millions to the altitude that makes pitching in Colorado difficult and can make hitters believe they need a different approach on the road from the one they use at home.

It’s not impossible for the Rockies to win. They went all the way to the World Series in 2007.

Ten years later, they won’t be the preseason favorites to get there again. But at the very least, they seem headed in the right direction.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

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Bud Black to Rockies: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Colorado Rockies have hired Bud Black as their manager heading into the 2017 season, the club announced Monday.

FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke first reported the decision.

Black was the manager of the San Diego Padres from 2007 to 2015, accumulating a 649-713 career record in nine seasons. He was fired during the 2015 season after starting the year with a 32-33 record.

Although Black never led San Diego to the playoffs, he won the 2010 National League Manager of the Year award after helping guide the squad to a 90-72 record.

Padres players were quick to come to Black’s defense after the team relieved him of his duties.

“The way that Buddy ran the ship around here was fine,” pitcher James Shields said at the time, per ESPN.com. “We respect him as a manager and a man. As players, we’ve got to do a better job. It’s up to us as players to figure it out, try not to put blame on anybody.”

According to James Wagner of the Washington Post, the Washington Nationals reportedly intended on hiring Black to become their manager before the 2016 season, but negotiations broke down because of contract concerns. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Washington only offered him a one-year deal worth $1.6 million, which was “considerably lower than he anticipated.”

He instead spent the year working as a member of the Los Angeles Angels front office.

The 59-year-old manager will take over a Rockies team that finished in third place in the NL West with a 75-87 record last season. Former manager Walt Weiss, whose contract was set to expire, stepped down at the end of the year.

Although the Rockies haven’t finished with a winning record in the last six years, hitters such as Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez and 2016 batting champion DJ LeMahieu provide reason for hope in Colorado if Black can maximize the team’s talent.

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Rockies Manager Search: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Position

The Colorado Rockies are in search of a new manager after Walt Weiss stepped down from the job after four seasons with the club on Monday.

Continue for updates.

Perez On Rockies’ Radar

Saturday, Oct. 8

On Saturday, Thomas Harding of the Rockies’ official website reported that the team is looking at Atlanta Braves first base coach Eddie Perez as a possible candidate. Perez “acknowledged” that he’s been contacted by the organization, according to Reyes Urena of Venezuelan publication El Emergente (via Harding).

Other than Perez, Harding noted any other Rockies coaching candidates have remained unknown at the moment, although Triple-A manager Glenallen Hill’s name was mentioned during a conference call after it was announced that Weiss would not be returning. 

Perez is currently spending the offseason coaching Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League and has been a coach with the Braves for 10 seasons. 

Last season, he won the Winter League title with the Venezuelan club and advanced to the Caribbean Series, where his team fell in the finals to Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan. 

That kind of managerial success was expected from his former teammate and future Hall of Famer, Chipper Jones, via David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

I’m not surprised at all of Eddie’s success as a manager. It is just a matter of time before he is experiencing success as a big league manager. He’s learned a ton, as have many coaches, from the great [former Braves manager] Bobby Cox. Some of the same traits that made him an all-time favorite teammate for countless players, are also what makes him a great manager now, and in the future.

The 48-year-old previously spent 11 years in the majors from 1995 to 2005 as a catcher and first baseman mostly for the Braves along with two one-year stints with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers

He posted a .253 career batting average with 40 home runs and 172 RBI as he spent a large portion of his career backing up Javy Lopez in Atlanta. However, his finest moment came in 1999 when he was voted NLCS MVP for batting .500 with two home runs and five RBI against the New York Mets in six games:

Whether it be Perez or another candidate, the new manager of the Rockies will have their hands full in turning around an organization that has been irrelevant for the better part of seven years. 

The 2016 season was the first time since 2010 that the Rockies didn’t finish fourth or last in the National League West Division. They haven’t had a winning season since that 2010 season and haven’t made the playoffs since 2009. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com


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Trevor Story Falls Just Shy of Shortstop Rookie Record for Home Runs

Boasting a National League-best 27 home runs at the end of July, Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story was on pace to decimate Nomar Garciaparra’s rookie shortstop record of 30 home runs, which was set in 1997 for a Boston Red Sox team that finished 78-84, per MLB.com.

Entering the season, the Rockies were awaiting punishment for Jose Reyes’ offseason issues, leaving the door open for Story at shortstop to begin the season. Reyes was eventually handed a suspension for 51 games, allowing the 23-year-old an extended audition for the starting role.

Any detractors of his were quickly silenced, as Story opened his major league career with a bang. In his first six games, Story collected seven home runs, including two in his major league debut on Opening Day against the Arizona Diamondbacks

Many may point to Coors Field (known as the league’s friendliest ballpark for hitters) as the main source of Story’s power, but he surprisingly tallied 11 of his 27 home runs on the road.

He played well enough for the Rockies to designate Reyes for assignment when he was eligible to return from the suspension, permanently handing Story the shortstop job.

Unfortunately for both team and player alike, Story was diagnosed with a torn ligament in this thumb in early August, bringing an end to a spectacular rookie season. Despite missing the final two months, he should garner serious consideration for National League Rookie of the Year honors.

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Walt Weiss Resigns as Rockies Manager: Latest Comments and Reaction

Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss has resigned, the team announced Monday.

Weiss, 52, just completed the final year of a three-year contract. 

The Rockies have gone 283-365 in Weiss’ four years as manager, failing to reach the postseason during his tenure. The team went 75-87 this past season.

His disappointing record may have been enough for the Rockies to decide a change was needed. But as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reported Sunday, the manager’s relationship with general manager Jeff Bridich had also become strained:

A significant gulf has developed between Weiss and Bridich, according to multiple sources within the organization, some of whom said Weiss has been been left out of the loop regarding major decisions dating to the offseason — when he was not consulted about the acquisitions of relievers Jason Motte, Chad Qualls and Jake McGee or outfielder Gerardo Parra, all of whom have had disappointing seasons this year.

That relationship made Weiss’ decision to resign more predictable, as did his comments when asked if he was bothered about managing this past season without a contract extension in place.

“It doesn’t necessarily bug me,” he said, per Saunders. “I only want to be where I’m wanted. If I’m not wanted, I just leave. It’s one of my rules in life. I don’t stay anywhere where I’m not wanted. I just go, I just disappear. … I want to make sure that people want me, from top to bottom. If not, I don’t want to be here.”

Weiss told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports that he spoke with Rockies owner Dick Monfort about the relationship with Bridich, adding that it “wasn’t healthy, wasn’t productive.” Weiss said he talked about “possible compromises” before stepping down.

With the four losing seasons under Weiss, the Rockies have now had six straight losing campaigns. But the team has plenty of talent, namely offensively, led by Nolan Arenado, DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story and Carlos Gonzalez. There is reason for optimism in Colorado, though it will be a new manager’s job to harness the team’s potential next season.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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Tyler Chatwood Injury: Updates on Rockies Pitcher’s Back and Return

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood has run into problems with his back once again and is facing another extended absence. 

Continue for updates.

Chatwood Headed for the Disabled List Again

Tuesday, Aug. 16

According to Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post, Chatwood has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a mid-back strain.

He initially felt the injury during the first inning of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, per Kosmider, but he stayed on the mound until being pulled in the fourth inning after he was tagged for six runs. 

Chatwood originally hit the DL on June 19 with the same kind of injury and was out until July 5. It could provide an explanation as to why he’s suffered such a drastic drop in performance despite his 10-8 record and 3.75 ERA this season. 

Before his first stint on the DL, he began the year at 8-4 with a 2.89 ERA as Colorado’s most reliable starter. 

In the eight starts since his return, the 26-year-old went 2-4 while allowing four or more earned runs in four of them. 

“We figured he was going to need some time, so you do the math, and it’s worth putting him on the disabled list,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss told Kosmider. 

Entering Tuesday night at 56-63, 10.5 games out of the National League West division lead, there’s no reason why the Rockies should keep Chatwood in the rotation.

For a team well outside the postseason picture, it’s better to keep a potential ace healthy while looking forward to next season.

In the meantime, the Rockies recalled right-handed pitcher Christian Bergman from Triple-A Albuquerque, per Kosmider. 

Bergman has appeared in nine games with Colorado this season, starting one. He’s compiled a 1-3 record with a 5.89 ERA. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Carlos Gonzalez Injury: Updates on Rockies Star’s Ankle and Return

Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez left Monday’s game against the Texas Rangers due to a nagging ankle injury, and it is uncertain when he will return to action.

Continue for updates.

Gonzalez Receives MRI; Timeline for Return Revealed 

Tuesday, Aug. 9

Rockies manager Walt Weiss confirmed Gonzalez had an MRI and the results were “OK,” but he’ll “likely” miss more games, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post

Saunders previously confirmed Gonzalez was not in the starting lineup against Texas.

Gonzalez’s Ankle Flares Up

Monday, Aug. 8

Gonzalez left before his at-bat in the second inning due to inflammation in his left ankle, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, who noted Gonzalez originally sprained his ankle on Aug. 3. Gonzalez hasn’t appeared in two of the four games since suffering the injury last week.

Gonzalez’s Absence Will Hamper Rockies’ Offense

This would be a significant blow to the Rockies offense if Gonzalez is out for an extended period of time. He and Nolan Arenado have provided the pop in the order ever since Colorado traded Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, and Gonzalez’s power from the left side adds balance to the lineup at Coors Field.

Heading into Monday night, Gonzalez had a .321 average with 23 home runs, 76 RBI and a .371 OBP in 106 games played his season.

Gonzalez is a three-time All-Star and won the National League batting title and a Silver Slugger award in 2010 with a .336 average, 34 home runs and 117 RBI. He added another Silver Slugger award to his resume in 2015 with a .271 average, a career-best 40 home runs and 97 RBI and was one of the few bright spots in a disappointing season for Colorado.

Gonzalez is also a solid corner outfielder and posted five total defensive runs saved above average in right field in 2015, per FanGraphs.

Colorado will likely turn to the combination of Ryan Raburn and Gerardo Parra to shoulder the load until Gonzalez returns.

Still, the Rockies haven’t reached the postseason since 2009 and face an uphill battle in a loaded National League West that features the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. If Colorado is going to stay in the hunt for a wild-card spot, it needs Gonzalez in the middle of the order as half of a powerful one-two punch alongside Arenado.

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Rockies’ De La Rosa Earns 100th Career Win in Majors

Colorado Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa earned the 100th win of his career over the weekend by picking up the victory in Saturday’s 7-2 drubbing of the New York Mets, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).

He allowed two runs (both earned) on six hits and two walks over six innings, also striking out four batters in a solid performance that pushed his record to 7-7 for the season.

De La Rosa’s 5.51 ERA and 1.60 WHIP suggest he’s rather fortunate to have as many wins as losses, even after considering that six of his 15 starts (and all three of his relief appearances) have come at Coors Field.

In fact, the 35-year-old southpaw actually has a reputation for having mastered his difficult home ballpark, as he posted a 3.59 home ERA (235.2 innings) and 4.21 road ERA (265.1 innings) from 2013 to 2015.

The unusual split hasn’t shown up this year, with De La Rosa now struggling both at home (5.65 ERA) and on the road (5.40 ERA).

Per Elias, the lefty is just the sixth player in major league history to have both a winning record and career ERA above 4.50 at the time he earned his 100th career victory.

Saturday’s win left De La Rosa with a 100-82 career record and 4.61 ERA, which is actually quite good for a pitcher who’s spent the vast majority of his career with the Rockies.

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