Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 7/26/16
New blood! Two exciting newcomers made their big league debuts on Monday evening. Alex Bregman, who has skyrocketed through the Astros system, narrowly missed a grand slam in his first major league game. David Dahl registered the first hit of his career as the Rockies lost in extras to the Orioles.
These two have future star labels firmly in place, and there’s no need for me to extol their virtues here. Instead, I’ll focus on what the presence of each player means right now.
Bregman is going to get time at third base right now, but the anticipation is that he’ll be patrolling left field once Yulieski Gourriel finishes shaking off the rust in his minor league rehab. I have no idea how long that will take as he hasn’t played competitively for some time now. But once he’s ready, Gourriel figures to be playing for Houston on an everyday basis, and third base looks like the only open spot.
That Houston lineup is going to be downright frightening down the stretch, and if the Astros pitching holds up, it’s tough to see how they won’t still be playing come October.
As for Dahl, he’s a five-tool kid who has overcome injuries and some early off the field issues. Dahl was absolutely on fire at AAA and his arrival would seem to indicate this Rockies are going to deal an outfielder. So one of the Carlos Gonzalez-Charlie Blackmon-Gerardo Parra trio should be wearing a different uniform by next Monday.
Parra should be ready to get back on the field by sometime next week barring any more setbacks with his sprained ankle. He’s too expensive to be a fourth outfielder for the Rockies, and Dahl is likely up to stay with the DFA move on Brandon Barnes.
I have no idea which of the three veteran Colorado OF’s ends up getting dealt, but it seems clear they should be offering all three in hopes of generating a bidding war. Cargo is the superstar who would command the biggest return. But Blackmon might be the most tradable asset based on his contract. I’m not sure how many teams will jump at Parra as he’s locked in on just the first year of a three-year deal worth about $27.5 million. Parra is a solid player, and he’s got a rep as a phenomenal clubhouse guy, but that’s still substantial money for a player who simply is never going to be a stud.
My guess as to which player gets moved? It’s starting to sound like Gonzalez might not be available unless there’s a huge haul, so I’m leaning Blackmon. Of course, the Rockies are under no obligation to deal any of the three, but moving one for a sharp return seems like the wise move.
2-0 on Monday with the underdog Phillies and a runs line play on Toronto connecting. Things have been looking up lately, and I’ll try to keep that ball rolling tonight. For info on all my available services, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Phillies let a couple of glorious opportunities get away, but did some surprising late damage against Fernando Rodney and AJ Ramos to get the win as the Monday comp. My Tuesday free play is currently not lined, but I’ll be playing this game in the morning.
ANGELS (Skaggs) at ROYALS (Gee)
No price on this game as I’m writing this piece, but it figures to be pretty much in the tossup category, which is fine with me as far as betting the Halos is concerned.
I’m on Tyler Skaggs here. He’s finally healthy, and the talented lefty has been on fire down on the farm while rehabbing. The last two starts for Skaggs were pretty amazing. 12.2 innings, just two hits, no runs, with three walks and a mind boggling 26 K’s. Yeah, that was at AAA, but it’s not like guys at that level are automatic outs and that’s a strikeout rate that indicates Skaggs is more than ready to start firing at the big league level once again.
The Royals will send Dillon Gee to the hill, and while his numbers aren’t the worst I’ll see, they also aren’t particularly inspiring. Gee is the prototype for an end of the rotation filler. He’s occasionally capable of a really nice outings, but is simply more likely to be closer to mediocre.
The team form for these two entries also comes into play here. In spite of all their injuries, the Angels are hanging in there and have been winning games lately. At 44-55, their playoff hopes are pretty much shot but Mike Scioscia teams don’t quit and I like the way this squad is rolling right now.
The Royals are heading the opposite way. The magic of the last two seasons has worn off to some extent. KC has been a bad road team all season, but now they’re also starting to scuffle a bit at home, and they’re reeling to some extent presently. I’m not about to count the Royals out despite their current residence on the wrong side of the .500 plateau. But as of right now, they’re just not a very good baseball team.
The main focus here is Skaggs. Off the last two rehab starts, I think he’s go with material in his return to The Show, and I’ll be backing the Angels on Tuesday evening.