Rockies Notes: Guthrie and Arenado

Today's Rockies Notes are on Jeremy Guthrie and Nolan Arenado. Guthrie has been better of late in the rotation for the Rockies while Arenado hasn't quite progressed as most expected at Double-A this year. 

After a June 17 start at Comerica Park in Detroit, Jeremy Guthrie's ERA for the season was 7.02 and he was pulled from the rotation. Since then, Guthrie really hasn't pitched bad. He's lowered his ERA almost a full run as he's allowed just 10 earned runs in 24.1 innings. Guthrie was solid in relief as he pitched primarily in the middle innings like a piggyback starter before returning to the rotation. Since then, he's made two starts that were both pretty good. He went six innings and allowed just two earned runs in both starts, against the Nationals and Cardinals respectively. Guthrie also allowed six hits and one walk in both outings.

One important note about Guthrie's last two starts is that both have also come on the road. Away from Coors Field this year, Guthrie carries a 3.67 ERA in 49 innings. Of course, he has a 9.44 ERA at Coors, which has ruined his ERA for the season. Still, his road ERA should make him at least mildly attractive to a contending team looking for help during the stretch run. We know the Rockies are looking to move him as they not so quietly made him available last month. 

A team in the National League would be ideal for Guthrie, but he still has a track record of success in the AL East. As long as he's not pitching at Coors Field, Guthrie would be a good candidate to eat some back end of the rotation innings down the stretch for a team that lacks pitching depth and doesn't want to part with top tier prospects. An injury to some team's rotation could create The Opening for Guthrie on another team. 

Rockies top prospect Nolan Arenado is grinding out the year in Tulsa and according to General Manager Dan O'Dowd that's where he'll likely finish it. Arenado is hitting .282/.334/.405 in 82 games with the Drillers and makeup questions surround his play. O'Dowd told the Denver Post a few weeks back that Arenado's "maturity level had not yet matched his talent level." This is more or less the same sentiment I've heard from scouts who've seen Arenado over the last month.

This past Sunday, Arenado represented the Rockies at the Futures Game in Kansas City as part of the MLB All-Star festivities. Arenado also represented the Rockies at last year's Futures Game and his stock has dropped just a bit due to his underwhelming season this year, so the scouting buzz was considerably diminished compared to a season ago. One scout who was there told me there was no buzz around Arenado and that he barely noticed he was even there. That may sound harsh, but with all of the high end talent at the Futures Games it's easy to get lost in the shuffle.

Arenado had a solid single in the game, but the reports about his lacking approach and maturity may have been confirmed before the game. During batting practice at the Futures Game, a lot of the players will put on a show to impress all of the media, scouts, and front office personnel on the field. According to people who saw batting practice, Rymer Liriano, Mike Olt, and Oscar Taveras stole the show. Not only was Arenado's batting practice session nothing to write home about, but at one point Team USA manager George Brett pulled him aside to tell him to relax and not swing harder than he would during a game. 

Arenado was pressing, which players tend to do when they aren't having success. He's young and hopefully he'll learn from this and be better for it, but right now Arenado is still in that learning stage. He played 134 games plus the Arizona Fall League last year and that's the most he's ever played in a single season. Playing out the string at Double-A this year will be beneficial for Arenado as he can continue to grind it out while hopefully putting to use some of the lessons he's learned thus far. 

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