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Banter From The Bench: Michael Toglia goes from Dunkin Donuts Park to Dunkin Donuts in one month

Patrick Lyons Avatar
September 20, 2022

Michael Toglia is not someone who wastes time introducing himself to fans of the Colorado Rockies.

In his first game in front of the Coors Field crowd at the Futures Game in 2021 as part of the MLB All-Star Game festivities, he slugged a home run. 

Upon getting promoted to Triple-A Albuquerque on August 9, he promptly swatted seven home runs over 17 games.

Toss in a base hit in his MLB debut, first career home run against one the best closers in the game over the last decade and then another homer from the opposite side of the plate.

Now we must add two triples in the same game – in consecutive innings, no less – during Colorado’s 10-7 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Monday.

There was also a walk and stolen base, putting Toglia in a group of just one other Rockie who’s ever accomplished that stat line in the same game: Hall of Famer Larry Walker.

The 24-year-old may have played in only his seventh game on the corner of 20th and Blake Street as a big leaguer to open the final homestand of the season, but that’s more than enough time to understand how Coors Field can play.

“I know that if it gets in the gap, if it touches the wall, anyone’s got a chance to get the triple,” he said of his pair of three-baggers.

Toglia has been an integral part of the lineup in a short amount of time. He’s started 17 of the 18 games since being called up on August 30 and has notched 10 extra-base hits (six doubles, two triples and two home runs) to lead the team during that time.

The triples snapped an 0-for-16 slump that probably has nothing to do with a certain $187.50 order of donuts and coffees. (We’ll get to that in a bit.)

Aug 31, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Colorado Rockies first baseman Michael Toglia (29) gesture after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Larry Robinson-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Lyons: How welcoming is it to see a bunch of your teammates from Hartford in this clubhouse with you again?

Michael Toglia: Oh, it’s great. I had no idea either of them were coming, so it was an awesome surprise to hear both Gavin (Hollowell) and Noah (Davis) were coming up. We got really close over the year playing in Hartford together, so I was excited to see them.

Lyons: What kind of scouting report you got on those guys?

Toglia: They’re nasty. Noah’s slider is wipe out and Hollowell is just funky, hard to pick up. And his stuff is explosive. It’s gonna be a good addition.

Lyons: How was your trip to Dunkin Donuts?

Toglia: Honestly, I loved it. I eat that stuff up. I think it’s fun. You know, just doing silly stuff like that, shenanigans. I think it’s good for baseball, good for team culture.

Lyons: I saw you in the front. You were making the order. It seemed like you were the ringleader.

Toglia: Yeah, Trejo and I were placing the orders.

Lyons: New rules coming to MLB next year, but these aren’t new rules for you. You got to experience those already in Double-A and Triple-A. Might that give you a little advantage going into next year because you’re familiar with that quicker pace?

Toglia: A little bit. When I first got up (to the majors), it was weird having to slow it back down. I was ready to get back in the box after taking 500 at-bats with a pitch clock. But yeah, it’s coming. Whether you like it or not, people gotta adjust to it.

Lyons: Do you think the clock balanced for both sides? Did you notice if hitters or pitchers have more of an advantage in that situation?

Toglia: I think it’s balanced. It rushes both people equally, if that makes sense. So it’s not an advantage either way.

Lyons: What about the slightly larger basis?

Toglia: I like the bigger base. I think that’s been a long time coming. It’s a no brainer. Less injuries, especially being a first baseman. Want to stay out of that collision path.

Lyons: It’s a bit flatter than what’s being used in the Majors right now, I believe. 

Toglia: Yeah, but I think they changed it because in the Arizona Fall League it was almost too flat. Now there’s a little bit of a curve to it which I think is better for rounding. It’s got to be able to have somewhat of a curve otherwise it’s just a big pizza box.

Sep 7, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies first baseman Michael Toglia (29) fields a throw for an out in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Lyons: Shifting is the other big rule change. Did you observe any impact when going into the box left handed in the minors with no shifting? I doubt that changed your approach. Or did it?

Toglia: It’s nice knowing that you can get away with a little bit more and still end up with a hit through the four-hole (between the first and second baseman). Or the big one is hitting a line drive up the middle for an out. Whereas we strive to do that every single day in the cage. That’s just the foundation of hitting that should always be a hit.

Lyons: Did you ever see anything where teams used like two outfielders? Maybe the left fielder would come in behind the second baseman?

Toglia: I never saw that. They didn’t go that far.

Lyons: Did you notice any difference in how pitchers were throwing to you knowing that maybe they weren’t trying to throw you as much inside to hit that ground ball to the right side now?

Toglia: They definitely pitch to the defense. So when they’re shifting me, they’re gonna pitch accordingly. When they get rid of that for next year, it’s going to be interesting to see how they adjust, how they attack me in the box, especially left-handed because that’s where the shift affects you most.

Lyons: It’s been three weeks in the bigs. How has it felt being here? You pretty comfortable at this point?

Toglia: Really comfortable. All the guys are great. It’s been nice having this time to make the adjustment and use this as momentum to hit the ground running for next season. Just seeing what this league is about has been crucial.

Lyons: Is there anyone in particular in the clubhouse providing you with the most pearls of wisdom. 

Toglia: Randal Grichuk. (Looks over a Randal and smirks.) That guy hasn’t given me anything. I’m just kidding. He’s been great. He’s helped show me the lay of the land, how things are done around here. So it’s been good.

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