Colorado Rockies: Best move may have been one that did not happen
Remember during the offseason when Charlie Blackmon was the subject of trade rumors that had the Colorado Rockies sending him to other teams? Remember when the Rockies thought they needed more pitching and were rumored to be willing to part with Blackmon in order to get it?
Perhaps they were rumors as Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich emphasized on occasion. Perhaps there was some truth behind them as well as the Rockies felt that 2017 was a year when the Rockies would seemingly contend.
Looking back now, perhaps one of the best moves Colorado made in the offseason was to make no move at all when it came to Chuck Nazty. Especially considering the tear he is on now, including a two-homer performance in Tuesday’s 8-2 victory over Philadelphia. With their leadoff man leading the charge, the Rockies became the first team to win 30 games in the National League.
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It was reported that the St. Louis Cardinals were first interested in acquiring Blackmon. However, there was a “high return” involved with any deal that would send the Colorado center fielder to the banks of the Mississippi River. Eventually, the Cardinals filled their need in center field by signing former Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler away from the Chicago Cubs.
Then came talk that the Toronto Blue Jays would be interested in Blackmon and send starting pitcher Marcus Stroman to the Rockies. Rumors of that deal faded just as quickly as they blew up.
Blackmon was even named to the All-Trade Speculation Team at one point in December. That’s how fierce the trade rumor winds were flying.
As it turns out, however, Colorado was plenty strong in terms of starting pitching. No one had a crystal ball to see just how effective Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela would be for the Rockies in their first professional seasons. While someone like Stroman toeing the rubber at Coors Field would have been great, it would have made less of an impact than the Rockies trying to find someone who could replicate the numbers Blackmon has put up this season.
Think about some of these statistics that the 30-year-old Blackmon has posted this season…
Blackmon hit his ninth home run and recorded his 30th RBI on May 15. According to Elias, the only other player in the last 10 seasons to have 30 RBI from the leadoff spot in the team’s first 40 games was Ian Kinsler for the Texas Rangers in 2009.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game, Chuck Nazty led the National League and was tied for first in MLB with 60 hits. He also paced Major League Baseball with six triples.
Entering the night, he was tied for third in the National League with 26 extra-base hits and tied for fifth with 36 RBI.
His 44 games, 60 hits, six triples and 36 RBI are the most in MLB by a leadoff hitter.
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There’s a lot to like about having Blackmon and his All-Star-caliber season. There are few leadoff men in Major League Baseball who can produce like Chuck Nazty. It’s a good thing he’s still wearing purple instead of another team’s colors.