Colorado Rockies: You can’t blame Jeff Bridich … yet

DENVER, CO - JUNE 19: Bud Black #10 of the Colorado Rockies relieves Bryan Shaw #29 after Shaw loaded the bases with one out in the seventh inning of a game at Coors Field on June 19, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 19: Bud Black #10 of the Colorado Rockies relieves Bryan Shaw #29 after Shaw loaded the bases with one out in the seventh inning of a game at Coors Field on June 19, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Jake McGee of the Colorado Rockies
CINCINNATI, OH – MAY 19: Jake McGee #51 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 19, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

But as tempting as it may be to pin this on Bridich, it’s not his fault. He brought back Jake McGee, one of the most coveted lefty relievers on the market and a guy who has had success with the Rockies. McGee has not been good and he seems to be getting worse the longer the season wears on. He posted a 6.23 ERA in May and a 7.00 ERA so far in June. His opponents’ OPS for June is 1.019. That’s a far cry from the 2017 McGee who posted a 3.61 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.

Bridich sought to bring in proven veteran arms to complement his young starting staff. Historically, big name relievers have shied away from Coors Field, forcing Rockies GMs to get creative. But Bridich was able to bring in an established, reliable setup man in Bryan Shaw in what many saw as a savvy move at the time. I know its nearly impossible to read his name now without instantly conjuring up images of him disintegrating on the mound like Spider-Man in Avengers: Infinity War, but Shaw actually had a solid track record coming into the season.

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The Shaw signing made sense at the time.  How was Bridich supposed to know Shaw would completely melt down and cost the Rockies numerous close games? It’s also not Bridich’s fault that Shaw was continually put into a position to blow the game. He doubtless cringed when Shaw came into Saturday’s game with the Rockies trailing 2-1. As only he can, Shaw promptly loaded the bases and served up a grand slam to give the Rockies a five-run deficit late in the game.

Bridich didn’t stop with McGee and Shaw. He managed to persuade the best closer available —Wade Davis — to leave the Cubs and start closing games for the Rockies. Davis has been mediocre. He has collected 21 saves but he’s put up a 4.40 ERA and blown four saves, second-most in the league.

The additions of McGee, Shaw, and Davis looked good on paper, but they haven’t translated into game-time success. You can’t blame that on Bridich. Now its time for his next move.

This is the Rockies’ window. He can’t let himself be flustered by a poor start. Whether it is calling up more young talent such as Raimel Tapia or trading some of the stockpile of prospects growing old in the Rockies’ minor league system for badly-needed pitching help, Bridich can’t just sit on his hands. He made it clear during the offseason that the Rockies were going all-out … and it is too late to back down now.

Next: Why are the Rockies carrying three catchers on their roster?

Bridich needs to do something to prove to the team he’s still trying to win before it’s too late.  Otherwise, he will be blamed for the disaster this season is becoming … and perhaps rightfully so.

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