This could be it. After the much-discussed comments by Colorado Rockies‘ superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado, the team appears to have kicked into another gear. But with the trade deadline looming at the end of the month, is it already too late?
The next two weeks will be critical if the Rockies are going to make a push for the postseason in 2018. Heading into Monday’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field, they currently sit six games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks after a near sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles over the weekend. Nine of the Rockies’ next 12 games are at home, where they have struggled this season.
They will play all-important sets against Arizona and San Francisco scattered among two series against the dangerous Seattle Mariners before the All-Star break. This is the Rockies’ chance to return to relevance. Their first series after the break is another match-up with the division-leading Diamondbacks so if the Rockies are able to put themselves within striking distance before the break, the National League West could look very different come the trade deadline on July 31.
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Six games is certainly not an insurmountable deficit, but Arizona, Los Angeles and San Francisco are candidates to make big moves at the deadline and it is hard to see the Rockies competing into August if they make no additions. The Rockies will have to play well enough to put pressure on the front office to make these kinds of moves. That idea was central to some of the comments that Arenado made.
Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich has said that the team will have to be competitive when the deadline comes around in order for him to make a move, but he added that if they are, he could seek to add some veteran pitching. With the offense coming around, some solid pitching depth could make the Rockies a dangerous team down the stretch.
The next two weeks could decide it all. A good run and some division victories could put the Rockies in a position to make some game-changing moves. But more mediocre play and the only moves the Rockies will make on July 31 will involve trading players away to actual contenders.
If the Rockies are more than six games out at the break, it’s hard to see Bridich making any additions, so it goes without saying that the Rockies need to put a run together before the break. They have two weeks left to do it …12 games that could decide the fate of the season.