Colorado Rockies: How they can overcome the Manny Machado addition
Well, it happened, Colorado Rockies fans. The Los Angeles Dodgers used their deep pockets to once again land a prized player and add to the difficulty level for the Rockies (or any other team) to knock them off the top of the National League West.
Manny Machado is now a member of the Dodgers. Likely a rental (and one that cost the Dodgers some valued prospects and quite a bit in the short-term), Machado will take the place of the injured Corey Seager at shortstop and add another strong bat to an already tough Los Angeles lineup.
Many Rockies fans heard the news and likely shook their heads, perhaps even uttering a curse word or two. I get it … and don’t blame you. I did too, even though the rumors had been swirling for a while. Colorado has played like world-beaters over the last few games, winning 13 of their last 16 games and finishing the first half of the season with a 51-45 mark. That run has put the Rockies two games behind the Dodgers in their quest to win their first-ever division title. Now, Los Angeles has a big reinforcement to try to keep Colorado at bay.
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As we wrote about in this recent article, Machado entering the division changes the division. It doesn’t help the Rockies at all. However, it doesn’t mean that the situation is hopeless. It just means that the Rockies are going to have to respond and overcome.
How, you ask? Well, there are really two ways that could happen.
First, Colorado keep playing the way that it has, combining quality starting pitching and timely hitting and translating those two aspects into wins. As Nolan Arenado has said in the past, all the Rockies can do is control what they can control … and that means winning games and playing as well as they can.
Second, Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich can make an impact move to try to offset the Machado acquisition. Will the Rockies land someone as talented as the former Baltimore infielder? That’s unlikely to happen. However, if the Rockies can bring someone in like they did last year when Pat Neshek and Jonathan Lucroy joined the team before the trade deadline and strengthen an area of the team that needs to be stronger (middle-to-late relief being the first thought) without giving up too much in return, that will make a difference.
As we’ve talked about in this article, the Rockies are getting David Dahl and Carlos Estevez back from injury soon. Those are key pieces to Colorado’s success during the second half of the season. They could be viewed as “trade deadline acquisitions” in some ways. They will make an impact for Colorado and boost the outfield and bullpen, respectively.
Next: How Colorado's rotation could look after the All-Star break
The chase for the National League West isn’t over, Rockies fans. Is it tougher now? You bet. Is it impossible? Not at all. If Colorado can sustain their level of play they exhibited just before the break, it’s going to be a fun race to the finish in the division.