Ahead of the first game of arguably the biggest series of the season so far, a four-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field, Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich joined Christopher ‘Mad Dog’ Russo on MLB Network’s High Heat on Monday afternoon. The two discussed a wide variety of topics relevant around 20th and Blake as the Rockies are making their push for the playoffs.
After the Colorado Rockies made a surprise 2017 NL Wild Card appearance, Bridich made it clear that the standards had risen for 2018 from the moment pitchers and catchers reported to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
"“Other than being 10 or 15 games up in the division, this is exactly where we wanted to be and expected to be,” he said."
Anyone who has followed the Rockies throughout this season knows that the young starting corps has been one of the main reasons Colorado sits in first place this late in the season. Kyle Freeland is having one of the greatest seasons in club history.
German Márquez taken a large step forward as well, and Jon Gray has looked like his normal self since returning from his short stint with Triple-A Albuquerque (with the exception of his last start against the Dodgers).
This is not lost on the national media, as Russo commented on the strength of the rotation throughout the year for Colorado.
"“The youth in our rotation, the young guys who have gelled over years here, it’s paid dividends for this group, for this team this year” Bridich responded. “We’ve really been able to see some of the growth and been able to match up with some of the better rotations and better starting pitchers in the game.”"
Kyle Freeland is 25 years old. German Márquez is 23. Tyler Anderson, Jon Gray, and Antonio Senzatela are 28, 26 and 23, respectively. Chad Bettis, who started the season in the rotation but has since been moved to the bullpen, is the old man of the group, at 29 years old.
More from Rox Pile
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
Teams don’t get to where the Rockies are with such young starters without knowing how to take care of them.
"“The beauty of last year… for this rotation it was a combination of a growth year and a performance year,” Bridich said. “They didn’t get overextended, and we were able to manage some of it last year so that the hope was that this year, they would be in good position to do exactly what they’re doing.“I think that they’re prepared mentally and physically to go to the wire.”"
The presence and atmosphere the fans have provided all season long was not lost on Bridich either. Russo noted that the Rockies’ series finale against the Dodgers Sunday afternoon was competing with the Denver Broncos’ season and home opener against the Seattle Seahawks no more than five minutes away. The official attendance at Coors? 40,157.
"“It’s massive. Props to our fans,” he said. “They’ve just done a great job for us all year. They’re showing up and they’re getting loud, and they’re behind the guys in the most critical points of the game.”"
You can check out the entire interview here.
Rockies fans, these next few weeks will be exciting, frustrating, and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Get to Coors Field and make a lot of noise. This is a huge series, and we’re coming down the home stretch.