Part of that for Bridich was brining in a 15-year Major League veteran pitcher and nine-year manager. Bud Black has given the team essentially three pitching coaches between himself, Steve Foster and Darren Holmes. Coupled with a former catcher in Mike Redmond, who also has managerial experience, and the mission is clear. Control the battery and all else will follow.
“I think we can all say it’s worked out very well,” Bridich said on Black. “There’s a lot that goes on in the clubhouse behind closed doors. There’s a lot in the conversation and the thought and preparation and all the things that aren’t necessarily front and center to the things people see all the time. He’s got mastery of so much of that and he’s got ways of communicating with people and to people and having people hear him. There’s just a lot of experience there and to this point it’s worked out spectacularly for us. It’s been a really good fit. He and the coaches work well together, he and Mike Redmond work very well together in terms of what goes on in game and in the dugout. To this point, it’s been great.”
It’s fair to say with Black in his second season as manger — taking the Rockies to two straight October appearances — the Rockies would not have seen this success. It’s also fair to say that both German Marquez, who has the looking of something special, and Kyle Freeland, who now owns the single-season ERA mark for a Rockie, owe some of their success to the investment made in them from the top down.
“Buddy (Black) would be the first to tell you that he sees the game through the pitcher’s eyes, I think he has so much experience and so much respect in there that our pitchers realize that and they’ve drawn on that over time,” Bridch entailed. “To have a guy that really truly has gotten to know these pitchers — starters and relievers — and believe in them and know how to push them when they need that and pull back when they need that, there’s a lot of nuance there and there’s a lot of feel that goes into those sort of things. Buddy has those abilities and it helps the overall growth process with the pitchers. We have absolutely benefited form that over the last couple of years.”
What the Rockies have in Bridich is still unclear. His fate may be determined by the moves he does and does not make this offseason. Based on everything he’s said both to us and in the past, it’s clear what the goals are for the Colorado Rockies. Now it will just be up to Jeff Bridich to continue to implement his system and make adjustments where needed.
To hear Bridch’s thoughts on the offense and more they’ll be on an upcoming edition of the Rockie Road Podcast.