Trade deadline: Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres make statements Sunday
By Kevin Henry
Before and during an 13-2 victory by the San Diego Padres over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Sunday afternoon, both teams made statements.
San Diego has pushed its chips to the center of the table, letting the National League know it’s going all in for not only the division title, but the league crown as well. Deals to help in the bullpen (Trevor Rosenthal) and in the batter’s box (Mitch Moreland and Jason Castro) have made the Padres an even deeper and more dangerous team.
And that was just the start of the weekend for the Padres. They kept wheeling and dealing on Sunday late afternoon and evening until the team that came to Denver for this four-game series that wraps up on Monday night will look much different than the one that leaves the Mile High City.
That already deep, dangerous Padres lineup flexed its muscles in downtown Denver on Sunday, hammering Colorado Rockies pitching for five home runs and yet another night of double digits in the hits column (that’s 47 hits now in the first three games of this series). Make all the Coors jokes you want, but San Diego has (once again) proven that they are a tough team for the Rockies to keep off the bases and scoreboard.
Colorado, meanwhile, made an acquisition of its own on Sunday, pulling in right-handed reliever Mychal Givens from the Baltimore Orioles. It’s a move to strengthen a bullpen that, on Sunday, desperately looked like it needed reinforcements.
"“This isn’t the first time that we’ve actually asked on Mychal Givens over the past few years,” Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich told media members, including Rox Pile, after Sunday’s loss. “What he has done in the past fits into our (plans for) later innings. There’s a lot of experience there, a lot of production.”"
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Colorado’s lone two southpaws in the bullpen, James Pazos and Phillip Diehl, were both hammered on Sunday (a combined six hits and five runs in two innings), adding to the questions of depth and reliability when it comes to the lefties in a later game situation.
Bud Black is often quoted as saying that the Rockies will need everyone in order to win. Right now, there seemingly aren’t enough solid options for shutting down an inning when needed against teams that have a lineup full of offensive firepower like the Padres or Los Angeles Dodgers.
Look ahead to that September schedule and you’ll see that 10 of the month’s 25 games are against those two squads. It’s not an outlandish statement to say that Colorado’s potential run to Rocktober will be determined in those contests (six of which will come on the road) and a season-ending eight-game road swing through San Francisco and Arizona.
San Diego flexed its muscles on and off the field on Sunday. Colorado is waiting for key players to snap out of funks at the plate (Charlie Blackmon is 3-for-27 over his last seven games) and on the mound (Jairo Diaz has given up multiple runs in three of his last six outings), and hoping a new reliever can bring a new attitude to the bullpen. With the Rockies chasing the Padres and Dodgers in the division, that’s not a welcome sign.
At 17-17, the Rockies are certainly in the thick of the playoffs. If the postseason started today, the Rockies would be in … as would the Padres and Dodgers. While anything can happen in the playoffs, the Rockies would certainly enter into a series as an underdog if matched against their NL West counterparts.
There is certainly a long ways to go in the regular season. And, with a 2 p.m. (Mountain) trade deadline on Monday, the Rockies could still make a move.
"“We certainly have other conversations that are somewhat ongoing,” Bridich said. “We may or may not be done. I’m not sure. There’s typically a lot of action on the last day of the deadline.”"
Whether the Rockies add another player or two or none, Monday will dawn with the Rockies eight games behind the Dodgers and five games behind the Padres in the NL West. In a shortened season with every game worth what would be 2.7 games in a normal season, there is plenty of work for the Rockies to do as August comes to a close.
San Diego bolstered its lineup with moves this weekend. Colorado is counting on in-house talent to carry them in the days ahead. We’ll see which move turns out to be the best one when October rolls around.