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Mychal Givens didn’t live up to expectations in 2020

The Colorado Rockies version of the right-hander was starkly different than the Baltimore Orioles version

Welcome to the 2020 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2020. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.

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No. 26, Mychal Givens: -0.2 rWAR

When the Rockies acquired Mychal Givens at the trade deadline, Givens was having a fantastic month in Baltimore only allowing two runs in thirteen innings. He held a 3.32 career ERA in six seasons as an Oriole, which gave GM Jeff Bridich the confidence to pull the trigger on him.

The price for a year and a half of Givens was infield prospects Terrin Vavra (No. 7 PuRP), Tyler Nevin (No. 10 PuRP) and outfielder Misheal Deson. Givens was expected to be a dependable option to fill a late innings role in a bullpen that was beginning to fall apart in late August. The move was part of a last ditch effort by Bridich to try and propel the team back into contention.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

Though it was a pretty small sample size, the Colorado Rockies version of Mychal Givens was not the shutdown reliever they expected. In his month with the Rockies, Givens pitched for a 6.75 ERA, giving up seven earned runs in 9 ⅓ innings of work.

It should be noted that four of those seven runs came against the Dodgers, who kind of destroy every Rockies pitcher. This was also his first year facing the NL West, so perhaps it was the unfamiliarity and not getting completely adjusted mid-season after being in Baltimore his entire career.

It’s fair to be slightly concerned about Givens because of the prospects he cost the Rockies and because of the overall bullpen being bad for two straight years. But he still has more to prove and could set himself up nicely for a payday (either by the Rockies or someone else) by pitching well in his upcoming contract year.

For now, Givens is entering his final year of arbitration and is expected to be a big part of next year’s bullpen. If the 2021 Rockies are to be any better than 2020, Givens will have to be a the shutdown late-inning staple of a (hopefully) improved bullpen.