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The Rockies are struggling. Could trades help?

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Sunday, August 23, 2020

‘We’re fine’: Lull doesn’t worry Blackmon | Rockies.com

The Rockies are struggling. After Saturday night's loss, the team is 2-11 since I wrote this headline (but it's NOT my fault, OK!). They joy of a 60-game season is that the Rockies hot start put them on the fast track to the expanded playoffs. The sorrows of a 60-game season means a two-week stretch like this one sends them to the outside lane (am I getting my racing metaphors right?).

Charlie Blackmon is still raking, though. Despite going hitless on Saturday he's still hitting .407/.440/.570 and is characteristically optimistic that the team can turn it around. He's less optimistic about defensive metrics ("Worthless") and resignant about the designated hitter ("a necessary evil,” an analysis I think many of us can agree with this season). Anyway, it's a brief article but Thomas Harding captured some good thoughts from Chuck so check it out.

A trade deadline wish list | Roxpile

The MLB trade market is going to be interesting this year, with a lot of teams who are very much in it for a playoff position and more or less unwilling to give up too early. Aaron Hurt at Roxpile has a wishlist that I think all of us can get behind—offensive upgrades at catcher and a lefty in the 'pen top my list, personally—but unfortunately it's difficult to project who the team could go and get to fill those holes.

Some spots on Hurt's wishlist highlight one of the strange dynamics of this season: guys like Daniel Murphy and Matt Kemp have cooled off since starting the season hot. Can we afford to wait for them to turn it around, or do we have to find a suitable replacement ASAP? Discuss.

Poll

What should the Rockies do about the holes in the offense?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Replace Kemp and Murphy via trade: no time to wait with 34 games to go!
    (104 votes)
  • 34%
    Wait it out: the ups and downs will balance out over the next few weeks.
    (55 votes)
159 votes total Vote Now

Bowden: One trade deadline move I’d like to see each team make — West edition | The Athletic ($)

Former GM Jim Bowden has a more direct recommendation for the Rockies: go snag Trevor Rosenthal from the Royals for Sam Hilliard. Rosenthal struggled mightily in a 2019 season cut shot by injury and poor performance. But he's been otherworldly for Kansas City, posting a 0.87 ERA over 10 13 innings, good for a 545 ERA+ (which means he's been 500% better than average). He's a free agent after this season.

If Hilliard is the price tag for such an upgrade, I’m not sure I’m doing that trade. Hilliard is 26 and not hitting quite as well as he did in his stint last season, but he’s shown that he’s capable of being an everyday outfielder, if not this year than soon. Rosenthal’s track record scares me and, in a shortened season, a bullpen arm could blow up at any time, especially in Coors Field. Besides, we need a lefty.

Poll

Hilliard for Rosenthal: who says no?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    The Rockies: not giving up Hilliard for a bullpen rental
    (113 votes)
  • 24%
    The Royals: Not giving up their best trade chip for an unproven outfielder
    (37 votes)
150 votes total Vote Now

Saunders: Baseball’s unwritten rules; one bad, one good, one ridiculous | Denver Post ($)

Patrick Saunders responds to the "controversy” of Fernando Tatis Jr hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch in a game his Padres were already leading by seven. I put controversy in scare quotes not because I have opinions one way or the other but precisely because I don't. Saunders notes that the unwritten rule—not swinging at a 3-0 pitch when you're up big late in a game—is dumb, and it is for lots of reasons (including the fact that no lead is truly safe at Coors Field, which colors Saunders' opinion). But the biggest reason it's dumb is because it's taken up so much oxygen over the last week (look, I'm helping!). There's legitimate reasons to take a 3-0 pitch when the pitcher has walked the previous two batters. There's also no controversy if Tatis had hit his grand slam on a 3-1 pitch. So let's all agree to drop it (after today).

Oh, and Saunders’ has a nuanced take on batflips that I sincerely disagree with, but mostly because his example of a bad bat flip is Jose Bautista (in contrast to Trevor Story's penchant for good bat flips). I, for one, think this is one of the few universally acceptable times to flip your bat to the moon (big playoff home run at home!) and I want to see this hung in every museum in the world:

It's been five years and that still gives me giddy chills. More of this, please, not less.

Poll

Bat flips?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Keep 'em classy
    (39 votes)
  • 34%
    Only in the biggest moments
    (43 votes)
  • 34%
    More batflips always and forever
    (44 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now