With an expanded 2020 postseason paired with the bullpen dominance of past Octobers, relief pitching could be a bigger luxury than ever.
Mark Feinsand says the Rockies could seek out some relievers at the August 31 trade deadline. Such a move would be under the same pretense of the Pat Neshek signing in 2017. Colorado acquired Seunghwan Oh a similar fashion for their 2018 run.
But should the Rockies seek out another reliever, the crop of available arms could be thin. Mid-season deals are just another facet of 2020 baseball that is likely to be different: over half of all teams will make the postseason this year, and more teams may look to retain their otherwise-tradable players.
Drew Creasman addresses how Jeff Bridich has “shown an ability to get some great value off the scrap” with Greg Holland in 2017 and now potentially Daniel Bard. “As long as those kinds of players exist and can give you a ton of value for little risk, it just doesn’t make sense to pour resources into a position that has forever been so volatile.”
Such rationale could reason Colorado averse to landing a high-priced reliever: a move that could handcuff the Rockies’ salary pocketbook like it has before.
Creasman and Patrick Lyons go on to discuss whether the Colorado bullpen is deep enough already. Lyons: “Estévez and Díaz are proving that 2019 was no fluke while newbies Kinley and Bard have been as well as advertised.” Creasman: “So much of what the Rockies have in the bullpen right now is unknown potential.”
One pitcher appears to be filling the role as closer already: Jairo Díaz.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups: Don’t ignore the Rockies (apparent) new closer | Yahoo! Sports
He has “little competition for the [closer] role and his teammates are giving him plenty of chances.” Díaz has converted all three of his save opportunities this year.
In other news: Elias Díaz was, in fact, not the recipient of the save on Thursday. Jairo mistakenly wore Elias’ number 35.
Rockies Insider: How Trevor Story is making an early case for National League MVP | The Denver Post ($)
“Obviously, Story will have to go on to have a consistently mammoth season to overcome the likely bias he will face in the end-of-season voting.” “But if he can keep it up in the box, and limit the K’s, the rest of his game is a lock.”
Kyle Newman gives us a brief writeup on the good that Trevor Story has shown in 2020, and his potential candidacy for the National League MVP. Story is one home run behind the NL leader (Nick Castellanos), and is currently outhitting Nolan Arenado in all three figures on the batting slash.
Arenado has been heating up too, blasting three home runs in the past five days.
Ryan Castellani to make MLB debut for Rockies in Seattle on Saturday; Chi Chi Gonzalez sent to injured list | The Denver Post ($)
Colorado will look to build on their hot pitching start with a new face in a big league uniform. Ryan Castellani gets the start this evening in his MLB debut.
The 24-year-old is a homegrown Rockie, after being selected out of high school in the 2014 draft. He is a two-year veteran of the Arizona Fall League, and his 2.16 ERA with the 2019 Salt River Rafters was the lowest among any of his minor league seasons. He appears to have settled in well after undergoing elbow surgery last June.
MLB.com ranks Castellani 18th among Rockies prospects. Tracy Ringolsby notes on Sports Illustrated that he will take the start tonight instead of Jeff Hoffman, an arm that could remain in the bullpen for the time being. Hoffman has made one relief appearance this year, holding the Giants scoreless on Monday for 1 2⁄3 innings.
Kiszla: Only one question remains for red-hot Rockies. Will World Series victory parade be held virtually or at safe social distance?
Mark Kiszla is all sorts of fired up: “Who are these masked men? They are Rocky Mountain bandits, ready to pilfer an invitation to the National League playoffs and steal hearts in this Broncos town.”
“‘It’s as good as any team I’ve been on here,’ [Trevor] Story said.”
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