The Rockies are in a bad place once again. Despite a decent April, the team has followed the yearly tradition of a quick descent into madness and disparity to the point where they will once again be well out of the playoff race by the trade deadline. There is still a slight chance they can put things together over the next month and a half and get closer to the third Wild Card slot, but there are plenty of obstacles in the way that make that reality difficult to imagine.
As a result, up until the deadline on August 2, the Rockies should start looking at the possible deals that can be made to bolster the depth and help resupply to give the team some new blood.
Justin Wick already went in-depth about the idea of putting Chad Kuhl on the trading block earlier this week, so be sure to check it out. Kuhl has been performing fairly well in his first season with the Rockies, even if has also had some notable clunkers like the rest of the starting pitching staff.
However, he has been one of the better performing starting pitchers this season, and with the prospect of being a free agent after this season, he remains a prime candidate to move for some depth pieces. If teams are inquiring about Kuhl, it’s best to strike while the iron is hot and get the best possible deal, even if that means sending him to a division rival.
Relievers at the deadline are a valuable asset. Luckily for the Rockies, they have a couple of bullpen arms that could be desirable targets for teams to acquire. Alex Colomé seemed like a prime trade chip from the moment he signed with the team. He’s a reliable shutdown reliever with a strong history in the big leagues and he is once again performing well in 2022.
Like Mychal Givens in 2021, the Rockies have a chance to move him and get back a couple of quality prospects as they did with Case Williams and Noah Davis. Colomé has a 2.53 ERA in over 21 innings of work and has a knack for keeping the ball on the ground. He’s not going to wrack up strikeouts, but he’s going to get batters out. The Rockies have plenty of relievers waiting in the minors, like Chad Smith, and moving Colomé opens a door for those arms to showcase their talents.
Like Colomé, the Rockies also have a valuable trade chip in Daniel Bard. The Rockies closer has a 2.31 ERA in 23 innings to go along with 12 saves. He’s also been a powerhouse on the mound with 29 strikeouts to just 12 walks. Bard has been a great story since he made a comeback in 2020, and at 37-years-old he is proving his worth as a big leaguer in the bullpen.
Logically the Rockies will ship him off for some pieces because dominant closers are a valuable commodity on the trade market. However, it also feels likely that sentimentality will prevent the team from sending him away, and rather plan to re-sign him after the season. If they do trade him, there is comfort knowing that Tyler Kinley could take over as the closer, if he’s not traded himself.
If a time traveler from July told you in March that José Iglesias would be one of the more valuable trade pieces for the Rockies in 2022, you’d probably have slapped them in the face and sent them back to the fantasy future they hailed from. It’s been a pleasant surprise offensively for the veteran shortstop this season since he is batting .306/.352/.382 and has struck out just 15 times in 182 plate appearances.
Just like his stint with the Boston Red Sox down the stretch in 2021, Iglesias could provide some quality production as a veteran infielder off the bench. He won’t garner a huge return, but a trade that brings back some pitching depth, potentially at the Triple-A level that can battle for spots in the bigs the following season, would be a huge payoff from a stop gap shortstop. It would also open the door for Ezequiel Tovar to crack the big leagues finally this season, or the Rockies can turn to someone like Kyle Holder or Tim Lopes to keep the seat warm the rest of the year.
The Time is Now
The stove is starting to warm up and the Rockies will need to make some decisions to improve for the future. Things could miraculously change over the next month and a half and they could find themselves battling for one of the three wild card spots, but if that isn’t the case, it’s best to get ahead of the crowd and start shopping pieces while they are at their highest point of value.
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Connor Joe quietly put together a fantastic on-base streak that was snapped on Friday night against the San Diego Padres. He’s now part of an exclusive club in Rockies history, coming just 11 games shy of Michael Cuddyer’s record of 46 in 2013. Patrick Saunders caught up with Joe and talked about the streak and his performance this season.
There was a time that the Rockies had at least one perennial All-Star candidate, but those days are behind us. 2022 brings about that same question of who is likely to get the nod as the rep for the Rockies in July. Drew Creasman offers some thoughts on the matter, pointing to C.J. Cron as the likely candidate, as well as Tyler Kinley’s impressive season out the bullpen as a notable player of consideration.
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On The Farm
It was a forgettable night for José Ureña after he allowed 10 runs on 12 hits in 2 2⁄3 innings on Saturday. The Albuquerque bullpen kept things manageable allowing just three runs the rest of the way, but they got a good outing from Matt Dennis who allowed one run on four hits in 3 1⁄3 innings of relief. Carlos Pérez had the lone multi-hit night for the Isotopes while Jonathan Morales and Sean Bouchard both hit home runs in the game.
A five-run sixth inning and a strong 5-for-7 night with runners in scoring position helped Hartford secure the victory against Portland. Michael Toglia blasted a three-run homer for his 11th of the year to give Hartford the lead in the sixth inning, which they would never relinquish. Aaron Schunk had the only multi-hit night for the Yard Goats, tallying three knocks on the night. Mitchell Kilkenny started on the mound and lasted 3 1⁄3 allowing one run on two hits while striking out three and walking two. Will Gaddis then tossed 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings to be credited with the win while Gavin Hollowell recorded his seventh save of the year.
Joe Rock was dealing for Spokane, recording 10 punchouts in five innings during the Indians’ victory over Eugene. Spokane strung together a three-run top of the ninth to take the victory and stave off the Emeralds late in the game. Zac Veen, Grant Lavigne, and Julio Carreras all tallied multiple hits on the night while Drew Romo had one hit but did draw three walks in the game. Despite allowing one run in the ninth, Anderson Bido shut the door and earned his first save of the season.
Victor Juarez continues his dominant season in Fresno, tossing six shutout innings and allowing just two hits. He has not allowed a run over his past 12 innings of work and has not allowed more than three runs in any of his outings this year. Fresno enjoyed their own version of the home run derby by blasting four home runs, including Trevor Boone’s grand slam, and Hunter Goodman’s 16th homer of the season as part of a three-hit night.
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