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The Rockies lack a clear direction

Colorado Rockies news and links for Thursday, August 4th, 2022

The Trade Deadline came and passed and the Rockies were the only team to not make a deal. They were, however, the “only team to sign a player to an extension at the deadline” — 37-year-old closer Daniel Bard to a two-year deal. (Of note: the Padres and Braves also extended players, but that’s probably an honest mistake from Bill Schmidt. There are a lot of teams to keep track of.)

This, of course, also came after they made no major moves after the 2021 Trade Deadline.(They did trade away Mychal Givens and signed Ashton Goudeau for the 15th time.) The Rockies made two minor moves in 2020 — trading for Kevin Pillar and trading for Givens. In fact, the largest blockbuster deadline trade they’ve made in recent memory was probably the Troy Tulowitzki trade in 2015. Otherwise, many of their major moves have come in the offseason. Perhaps that’s their move this year, as well. Bill Schmidt alluded to that in his post-Trade Deadline presser:

“We’ll re-evaluate when we get to the wintertime as to where we’re at and how we can make this club better,” Schmidt said. “We like the guys we have. We haven’t performed to the level that we thought we might be expected to so far, but we’ll see what happens.”

The mantra for many years has appeared as something along the lines of ‘we have the pieces, they just need to play better,’ as Schmidt mentioned above (and Jeff Bridich before him). This year, the repeated line from multiple Rockies personnel has been ‘he wanted to be here.’ That was said about Daniel Bard when he re-signed, and it was said about Kris Bryant when he signed in the offseason. On Sunday, Schmidt mentioned both when talking about Bard: “We’ve got to play better baseball than we’ve played, but we’ve got people that want to be here, and we’ll continue to grow.”

The exception to that line, of course, was Jon Gray, who expressed that he really wanted to be here but his pesky agent got in the way and found Gray a better deal in Texas. But Nolan Arenado was dealt fairly quickly after he expressed discontent, and there wasn’t much of an attempt to re-sign Trevor Story after he wasn’t jumping up and down to sign on the dotted line.

This all being said — there isn’t a clear direction for this team going forward.

They’ve expressed repeatedly that they don’t want to rebuild. A full rebuild would likely involve saying goodbye to fan favorites like Charlie Blackmon, Ryan McMahon and Kyle Freeland (who are “like family” to Dick Monfort). It also would’ve meant saying goodbye to Trevor Story and Jon Gray mid-season last year. But that could also pave the way for new fan favorites such as Zac Veen, Benny Montgomery and Drew Romo in two or three years.

They’ve also repeatedly expressed that they want to win and they’re just ‘one or two pieces away,’ but they haven’t made any moves to make them better right now. As mentioned, they haven’t made a big splash at the deadline since 2015 — even when they were in the thick of playoff races in 2017 and 2018.

In order to rebuild, you have to blow it up; in order to win and make a playoff push, you have to make moves. But the Rockies are currently doing neither of those things — they hope that things will click as they are by continually drafting and developing players internally.

Some of that could be money, sure, but the Padres have a similar payroll and were able to land players like Manny Machado (offseason free agent), Josh Bell (mid-season trade), Juan Soto (mid-season trade) and Blake Snell (offseason trade).

Overall, the Rockies really are committed to who they are. “We all try to keep up with the Jonses,” Schmidt said Tuesday, “but sometimes you can’t do that. We’re not financially in that situation so we’re going to do it the best we can with the resources we have.”

So... who are the Rockies, exactly? Eventually, hopefully, we’ll find out.

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Colorado’s ode to ‘the best’ sports broadcaster of all, late Dodgers legend Vin Scully | Denver Gazette

Baseball lost a legend late last night when Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Vin Scully passed away at the age of 94. Paul Klee collected memories from local Denver sportscasters in remembrance of the Dodgers’ legend as they collectively mourn their friend. What are some of your Vin Scully memories?

Lack of trade deadline activity can damage the Colorado Rockies future | DNVR ($)

Patrick Lyons explores some recent rebuilds, notably the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs between 2012-2015 who ‘tanked’ to stockpile assets and nearly always traded away their veterans on expiring contracts. He also looks back into the Rockies activity during that period (see: minimal) and how if they’d perhaps taken a similar approach... where would we be now?

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On The Farm

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 10, El Paso Chihuahuas 11 (F/11)

It was a back-and-forth game for the Isotopes, but unfortunately the El Paso Chihuahuas came out on top in extras. Starter Ashton Goudeau pitched five innings, allowing two runs on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. The Isotopes and Chihuahuas were tied at three through six, but back-to-back blown saves by Zach Lee and PJ Poulin led to the extra innings. JD Hammer was saddled with the loss.

As far as hitters go, Sean Bouchard, Carlos Pérez and D.J. Peterson each had multi-hit nights. Pérez went 3-for-5 with a home run, run scored and a strikeout.

Peterson went 2-for-5 with a home run, run scored and a strikeout.

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 10, Reading Fightin’ Phils 12

The Yard Goats battled back twice — scoring four runs in the fifth, one in the eighth and five in the ninth — but unfortunately were unable to overcome an early 11-0 deficit (later a 12-4 deficit). Starter Tony Locey got roughed up for 2 23 innings, allowing 11 runs on 10 hits including two walks, three strikeouts and a home run.

Grant Lavigne (No. 22 PuRP), Michael Toglia (No. 7 PuRP), Willie MacIver (No. 28 PuRP) and Tyler Hill all had two-hit nights. MacIver also hit a solo shot, his 14th of the season, and a double.

High-A: Eugene Emeralds 5, Spokane Indians 8

The Indians were able to rack up some runs today, outscoring the Emeralds 8-5. Each one of the starters who had a hit had multiple hits. Ronaiker Palma led that pack, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a double. While there were no triples or homers, Palma and three others — Julio Carreras, Mateo Gil and Hunter Goodman (No. 27 PuRP) — all hit doubles. Zac Veen (No. 1 PuRP) also stole his 50th base of his career!

Starter Joe Rock (No. 16 PuRP) threw five innings, allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Low-A: San Jose Giants 5, Fresno Grizzlies 2

After an offensive explosion on Tuesday, the Grizzlies fell to the San Jose Giants on Wednesday. Both RBI came from Juan Brito, who went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI with a two-run homer in the fourth.

Starter Brayan Castillo had a brilliant game, going five innings and allowing two runs on a single hit. But he also walked three and struck out four.

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