clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why wouldn’t the Rockies want to break into Song? (plus Pebble Report)

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, July 31, 2023

It’s trade deadline season in Major League Baseball, a typically uneventful time for the Colorado Rockies. The clock to get a deal down will count-down to zero on Tuesday, August 1st at 4 p.m. MST. There have been significant moves already, with Max Scherzer heading to the Texas Rangers on Saturday and the St. Louis Cardinals shipping-out half of their pitching staff on Sunday.

The Rockies do not have the assets to play at the high-money tables this deadline, however they have already been surprisingly more active in 2023 than in years past. They began moving veterans on expiring deals when they shipped Mike Moustakas out to the Los Angeles Angels at the end of June and then doubled-down on the notion a month later, trading Pierce Johnson to the Atlanta Braves.

The return of this pair of trades was three pitchers – Connor Van Scoyoc from the Los Angeles organization and a pair of righties from Atlanta in Tanner Gordon and Victor Vodnik. Then on Sunday, the front office struck again in a late-night deal — again with the Angels — shipping Randal Grichuk and C.J. Cron for young righties Jake Madden and Mason Albright.

The moves reinforce the initiative to replenish the pitching depth in the organization, an emphasis GM Bill Schmidt made clear at the beginning of July:

“Needless to say, we need to add pitching,” Schmidt said. “We have some position-player prospects coming up, and we feel good about that. And we also like some of the pitching prospects we have coming up, but we’ve had injuries, so you’re always looking to increase your depth.”

The Rockies still have a few remaining trade chips on expiring contracts to help bolster the pitching crops, namely Brad Hand, Jurickson Profar and Brent Suter. The return for any of these players will likely not be overwhelming, but they could still be converted into assets to help improve the organization’s pitching situation, nonetheless.

However, the Rockies were presented an opportunity to add another cost-controlled pitcher with upside over the weekend in former highly-touted prospect Noah Song, who was designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

Song, if you’re unfamiliar, has a very unique and interesting history. A fourth-round selection by the Boston Red Sox in the 2019 draft, Song was a first-round caliber talent with his mid-to-upper 90s fastball and fairly polished four-pitch arsenal. He dominated the collegiate ranks at Navy and impressed in two appearances in the Cape Cod League, checking every box imaginable as a desirable pitching prospect.

However, his commitment to serving in the U.S. Air Force was a major wrinkle in the process. After seven games with the Low-A Lowell Spinners in his draft year, Song embarked on a three-year tour – putting his baseball career on hold as expected.

He was released from active duty in 2023, returning to the sport as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization, who selected him in the Rule 5 draft the previous winter. As a stipulation of the selection, Song needed to stay on the active roster before being exposed to waivers or ultimately returned to the Boston organization, however a back strain in Spring Training pushed-back the clock on that decision. But since returning to game action, he has not built-up and shown the same potency that was on display back in 2019. This led to where we are today, with Philadelphia unable to put such a project on the active roster in the midst of a playoff push.

The Rockies, however, are not in a playoff push and certainly could afford to take on such an endeavor. Beyond the current situation, this is also the exact mold of player the organization has been aiming to acquire this season; a young, cost-controlled pitcher that has upside as a major league starter.

It’s more complicated than simply claiming the young righty and stashing him in the minors. If that was the case, the Phillies would surely just hold onto him. The Rockies would have to maneuver the roster for the rest of the season, likely costing the team more consistent innings out of a player like Ty Blach or Matt Koch.

However, those possibly more trustworthy innings would still be coming in a long-lost season barreling towards well-over 90 losses. The short term gains of refraining from adding a player like Song – who would likely have to endure some tough lumps at the game’s highest level – are counterintuitive to the long-term goals the front office has for 2024 and beyond. Plus, if the experiment proves untenable, then the organization could simply elect to DFA him as Philadelphia has, making it a low-risk, high-reward proposition.

At the end of the day, Song is probably just too far away from big-league ready to get any team to take the risk — he’s only thrown 11 innings after four years off, after all — and likely will get returned to the Boston farm system. But it’s an outside-the-box idea for the Rockies to added a talented arm with minimal risk and no negotiation needed. For an organization largely depleted on the pitching front and still in need of arms to get through the season, it’s a gamble that certainly seems worthwhile.

★ ★ ★

Rockies trade Randal Grichuk and CJ Cron to the Angels | Purple Row

Mark Feinsand first broke the news of the trade between Colorado and the Angels. The Rockies will send $2MM to Los Angeles along with Grichuk and Cron, receiving their No. 8 (Madden) and No. 28 (Albright) prospects in return.

Carlos Gonzalez, a force with the Rockies, relishes return to Coors Field | The Denver Post

Rockies legend Carlos Gonzalez was around the ballpark over the weekend as part of the 30th anniversary alumni celebration. He reminisced with Patrick Saunders about his time with the Rockies, always being a part of the organization and a mentor for active hitters and being one of the most popular teammates in franchise history.

★ ★ ★

Pebble Report: July 24-30, 2023

The Rockies farm system had success on the field this week, with three of their affiliates taking their series. However, the news off the field was less encouraging as the injury bug bit the pitching core hard with three of the team’s top pitching prospects slated for Tommy John surgery. Gabriel Hughes (No. 8 PuRP) controlled the High-A competition and reached Double-A before going down with a torn UCL. On the Low-A front, Jordy Vargas (No. 10 PuRP) was putting together his first full-season with 64 IP while Jackson Cox (No. 25 PuRP) was eased into action this season, making ten appearances before suffering his elbow ailment.

Given the timing of the injuries, there’s a real possibility we will not see any of these hurlers until 2025, with late-season stints either in the lower levels or Arizona Complex League marking the best-case scenario in 2024.

Top 30 PuRPs

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes (4-2, 44-58 overall)

It feels like Wynton Bernard hit the ground running when he returned to the Isotopes, and his latest series against Sacramento (SF) is another example of that as he hit three homers and two doubles on his way to a 1.269 OPS. Brendan Rodgers also went deep and collected seven hits as he progresses back to the majors. Daniel Montano had six hits overall — four for extra-bases — and posted a robust .824 SLG% in 17 AB. That SLG% trailed only Coco Montes, who slashed .500/.556/.875 in four games.

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats (3-2, 41-51 overall)

Tanner Gordon made his first start for his new organization after coming over from Atlanta in the Pierce Johnson trade, keeping New Hampshire (TOR) to just two runs over 5 23 IP with six strikeouts compared to two walks and five strikeouts. Like Gordon, Victor Vodnik also made his first appearances, throwing three scoreless innings in two appearances with four punch-outs. Drew Romo (No. 4 PuRP) had a career-night on Friday, hitting three home runs and driving-in five runs in five AB.

High-A: Spokane Indians (2-4, 46-49 overall)

Juan Guerrero and Nic Kent led the offensive charge for the Indians against Eugene (SF). Each had 10 hits and a home runs, with Kent scoring one more run (3) and double (2) than Guerrero. Unfortunately that was about all the support the pitching staff received in the series. Jaden Hill (No. 6 PuRP) surrendered four runs in 3 13 innings, but did rack-up eight strikes to no walks in the outing. Jarrod Cande and Carson Palmquist (No. 28 PuRP) each delivered five impressive innings with two run outings. Cande punched out seven to no walks in his start while Palmquist whiffed 10 with just one free-pass issued.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies (4-2, 58-38 overall)

Skyler Messinger brought his boom stick to Inland Empire (LAA), hitting three home runs with three doubles on top of it and 10 RBI. Overall, slashing a fantastic .320/.370/.800 in the series. Bryant Betancourt had a great series as well with an .985 OPS while Andy Perez swiped three bases in five games. Albert Pacheco delivered the best start in a strong week for the rotation, throwing six innings with one run allowed and six strikeouts.

★ ★ ★

Week of 7/31-8/6 (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Adael Amador 3 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 3/17 0 3 6 0
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 3/19 1 3 7 0
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 4/19 0 2 4 0
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 6/18 0 8 1 0
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 4/9 0 0 3 0
Michael Toglia 13 MLB 9/28 0 5 7 1
Sterlin Thompson 14 High-A 4/20 0 2 7 3
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 3/21 0 1 3 0
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hunter Goodman 19 Double-A 3/12 1 1 4 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 5/22 1 3 12 0
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 6/23 0 1 4 1
Ryan Ritter HM High-A 7/19 0 0 10 0
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 3/17 0 1 6 0

Week of 9/11-9/17 (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 1/1 5.0 0/0 1 10
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Case Williams 26 Double-A 1/1 2.2 7/6 3 3
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 1/1 6.0 1/1 2 5
Noah Davis 29 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 1/1 5 3/3 3 6
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 2/0 3 0/0 3 5

Season to Date (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) 36/172 2 23 43 22
Adael Amador 3 Double-A (IL) 78/255 12 37 32 14
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 83/327 13 29 67 6
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 110/438 10 52 135 18
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 68/302 6 15 68 2
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 132/487 25 73 142 20
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 127/479 25 32 132 1
Michael Toglia 13 Triple-A 79/308 16 53 82 3
Sterlin Thompson 14 Double-A 104/355 14 38 74 17
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 56/198 0 13 35 10
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB 15/49 5 8 19 1
Hunter Goodman 19 MLB 83/348 25 41 98 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 101/445 17 77 142 4
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 73/311 5 33 81 13
Ryan Ritter HM Double-A 124/441 24 62 152 20
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 126/439 14 42 116 12

Season to Date (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) 16/16 43.2 47/46 25 57
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) 14/14 66.2 51/46 26 83
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) 13/13 64.0 35/30 24 69
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 19/19 90.0 53/45 32 108
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) 15/15 67.0 48/44 25 66
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) 4/4 11.0 11/11 6 9
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A 20/20 91.2 66/65 35 94
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A 18/18 86.1 70/65 38 60
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) 10/9 31.0 27/25 20 32
Case Williams 26 Double-A 23/23 101.2 87/80 51 79
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 19/19 92.1 44/40 37 134
Noah Davis 29 MLB 14/14 56.0 33/29 33 48
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB 19/0 23.1 9/9 10 27
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 28/25 116 103/100 69 130
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 45/0 55.2 42/38 54 81

★ ★ ★

Upcoming Schedule

Triple-A Albuquerque: 8/1-8/6 vs Las Vegas (SF)

Double-A Hartford: 8/1-8/6 vs Reading (PHI)

High-A Spokane: 8/1-8/6 @ Everett (SEA)

Low-A Fresno: 8/1-8/6 @ Rancho Cucamonga (LAD)

★ ★ ★

Please keep in mind our Purple Row Community Guidelines when you’re commenting. Thanks!