Can the Rockies make the playoffs without making a trade?
Kiz: What’s the dang deal? The nonwaiver trade deadline is less than a week away, and so far Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich has stood pat, while the Cubs, Nationals, Diamondbacks and even the Royals have closed deals. We all know Colorado needs a right-handed pitcher in the bullpen. Please tell me Tyler Chatwood isn’t the only answer. Groke: Kiz, let’s breathe for a minute . ... OK, I needed that. What’s funny is, our question could be moot by the time this sentence ends. Trade deadline week moves that quickly. But if Chatwood ends up in the Rox pen, temporarily or otherwise, it will not be the end of Colorado’s roster machinations. I can nearly guarantee this.
Kiz: There has been far too much concern around here about whether Colorado can hold off the Cubs, Brewers or some team from another division for the final National League wild-card spot. That’s a loser’s mentality. The Rockies’ only goal should be to take down the Diamondbacks and claim the No. 1 wild-card seed, so the win-or-go home game is played at Coors Field, where Arizona’s Zack Greinke or any visiting pitcher can be hit hard.
Groke: Agreed. Earning entry into a one-game playoff is fool’s gold. It’s nothing in the grand scheme. Winning in the playoffs is the goal. Even if this season turned out better than planned for Bridich and Co. That means surviving September and excelling when the games get tight in October. That means pitching. And that means getting significantly better than the Rox are now.
Kiz: Get in the playoffs, and anything can happen. Didn’t the Cardinals win the World Series in 2006 after going 83-78 in the regular season? But let’s take a longer view for the Rockies. It’s certainly possible closer Greg Holland will move on from Colorado as a free agent before next season. So in addition to a rental reliever such as Philadelphia’s Pat Neshek, maybe Bridich should look for a setup man capable of moving into the closer’s role for 2018. For example: A.J. Ramos of Miami.
Groke: The price on Ramos is rising. He is a wanted man. And there are drawbacks. He walks too many dudes (don’t tell Bud Black, he might flip). And Neshek is a flyball pitcher. Forget all of this. Jump into the pool. It is time to win. If Neshek or Ramos is better than Jordan Lyles or whomever, then go for it. Prospects are never guarantees. It’s OK to gamble. Roll the dice.