Will the Rock­ies get a big­ger boost from reliever Pat Neshek or catcher Jonathan Lu­croy in their trade deals?

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

Kiz: It feels good to ex­hale. I held my breath so long wait­ing for the Rock­ies to make deals at the trade dead­line, my lips were start­ing to turn Dodger blue. Gen­eral man­ager Jeff Bridich didn’t get Yu Darvish or even J.D. Mar­tinez. But Colorado did get a re­lief pitcher and a catcher. Does Pat Neshek or Jonathan Lu­croy fig­ure to help more in the pur­suit of a play­off berth?

Groke: Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller once said: “If you be­lieve your catcher is in­tel­li­gent and you know that he has con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence, it is a good thing to leave the game al­most en­tirely in his hands.” Lu­croy’s name car­ries weight, all around the ma­jors. He is ex­actly what a Rock­ies ro­ta­tion heavy with near-ado­les­cent pitch­ers needs when the stretch run heats up.

Kiz: OK, my kids rarely lis­ten to me. So I know Bridich doesn’t take notes when I make a sug­ges­tion. But I banged the drum so loudly and so long for Neshek that I feel per­son­ally re­spon­si­ble for his suc­cess in the Rock­ies bullpen. If the sidewinder is lights out, you can buy me a rye on the rocks dur­ing the play­offs. And if Neshek starts giv­ing up dingers at Coors Field, I’ll be hid­ing be­hind Dinger in shame.

Groke: Neshek is in­sur­ance for Adam Ot­tavino’s strug­gles. And if Ot­tavino finds his form, com­bined with the sidearmer Neshek and lefty Jake McGee, that’s a stout back-end bullpen in front of Greg Hol­land. But they have to throw to some­body who can quiet the storm when the go­ing gets rough. That’s Lu­croy. From the World Base­ball Clas­sic team to two all-star squads, his ex­pe­ri­ence will be key.

Kiz: Lu­croy has stunk this year. But he earned a trip to the All-Star Game as re­cently as 2016. Given that the Rock­ies in­vested so lit­tle in the deal for Lu­croy, it seems worth gam­bling LoDo will make his bat come alive, and a play­off race will re­ju­ve­nate his rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing a friend to young pitch­ers. The Rock­ies, how­ever, are all about plac­ing the game in the hands of their closer, Hol­land. If Neshek can do it on a con­sis­tent ba­sis, rent­ing his right arm will prove to be a bar­gain.

Groke: I’m stick­ing with the back­stop. By pure pro­duc­tion alone, Lu­croy will play in five games a week or so. He will have his cal­loused hands all over this Rock­ies team over the next two months. And be­tween him and fel­low vet­eran Ryan Hani­gan, man­ager Bud Black will have an on-field brain bridge to the mound. The Rock­ies rook­ies fi­nally have a regular vet­eran they can lean on and learn from.

Getty Im­ages file

Vet­eran catcher Jonathan Lu­croy looks to add ex­pe­ri­ence to help sta­bi­lize the Rock­ies’ young pitch­ing staff over the fi­nal two months of the sea­son.

Mark Te­nally, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Re­lief pitcher Pat Neshek could take some late-game stress off the Rock­ies.

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