Headlines

Colorado Rockies “one established closer” away from best relief corps in team history

[get_snippet] [theme-my-login show_title=0]

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies are going for it.

A year after the LA Dodgers put up one of the best seasons in recent memory, the plucky baseball team in the Rocky Mountains has them squarely in their sights, showing every intention of coming after their crown.

They haven't jumped all the way into the deep end yet but it appears as though they might and if they do they could well find themselves swimming in friendly waters.

The additions of Bryan Shaw and Chris Iannetta, along with the return of Jake McGee, puts the Rockies on the precipice of greatness. And they know it.

"I think we still have a chance to add one more person. If we get an established closer in the bullpen too, I feel like we'll have one of the best bullpens in the league," McGee told BSN Denver in an exclusive interview.

Given every opportunity throughout his career to argue he himself should be given the shot to be the "established closer" McGee has put aside all ego and recognized just how good his team can be if they go out and add someone that would move him down the depth chart one spot. These are the signs of a team in a good place.

When asked if the team could reach the World Series as currently constituted, GM Jeff Bridich answered simply, "Yes." But still, he gave us every indication that he has not yet done building this roster and in fact that he won't be even once the season begins. He made it resoundingly clear that the team moves forward with one goal, regardless of who in their division might stand in the way.

"We're going to continue talking to pitchers," Bridich told BSN Denver.  "And you know at some point we'll also kind of shift focus to any position players that are out there that make your team better and can you fit within the confines of our of our team."

He and McGee seem to be on the same page on the pitcher point, and it's obvious now that with an offer out to Greg Holland and the team reportedly showing interest in Wade Davis, Alex Colome, and Zach Britton, that the GM agrees with his dynamic set-up man on the missing piece in to a perfect 'pen.

But GM's can't afford to focus on just one thing. The only move this offseason Bridich has made to address the offense (with the possible exception of just letting a few guys walk) has been to welcome catcher Chris Iannetta back into the fold.

"We're excited about Chris," Bridich said.

He went on to give his new/old catcher a full vote of confidence while leaving the door open for him to add another backstop, something that many fans and analysts wrote off as a possibility when Iannetta was signed.

"There's no magic number," the GM said about how many games his primary catcher can play. "But I think that having multiple competent catchers, because injuries happen, I'd be surprised if we ever have a catcher that you can expect to catch 140-150 games for us at the major league level. I think or believe more of a timeshare for them."

"We feel like he's got an even better as a catcher in certain ways I think you know he's more calm back there. he has worked on his framing over the years and he's a veteran now. Some of his talent now backed up with experience with a lot of years of playing at the game at the highest level. He's been a part of playoff baseball. I will see how it all shakes out. There are a lot of [offseason] days left and spring training games left to determine you know what the complexion of our are catching situation is going to be but he's going to be a huge piece of it."

So far this offseason, the Colorado Rockies have added two late-inning relievers and a catcher. With a groundswell of voiced crying out for help in the starting rotation or at first base, it looks like they might add ... another late-inning reliever and maybe even another catcher!

That might feel counterintuitive, and we will have more from our conversation with Bridich about the balancing act he is attempting with his position players, but much of that may end up as window dressing if he can lock down the best possible battery for every situation in every inning of every game.

When I asked Bridich about his fairly obvious desire to bolster the bullpen as much as possible, breaking the record for biggest reliever contract in club history three times in the last year-and-a-half, he turned the conversation into a much broader topic about run prevention. Or to put in another way; chaos control.

One needn't look much farther than the difference between the 2016 and 2017 teams in order to arrive at the conclusion that this philosophy is working.

As it stands, the Rockies are like a nearly-finished jigsaw puzzle. Pieces that have seemed only randomly connected for so long are coalescing into a clear picture. And just like with a puzzle, as the picture gets clearer, the missing piece becomes more and more obvious. Jake McGee is a smart guy. Jeff Bridich is a smart guy. And Greg Holland ... is a free agent.



Not subscribed yet? Click below to for full access:

Subscribe