After dedicating more than $100 million in guaranteed money to relievers in the offseason, a sketchy first-half showing by the middle bullpen led the Rockies to believe more had to be done.
General manager Jeff Bridich, who made a couple of key moves at the deadline last season to help spur Colorado’s wild card run, traded with Toronto for 36-year-old Seunghwan Oh. That move, officially announced by the club Thursday morning, was followed by the reported signing of free agent Santiago Casilla to a minor league contract — giving the club two additional right-handed options.
Obviously, Oh is the headlining acquisition, as he’s put up a more-than-respectable 2.81 ERA over three MLB seasons (two with the Cardinals, and this year with the Blue Jays) after playing professionally in South Korea and Japan from 2005-15.
Oh comes at a relatively cheap pricetag (he’s due around a half-million for the remainder of 2018), although to get him Colorado had to send a pair of prospects and a player to be named later to Toronto.
Most importantly, Oh is a proven veteran that manager Bud Black can immediately use to firm up the team’s burning seventh-inning bridge, a frame in which Colorado has posted a major league-worst 6.68 ERA this season. Whether Oh can have success at altitude — or whether he’ll regress as Bryan Shaw has this season — remains to be seen.
And amid all the hype about Oh, Casilla could be a dark-horse contributor. Despite his age and issues with command — he had 20 walks and four hit batters in 31.1 innings with the A’s this year — his ERA (3.16) and WHIP (1.21) were decent.
As Oakland manger Bob Melvin told reporters a couple weeks ago, the veteran’s control problems could stem from the fact that “he wasn’t able to get regular work with us. It kind of affected the performance some.”
If Casilla can use his initial time in Triple-A Albuquerque to regain that command — after all, issuing droves of walks isn’t exactly an advisable strategy at Coors Field — he just might be able to recoup his vintage Bay Area-self.
In addition to two stints in Oakland, Casilla was a key member of three title teams with the Giants, and has a 0.92 ERA in 19.2 career postseason innings. Old guy or not, that kind of clutch experience is always a good option to have down the stretch, especially come September’s expanded roster.
— Kyle Newman, The Denver Post
What’s on tap?
- Oakland Athletics, 6:40 p.m. Friday, ATTRM
- Oakland Athletics, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, ATTRM
- Oakland Athletics, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, ATTRM
- At St. Louis Cardinals, 6:10 p.m. Monday, ATTRM
- At St. Louis Cardinals, 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, ATTRM
- At St. Louis Cardinals, 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, ATTRM
TV/RADIO: Here’s what sports are airing today
Scores, Stats and Standings
Rockies’ split with defending world champion Astros underscores conceivability of the club’s October hopes
Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray combined to surrender just four hits and two earned runs over 14.1 innings on Monday and Tuesday. Read more…
Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon hits first career walk-off home run to defeat reigning world champions at Coors Field
Charlie Blackmon blasted his first career walk-off home run Wednesday night at Coors Field, besting the reigning world champion Houston Astros 3-2 in a late-July game that had all the feel of October. Read more…
The 24-year-old outfielder also breaks down the origin of his “con mucho swagger” mantra and talks about his family’s influence. Read more…
+ Rockies reportedly agree to sign veteran free agent reliever Santiago Casilla
+ Kiszla: Get the woo out of here, Astros. With help of replay that detected fan interference, Rockies beat world champs.
+ Harrison Musgrave nearly walked away from baseball in college. Now, he could be an in-house solution for the Rockies’ bullpen
+ Kiszla: Will football-loving Denver ever ache to win the World Series the way Nolan Arenado does?
+ Rockies Mailbag: Nolan Arenado update, MLB trade deadline, podcast talk and more
+ Rockies Record Tracker: See how Colorado has fared against each opponent this season.
+ Want to chat about the Rockies? Ask to join our closed discussion group on Facebook.
By The Numbers
Saunders: The Dodgers are on pace to win 91 games, and I’m betting they’ll win 95. That means the Rockies could have to finish 43-21 to win the division outright with 96 wins. Read more…
Colorado manager Bud Black on the practice: “It can be brutal. It can be dangerous. It can be warfare. There can be injuries.” Read more…