The Colorado Rockies are always on the look out for pitching. On Wednesday, they found an experienced arm that will help bolster their bullpen, acquiring two-time All-Star Pat Neshek from the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Rockies were the first to announce the trade on Twitter. They will send a package of three prospects back to Philadelphia. Those include infielder Jose Gomez and right-handed pitchers J.D. Hammer and Alejandro Requena.
Neshek feels like a pretty logical fit for Colorado. The soon-to-be 37-year-old brings experience and a seemingly unshakable presence to the mound. We all know that pitching in Coors Field isn’t for everybody, but Neshek is one of those guys who won’t be intimidated by the challenge.
Beyond his mental makeup, Neshek is still among the most effective relievers in MLB. He’s compiled a sparkling 1.12 ERA with a 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40 1/3 innings this season. For his career, Neshek has been remarkably consistent, posting a sturdy 2.76 ERA over 466 appearances.
He’ll slot at the back end of Colorado’s bullpen, where he’ll help repair a shaky bridge to closer Greg Holland. Manager Bud Black has been relying on veterans Jake McGee and Adam Ottavino in the eighth inning with mixed results. Neshek’s presence should help solidify Black’s entire bullpen setup, allowing him to slot less reliable arms into lower leverage situations.
Overall, the Rockies bullpen has looked gassed since the beginning of June. Over the last 30 days their relievers have posted a 4.74 ERA, which ranks among the league’s worst. It’s difficult to say if adding Neshek will be enough, but it will definitely help.
Like Holland, Neshek will be a free agent at season’s end. That essentially makes this a rental deal, but it’s a rental deal worth making knowing that they have a path to the postseason for the first time since 2009.
The Rockies entered play Wednesday night 4 1/2 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers for the second wild card spots. That might seem comfortable, but there’s not a lot of margin for error, especially for a team that has to deal with the challenges presented by Coors Field, and by facing the Dodgers and Diamondbacks a ton down the stretch.
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