Right-handed relievers Joel Peralta and Manuel Corpas struggled in the final two innings of Monday night’s win over Arizona, which means speculation over the Rockies’ trading plans began anew. Actually, the feeling that the Rockies need bullpen help has lingered for more than a month. Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post has linked the Rockies to Arizona’s Chad Qualls and Houston’s LaTroy Hawkins (who pitched for the 2007 NL Champion Rockies). Renck also reported recently that the price for obtaining Toronto’s Roy Halladay — righty Ubaldo Jimenez and prospects — is likely too high for the Rockies.
The player to keep an eye on is third baseman Garrett Atkins, who hit .327 in June but has dipped again in July. Teams continue to scout to see if his swing has returned to previous levels.
— Thomas Harding
Considering they’re still in the think of the National League playoff race and they aren’t wild about trading away prospects (remember they sent some guy name Ben Zobrist to the Rays for Aubrey Huff a few years ago?), the Astros don’t expect to make a splash before the trade deadline.
Astros general manager Ed Wade made two trades last year that wound up having huge impacts, acquiring pitchers Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins. Shortstop Miguel Tejada, closer Jose Valverde and Hawkins — all of whom will be free agents at season’s end — would be the most likely to get dealt, but not while the Astros are in position for another one of their usual second-half playoff charges.
Wade said any players coming on board to help the Astros in the second half would likely be call-ups from the Minor Leagues, such as pitcher Bud Norris and third baseman Chris Johnson. Norris will be up at some point this season.