Ahead of Monday’s trade deadline, the Colorado Rockies acquired veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Texas Rangers to add a proven game-caller behind the dish to work with the team’s young pitching staff.
Lucroy, a two-time All-Star, is a household name and one of the top catchers in the sport. Trading for Lucroy, in addition to acquiring relief pitcher Pat Neshek, was the Rockies’ play at making the necessary moves to gear up for a postseason push.
Lucroy will be making the jump from a Rangers club that is six games under .500 to a Rockies team that is prime position to make the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.
“It worked out great,” Lucroy said Tuesday. “I’m happy to be here. Happy to contribute as best I possibly can and try to help this team win a championship.”
Lucroy’s primary role with the Rockies will be to serve as a guide to the youngest pitching staff in baseball, something he believes won’t be a problem.
“I’m not going to be doing much with these guys other than trying to do my job back there to help them get better in any way I possibly can, and get better myself along the way. These guys are already unbelievably talented, especially for a young, inexperienced group of guys.”
Lucroy will be in charge of commanding a Rockies rotation which features a combination of four rookies Antonio Senzatela, Kyle Freeland, Jeff Hoffman, and German Marquez in addition to sophomore Jon Gray and the inconsistent arms Tyler Chatwood and Tyler Anderson. Chad Bettis is also expected to make a return to the mound at some point this season.
The one sure thing on Colorado’s pitching staff this season has been closer Greg Holland. Outside of Holland, the ‘pen has been riddled with peaks and valleys this season.
Lucroy doesn’t see it that way, though. He has full confidence in Colorado’s arsenal of arms and believes the staff collectively has what it takes to perform at the next level.
“It’s not like I’m going to come in and fix something that’s already broken,” he said. “This isn’t broken, at all. It’s a great starting staff, great bullpen, so I’m going to come in and try to compliment them as best I can with my skill set.”
Catching aside, Lucroy has the potential to help the Rockies at the dish too. While he’s hitting just .242 this season, the change of scenery and move to Coors Field could help him find his stroke.
A lifetime .280 hitter, Lucroy has more than enough proof to support a potential turnaround at the plate this season.
Most of all, Lucroy expressed his excitement to join a club in the middle of the postseason hunt. Lucroy has ambition and sees the potential the Rockies have this season, and he believes it could potentially translate to big things for the franchise.
“I’m going to do my best to contribute and be a part of this winning team,” Lucroy said. “Just be the guy behind the plate that gets dirty and does his job. Hopefully, we can take this team to the next level and get a ring.”