Rockies trade Stewart, Weathers to Cubs for Colvin, LeMahieu

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According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have traded third baseman Ian Stewart and right-hander Casey Weathers to the Cubs for outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder DJ LeMahieu.

It’s probably not the big splash that Cubs fans had been hoping for out of the new Theo Epstein-led regime, but it’s a nice low-risk swap capable of paying dividends if things bounce right.

Stewart posted a miserable .156/.243/.221 batting line with zero home runs and six RBI in 136 plate appearances this past year for Colorado. But the 26-year-old has a .913 career OPS at the Triple-A level and mashed 25 home runs as a major leaguer in 2009.

Stewart also has good hands and decent range at the hot corner.

Weathers is basically a throw-in. The former first-round pick had a 5.32 ERA and 48/48 K/BB ratio in 45 2/3 innings this year at Double-A. Already 26 years old, he appears unlikely to ever realize his full potential.

As for Colorado’s haul: Colvin slugged 20 home runs alongside an .816 OPS in 2010 as a rookie before taking a large step back in his sophomore campaign. The Rockies will hope that the thin air at Coors Field can rejuvenate his power numbers. LeMahieu made his big league debut in 2011 at the age of 23 and boasts a .317 career minor-league batting average. He could see some playing time at second base in 2012.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.