When someone has been in baseball as long as Bob Melvin, shocks are few and far between.
However, Melvin admitted he was stunned Monday afternoon when San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller completed two major deals in just over an hour.
The Padres then went out and beat the visiting Colorado Rockies 4-1 on Monday night. The five-game series continues with a doubleheader on Tuesday.
Preller first signed right-handed starting pitcher Joe Musgrove, a San Diego-area native, to a five-year, $100 million contract extension.
“It’s good for Joe, the Padres, the fans and the city of San Diego,” Melvin said.
Then came the “shocker.”
The Padres acquired three-time National League Reliever of the Year Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers for struggling closer Taylor Rogers, pitching prospect Robert Gasser, reliever Dinelson Lamet and recently promoted outfielder Esteury Ruiz.
“It’s pretty energized in the clubhouse today,” Melvin said. “It’s tough, tough, tough to trade for guys like Hader. This is one of the elite guys in the game So, hats off to A.J. … it’s a terrific move for us. It tells the other players that ownership and management is going for it.”
Then, Melvin turned to the immediate. He said Hader was trying to get to San Diego on Tuesday in time to participate in the opener of the doubleheader.
In the parlance heard around a Navy town such as San Diego, it’s all hands on deck for both teams on Tuesday.
The Padres announced late Monday that right-hander Yu Darvish (9-4, 3.24 ERA) would start the first game of the doubleheader and right-hander Reiss Knehr (0-0, 0.00) would start the nightcap as the extra player allowed for a doubleheader.
The Rockies will start right-hander Ryan Feltner (1-3, 5.59 ERA) in the opener and right-hander Jose Urena (1-3, 4.67) in the nightcap. Like Knehr, Feltner will be called up to make the start.
While Darvish will be making his 20th start Tuesday, Knehr has seen most of his recent action out of the bullpen — although he made a four-inning start for Triple-A El Paso on Thursday (three hits and no walks allowed over four shutout innings with five strikeouts) to prime him for this assignment.
In three spot relief appearances with the Padres this season — all against the Rockies — Knehr has allowed three hits and no walks with seven strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. In his career, he has no decisions and a 2.60 ERA in six appearances (two starts) vs. Colorado.
Darvish went 2-0 in his past four outings — each a seven-inning quality start. In his career against Colorado, he is 1-4 with a 5.79 ERA in nine starts.
Feltner was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday, a day after tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings in a relief outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers. His latest major league stint lasted just one day. Previously this season, he went 1-3 with a 6.15 ERA in seven appearances, all starts.
The rookie has faced the Padres once, when he threw six innings of one-run ball on June 11 at San Diego.
Urena has given up 16 runs (12 earned) on 14 hits and five walks in 8 1/3 innings over his last two starts. Prior to that, he posted a 1.45 ERA in his first three starts for the Rockies after being acquired from the Brewers.
Urena is 1-4 with a 3.63 ERA in six career starts vs. San Diego.
The Rockies will be without left fielder/designated hitter Kris Bryant, who went back on the injured list on Monday due to a bone bruise and plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Bryant has been limited to 42 games this season due to injuries. He is hitting .306 with five homers and 14 RBIs.
Speaking about Bryant’s foot, Rockies manager Bud Black said, “We decided to be preemptive and do it now, let him get some therapy, get treatment, alleviate some of the swelling that’s happened the last couple of days that wasn’t there three or four days ago.”
–Field Level Media