Bridich takes pride in homegrown squad

Bridich takes pride in homegrown squad

ARLINGTON -- The Rockies arrived at Globe Life Park on Wednesday still dancing with those they brought to the party.

General manager Jeff Bridich was surprised to learn that the Rockies are one of four teams -- the Astros, Reds and Tigers being the others -- that have not used a player from another organization at any point of the season. But given the development model of the Rockies, who entered the night five games out of a National League Wild Card berth despite a recent rough stretch, Bridich doesn't see it as unusual.

"I don't necessarily think that's a huge departure from some of the core values of this organization," said Bridich, who is in his second regular season as GM. "There's always been an emphasis on the development of our players and graduating young Rockies to the Major League level when they're ready.

"In-season acquisitions or changes aren't always a guarantee. It's not like we didn't add anybody or didn't make trades in the offseason leading up to the season."

The Rockies' player-development director before replacing Dan O'Dowd as GM in October 2014, Bridich intentionally prepared for years like this one, with the Rockies within sight of the playoffs in the season's final two months.

"I know, personally, every team I was on, I didn't move up and none of those guys who were on those teams moved up during the season," said rookie left-hander Tyler Anderson. "We went to the playoffs every year, won the championship one year, lost the championship game one year, and in another one went to the finals. It seems like Bridich's goal the whole time was for us to be competitive and learn how to win together."

It seemed that way because it was that way.

"At times it was absolutely by design early in their careers -- developing skills, developing individual talent and abilities need to be complemented with developing the ability to win games under pressure," Bridich said.

Outfielder David Dahl, who has given the Rockies' offense a lift since being called up on July 25 -- and who has become more important with shortstop Trevor Story out for the rest of the regular season and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez not available because of an ankle injury -- said the development plan prioritized team goals.

"Everyone says it's about numbers, but once you start playing for the team, your numbers start getting better," Dahl said.

The Rockies organization has produced three of the team's five starters (Anderson, rookie Jon Gray and Chad Bettis). Story, who hit 27 homers before going down with injury, and Dahl became immediate regulars. Rookie Carlos Estevez, the closer before a recent slump, and second-year man Scott Oberg hold key bullpen roles. Of course, key regulars Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon were homegrown.

Although trades can still be made after players clear waivers, Bridich believes the mix he brought into the season can endure tough stretches.

"A little less than two years ago, one of the primary goals that we set forth publicly was to play meaningful games again in August and September," Bridich said. "And we're doing that.

"There are a number of guys on this roster that have gone through pressure-filled, late-season games and playoff games, and as we move forward, we're going to draw on that experience. It's certainly by design as part of the thought process."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.