Monday Morning Rockpile:

Dave Krieger has again been stealing my notebook, and is writing  about what's also apparent to me and several others here, I assume, that the Rockies' rotation is still not quite of the caliber of a contender. Francis and Lopez are doing a standout job in two slots, but the other three members of our starting five are flailing in the water and can't keep up.

The solution?

On the team we have Taylor Buchholz, who was making strides as a fill-in starter while Lopez was re-habbing, but who also should be given as much credit for stabilizing the pen as LaTroy Hawkins is getting. I don't know if we want to shake things up there until Casey Weathers, Juan Morillo or Darren Clarke are ready to assume that role.

Off the team, but still inside the system, only Greg Reynolds appears close as Krieger mentions, but Ubaldo Jimenez would only need to put together a string of three or so quality starts to get a look. There will be a handful of starts for both of these pitchers before the trade deadline, and there's still enough season left that the move doesn't need to be made right now. I don't think we'll be hurt by a little more patience in this area, but Reynolds should be called up to the Springs shortly.

Looking at the options outside, I think there's enough of a bidding war for Mark Buehrle that the cost in talent for him will be prohibitive, with the Brewers, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees, Mets and Red Sox among the teams expressing interest. If we have to look this direction, a better route than following the herd might be to offer a bat like Atkins or Baker to the Angels and try to get a decent young pitcher back.

Speaking of Krieger, compare his evaluation of Dan O'Dowd on Friday to Richard Justice's take on Houston GM Tim Purpura. Of course, O'Dowd's first season or so with the Rox was about as disastrous as Purpura's year with the Astros is proving to be, so perhaps we should preach at least a little patience to the loyal fans in Houston.

Troy E. Renck talks to Willy T about getting the shaft from umps at first in the almost no-hitter that shouldn't have been, and has various other notes including confirmation of the Octavio Dotel rumor Ken Rosenthal mentioned the other day.

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