Okay, so the team's a step or two ahead of me right now, getting Manny Corpas to sell out his arbitration years plus possibly one free agent season with an extension the sides agreed to yesterday. As the Troy Renck story indicates, much like Troy Tulowitzki's deal this one sets some precedent in the less than two years service time department, coming in as the largest extension ever to a reliever at that experience level.
This deal seems to me to carry quite a bit more risk than Tulo's does, as relievers can have vast swings in performance levels from year to year thanks to the small innings pitched samples and thanks to the more fragile nature of pitchers to begin with. I see it as a role of the dice that could turn out very well for the Rockies, however, as Corpas' career has started about as well as what could have possibly been hoped for and he certainly seems on a path to late inning stardom.
Mark Kizla's back to writing about the Rockies, may we all duck and cover. He fawns some false praise on Jeff Francis, who despite being the Rockies Opening Day starter still shouldn't be considered the team's ace. Maybe Baldo can take that mantle, maybe Morales, but Francis is a very good pitcher, a solid number two that gives us a chance to win more often than not. Comparing him to true aces like Webb, Peavy and Josh Beckett doesn't hold water and I have troubles when people try to make the square peg fit in a round hole like this.
As for the outcome yesterday, the Rockies know that winning against the White Sox in February could mean as much as losing would have. The games aren't meaningless so long as they are used to legitimately fine tune the team for winning in April through September, and ultimately, as Francis asserts in the Tracy Ringolsby article:
Update [2008-2-28 14:17:8 by Rox Girl]:
This week has been busy for me, so I haven't been able to check out all the sites that are normally regular reads for me and I therefore missed that Russ had participated in a Two on Two preview of the NL West at Baseball Analysts. Oops. Sorry.