Wednesday Morning Rockpile:

Tom Verducci has an excellent piece that somehow encompasses Tulo, Justin Upton, the blooming D-backs/Rockies rivalry, the greatness of the 2005 draft, the remorse of the Toronto Blue Jays for missing the boat in said draft, Denny Neagle and Jackson Holliday even, but somehow makes it work with our prize shortstop the centerpiece that ties everything together.

Less impressive is Phil Rogers' glimpse at the Rockies, where he waffles all over the place about whether the Rockies are a real contender or not. Here's a clue, Phil: They are. Next time, don't be so afraid to make a commitment.

Brian Howell has a column about Matt Holliday in which the slugger talks about how comfortable he is right now -in Colorado, with his contract, with the team- and what he expects for 2008.

Troy Renck notes one of the final decisions of camp, the Scott Podsednik-Cory Sullivan debate. He also adds a note on how Miggy's Cabrera's extension for Detroit provides a glimpse of what an extension for Holliday might look like. Which it doesn't, and Dan O'Dowd says as much since Cabrera -as a certain Hall of Famer if his career stays on course- is at a whole other plane of value to a team. The final note backtracks on the Giles trade to the Dodger rumor that had been circulating -as is the case with most reports of this kind involving players certain to be cut- the Dodgers are only interested in Marcus when they don't have to give up anything.

Tracy Ringolsby includes that tidbit on Giles in a brief note, and he also reports how the Rockies want our young pitchers to emulate what they saw from the White Sox hurlers this Spring. So much so that they plan on using video of Buehrle and Vazquez as a reference point.

Renck and Saunders (not to be confused with this couple) reviewed the Rockies Spring, and who they see as its surprises, triumphs and disappointments. They've been driving the Yorvit Torrealba bandwagon this Spring, and once again label him "most impressive". I'm not going to deny that he's looked sharp, but I've been very impressed by both our catchers in camp!  -as the Rox Press Pass notes point out- both Torrealba and Chris Iannetta have combined for a very solid showing at the plate, but I wish they'd talk more about how sharp the two have looked controlling the running game as well. They've been particularly down on Willy Taveras, which has sort of rankled me. Willy T's looked sharper as the Spring has gone along both batting and particularly on the basepaths, and while he had a better March performance last season, you might remember that before he broke out with a five hit game at Shea Stadium on April 25, he was batting a miserable .192 for the first three and a half weeks of the season. What's most important to me is that he's staying limber and showing that he'll be in the lineup more consistently this season. That said, I agree completely that Taveras might want to be aware that Dexter Fowler's coming up fast behind him.

[UPDATE] The Rockies traded Ramon Ramirez to the Royals for a PTBNL.

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