So this Steven Strasburg kid is impressive, but the Rockies need to get on the phone with Tony Gwynn now to stop these 127 pitch outings. I would have thought Mr. Padre would have been more sensitive to this given that San Diego's our competition here and they don't want his arm to fall off either. Unless they know that we're going to pass them, which is a pretty obvious conclusion to anybody that's seen the Rox lately. Stupid Tony Gwynn, your kid's nice to us, why can't you be? Anyway, let's look a little bit closer at the machinations of the three teams currently in the Strasburg derby:
Seattle: Keeping John McLaren as manager is a tough move to top, but we've got Clint Hurdle, which isn't too shabby either. Jose Vidro as a DH? Excellent gambit, I've got nothing but praise there, but I think they could squeeze maybe one more loss this season by just batting the pitcher in that spot instead and claim it's a protest against the sin of a DH in the first place. Definitely give them bonus points for having a General Manager who actually thought the Mariners were the bees knees this year and traded away their best young players for Erik Bedard, but he might be too naive for the Mariners good in this case. Odds: 3-1
San Diego: I don't know if anybody else noticed the coup the Padres pulled off this week, but trading for Cha Seung Baek was an exquisite play. Not only do you make the Mariners better by subtraction, you've now got a guy with a 73 ERA+ to possibly replace a guy with an 82 ERA+. It's a double whammy! The bad news for Padres fans in their dreams of getting their native son is that Kevin Towers and Paul DePodesta sometimes have too strong a desire to win. You've got to clamp that thing down in a competition like this. Getting angry over losses only makes you go out and cut the Glendon Rusch's and Joe Thatchers of your squad. Just clinch your teeth, say the team needs to pitch better and hit with RISP and then do nothing. Yeah, I just don't think these guys will have it in them to lose enough once Peavy's back. You just can't wash years of winning off that easily. Odds: 5-1
"We're not doing anything, as far as what it takes to win games." Todd Helton
Right now, the Rockies are in excellent position. Our best players are injured, the rotation is full of question marks and the bullpen is leaking like a sieve. Snapping up Rusch in Towers' moment of weakness couldn't have gone better for O'Dowd, as now we have one more underwhelming pitcher to throw out there but at the same time a lot of personnel transactions so it looks like he's not actually trying to lose. All three of these teams might be better able to hide their true intent if they weren't quite so competitive last season, but the Rockies have the most young talent currently, so they are in the best position to get away with the whole "be patient and watch the kids develop" stance. Odds: 5-2
Enough about the 2009 draft, though, the 2008 draft is just days away. Let's get our minds off the team's on field performances of late and use today to talk about what direction you want to see the Rockies take. Anthony Hewitt would be great, but there's a possibility he doesn't last until the 25th pick. Odorizzi? I have no idea who the guy is except for that he's tall and left handed. Jason Castro? He's a solid catching prospect and a nice safe pick at 25. I could live with it, but secretly wish we would do something more daring.