Troy Renck and Patrick Saunders Answer Questions

As advertised in the RockPile this morning, Troy Renck and Patrick Saunders conducted a Q and A this afternoon on

RockiesMagicNumber and I, along with a few others, dropped in to interrogate them.  They (mostly Renck) covered a multitude of topics.  Here is the script of the highlights:

Renck even addressed PurpleRow specifically:

"For what it's worth, I recognize your post from Purple Row (speaking to RMN). It's a terrific site. I learn a lot about my faults on that site" -Renck

Predicting the Closer:

"On the closer, it's way too early to tell. If we see the Manny we saw in 07, I think he's the guy, because of his power slider. But he's got a lot to prove." - Saunders

"Street has more experience and pounds the strike zone. Corpas has stopped trying to be cute and is relying on his sinker and slider. Both have closer stuff. I think Street has slight edge because of experience, but I have never seen Manny this motivated...Keep an eye on that situation. The Rockies aren't kidding around when they say they are evaluating everything. If either has command issues, he will have trouble changing minds" - Renck


On a Roy Halladay Trade: 

"It would take quite a haul. Ian Stewart would almost certainly be involved. I can't see the Rockies giving up Chacin. I talked with Ricciardi this winter and he called Halladay the face of the Blue Jays. To even consider moving him reflects the team's economic woes.To continue they didn't sign a single free agent to a major league contract. Their one signing was Kevin Millar. Halladay isa game-changer. If he's out there, the Rockies need to make a strong push to bring hom the local kid" - Renck


On Passing on Joe Beimel:

"Money was reason on Beimel. Agent wanted multi years. And even when the market crashed on client, a one-year price tag in $4M range was deemed too high. He was going to come cheap or not at all" - Renck


Predicted Lineup:

"This is an educated guess. CF Spilly., SS Tulo, 1B Todd, 3B Atkins, RF Hawpe, C Iannetta, LF Smith, 2B Barmes, RHP Cook" - Renck

"I'm back from Hurdle's post-practice presser. He made two things clear, going into Cactus League games, Barmes is No. 1 at second and Seth Smith has the edge in left" - Saunders

On Todd's Playing Time:

"I asked Todd a couple of weeks ago if he could handle 110-120 games. He said he plans to play much more. I love Todd, but I won't believe it till I see it." - Saunders


What To Expect From Ubaldo:

"Judging by his performance this winter, and the person he is, I think the sky's the limit for Ubaldo. Growing pains? Sure, but not big drop off. FYI, I call him Cy, for Cy Young" - Saunders


Podsednik's Role:

"I believe Podsednik is a sleeper because this team needs SOME speed. I like the idea of trying Pods in left and Spilly in center and hitting first and second in the order. Would be interesting to see how that would work in spring training to see if it has any legs, so to speak...I am not saying he will start. But I do believe the Rockies need to be open-minded about their lineup. Speed isn't a necessity, but their best lineups have always had some" - Renck


On Our Very Special Boy:

"Iannetta should have more power with more at-bats. Give him 100 more that should translate to 22-to-25 home runs. His RBI total will go up because he will hit consistently higher in the lineup. Look around the league, and there aren't a lot of good young catchers...Russell Martin and McCann are stars and the field thins out pretty quickly. Iannetta needs to work on his presence, leadership. I think that will naturally evolve in time, though. He's a very bright guy. He gets it." - Renck


Predicted Rotation:

"1. Aaron Cook. 2. Ubaldo Jimenez. 3. Jason Marquis. 4. Jorge De La Rosa. 5. Greg Smith. I know fans are excited about Franklin Morales, but I think he needs to prove himself." -Saunders


On Orlando Hudson:

"Here's the deal with Hudson. He's not asking for much, a one-year deal in the $5M to $7 million range. But the Rockies don't have the money for that. They are committed to giving Barmes and Baker a shot. Hudson would be worth expanding the payroll, but my gut tells me he ends up with the Dodgers in the next few days. That's what my sources believe, though the Manny Ramirez situation could complicate the matter if it continues to drag out. I have been told LA has room for both players, though" - Renck


On an Atkins trade:

"if the Rockies are contending in July, it would be harder to trade Atkins if he's a force in the middle of the order. If they aren't, he will likely be traded, if not then, then in the winter.  An argument can be made for trading Garrett for pitching. Here's the deal: if Tulo and Iannetta prove to be right-handed forces in the lineup, it will be much easier to move Atkins. Stewart, remember, could see time in left with Smith." - Renck


On the Rockies' lack of speed:

"The Rockies have speed issues. Barmes and Spilly can run a bit, so too might Tulo. But here's a thought, what about Podsednik in center and Spilly in left? I have a feeling Pods could be a sleeper if this team's speed becomes a real issue. He looks great in camp, for what it's worth" - Renck


On Joe Koshansky:

"He's in a tough spot. There's no way he breaks camp with team unless Helton's back balks, and even then, Atkins would likely start at first base. I think they should consider trading Koshansky to fill another need in the minor-league system..." - Renck

"Remeber, they made a nice deal with Ryan Shealy that brought back Affeldt. I am not saying that's out there, but Koshansky has value" - Saunders


Predicting Tulowitzki:

"I would be surprised if Tulo doesn't have a big year. He's in a good place right now. I would think .290, 25 and 100 RBIs are within reach" - Saunders


On EY Jr Making Barmes Expendable:

"Barmes has value. Orioles and Padres come to mind. They could use him at SS. But that's a little ambitious for EY Jr. He's on the radar, but will likely start in AAA" - Renck


On the Most Approachable Rockies:

"I've covered a lot of pro teams, including the Broncos. None are more freindly than Rox. Our go-to guys: Tulo, Barmes, Cook, Francis, Spilly and Helton (sometimes)" - Saunders


On Iannetta in the WBC:

"I don't think it's a secret the Rockies weren't thrilled with Iannetta's decision, but I'm all for it. His teammates think it will be good for him. Nobody is more dilligent than Chris. Missing camp won't hurt him. I think he's in for a great year" - Renck


Comparing CarGo and Fowler:

"Regarding Fowler and CarGo (love that nickname). As much as I love Fowler's upside, he has a long way to go offensively. CarGo gets the jump on this one. No reason to rush Fowler." - Saunders


On the Lineup Facing LHP:

"There's no question the lineup will be massaged against lefties. That's where Stewart could find his niche, but I dont' see Hawpe sitting out against LHPs anymore, not if they want him to hit cleanup" - Renck


Todd Helton's Contributions:

"Helton will help because he is a tough out. I am not crazy about him hitting third if he has no power, but there's no doubt that pitchers hate facing him. A good year would be .315 16 and 75, based on time off for the back" - Renck


Griffey in LF at Coors?:

"Griffey in left is an interesting proposal, but not happening. He wants to play in Atlanta to be close to his kids. I am not sure LF in Coors would be a good fit for Griffey at this stage. Time and injuries have robbed him of his range" - Renck


On Minor League Catching Depth:

"I met Wilin (Rosario) last summer in Casper, great kid with a future. But I think McKenry is the next big thing at catcher. I could see and Iannetta-McKenry duo in a year or two. FYI, I think the Rox should give Iannetta a long-term deal" - Saunders


On the Status of Casey Weathers:

"Don't know on Weathers. I talked to David Price during the World Series about him, and he said Casey was recovering fine and looking forward to 2010. If he hadn't blown out, he would have made the team in camp [this year], IMO" - Renck


Lineup Consistency:

"The Rockies need to find stability in the lineup. I am not sure that's possible because of all the moving parts in the outfield. A more consistent lineup should help cure part of the problems with runners in scoring position" - Renck


On A-Rod and Steroids:

"Many of the players sat around and watched the AROD presser. Some with rolled eyes, others with nodding heads. A lot of these guys are anxious to move on. Some would like all 103 names released to help remove the guilty by association tag." - Renck


On Potential Injuries in the Rotation:

"If there's any issue with Jimenez, Cook or Marquis, the Rockies are doomed. Those guys gobble innings, and can win double-figure games. De La Rosa is the wild card. He could drop or ascend quickly. He's like a streaky hitter." -Renck


On Why the Giants Aren't Pursuing Manny:

"They aren't pursuing Manny more because of the money, and they don't want to bid against themselves. They got played in the Zito signing. And frankly, they have a PhD in dealing with Divas after Bonds, so they aren't tripping over themselves to create that circus again. But man can Manny hit" -Renck


The Four Who Need to Stand Tall:

"If this team wins, it will be Tulo, Atkins, Iannetta, Hawpe. Career years are necessary for a team to do big things" - Renck


On Francis' Arm:

"The MRI showed normal wear and tear. It's possible there's a small tear in labrum flap that's creating an impingement. You can tall I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, i am sure" -Renck


On Bubble Spots in the Pen:

"Rusch is the favorite as the longman. Fogg could sneak in there as well. Speier is the most vulnerable" - Renck


On Bubble Spots in the Rotation:

"I think the pitcher to keep an eye on for a spot in the rotation is Jason Hirsh. If there is a sixth man, he's it. I think Rusch makes the team as a long, lefty reliever."- Saunders


On Joe Mikuluk:

"I haven't met Mick. Everyone says that lava-spewing eruption was a little out of character. I will ask stewart more about him" - Renck


Who's the Pinch-Hitter?:

"On the pinch-hit situation, that's a great question: Depends on LF battle. But could be Smith/Baker/Luis Gonzalez" - Renck.....yes, he did say Luis and not Carlos

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. But the above FanPost does not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or views of Purple Row's staff (unless, of course, it's written by the staff [and even then, it still might not]).

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