Sunday Rockpile: Pitch in or hitch out

The Rockies were 6-6 at Coors Field last season in third game rubber matches despite being five games better than .500 overall at home. Letting a few winnable series get away from them on getaway day proved costly, and was just one of the many reasons the team failed to live up to expectations in 2008. Today will be the Rockies first 2009 test in this department, as they face a beatable opposing pitcher with their own staff leader on the mound.

Last night's defeat was one of sound mind over shaky mind according to Patrick Saunders, and watching the differences in composure between Brett Myers and Jorge De La Rosa, it's hard to argue with him.

The front office vows to keep honest, open dialogue with the players and coaches this season, which I imagine can be tough when some players like JDLR seem to crack under adversity.

Tracy Ringolsby is seeing the same thing that many of us are after Jason Hammel's debut with the team last night: he's not ready to take the fifth starter role from Franklin Morales. This presents a Matt Belisle roster quandary, as the Rockies will almost certainly have to designate him for assignment come April 21st if they want Morales back on the 25 man roster. I believe Hammel's a better long term answer than Belisle for a long relief/swing starter role, but unless Jason learns how to attack left handers quickly, he might be the inferior short term solution. So do you just take a hit when long right handed relief is called for? If it means an upgrade to your rotation and therefore presumably less need of long relievers in general, than yes, do it.

It's going to hurt to wind up losing three pitchers to get through all of this, but I think only one of them (Aneury Rodriguez) was going to be of significant value to the Rockies in the long run, and that wasn't going to be for another few seasons. Assuming that the team does decide to recall Morales, the 25 man roster after April 21, should be better than what it was before we started this juggling, and if we're playing to win this season, that's the most important consideration

Woody Paige missed seeing Dex in the lineup last night. I sometimes get the impression that he's actually starting to like this team.

More Post notes indicate we could see more if Ian Stewart today. Spilly's attendance of the Springsteen concert seemed to cool off his bat faster than Tulopalooza did. Let's hope it heats up again just as fast.

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