Saturday Rockpile: Keith Law's pumped about a couple of Nuts; Hurdle "officially concerned" about Atkins; more

ESPN's Keith Law recently went to check out a game between Modesto and San Jose, mostly to check out guys in the Giants' system. However, he came away impressed with a pair of Rockies' farmhands instead (Insider access only). Bruce Billings was throwing a top-notch sinker, coming in at around 90-93, and San Jose's hitters were having a very tough time squaring up on the ball (sounds like Aaron Cook when he's at his best). Law says Billings doesn't currently have a second pitch that would grade higher than a 45 on the scale, but he is considered a prospect, even if it's only as a reliever. He also came away psyched about Hector Gomez (as the rest of us have been for a couple of years); Gomez hit two line-drive home runs int he game. Law's thoughts on Hector:

Gomez missed all of 2008 with a pair of injuries, including Tommy John surgery, but his arm has clearly recovered and is at least a 60 at short. He has great bat speed, accelerating his wrists late and swinging hard every time; he's on his front foot early but keeps some of his weight back, and then swings with everything he's got. He's a plus runner and got down the line in four seconds flat on a bunt for a hit, but in his last at-bat showed little regard for whether or not each pitch was near the strike zone. He's an exciting talent and has the tools to be an impact player in the majors; he belongs in the Futures Game this year on the World Team.

Exciting news for the Rockies, for sure. Hopefully, Gomez is able to stay healthy and begin making a quick ascent through the system.

Garrett Atkins sat for the second straight time in last night's 8-3 loss to Florida, which means that Clint Hurdle is now officially concerned about his slow start, according to the Denver Post. Atkins has hit well at home, but has been a disaster on the road - where most of the Rockies' games have taken place. I might get beaten up for this, aybe Hurdle should throw him back in the lineup while the Rox are on their home stand - Atty's OPS is .904 at Coors Field, and the Rockies' offense has struggled the past couple of games.

Inside the Rockies posted some "Quick Hits" from the game last night. The one that grinds my gears the most is Clint Barmes' 3-for-27 slide, and the fact that he has struck out 4 times in his past 9 at bats (all of them hitless, by the way). I don't want to jump his case too much, I'd just like to say that I thought it was funny last night after he struck out swinging at a curveball that was 10 feet off the plate and Frazier said "you don't see that too often from Barmie." Are you watching the same Rockies that we're watching, Fraz'? On a positive note, Huston Street has pitched five consecutive scoreless innings and has been fairly dominant in his last six outings. That is wonderful news for the Rockies' bullpen, as Street looks like he's regaining his All-Star form.

Jorge De La Rosa will face his nemesis tonight, writes Cheng Sio of MLB.com. JDLR is 1-3 with an 11.57 ERA against the Fish, and has never made it out of the fifth inning. Jorge's been pretty solid so far this year, so let's hope he'll turn the tide against Florida with a good outing later on this evening.

Nobody (outside of myself, now) has written anything this morning/last night about the struggles of Matt Belisle (unless I haven't looked hard enough), but that guy is really bumming me out, and I'm thinking the Rockies probably need to consider cutting ties with him. He's had approximately one very good and two decent outings all year, and has allowed six out of eight inherited runners to score. I'm probably overreacting and it's probably too early, but this dude has really been a thorn in the side of the Rockies' bullpen (of course, he's not alone). /mindless rant

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