Thursday Rockpile: East coast sports establishment snubbing Dodgers; the Jonathan Herrera conundrum

While the attention being given to the Rockies by the national press right now is a nice change of pace, I have to wonder what kind of chip it's going to put on the shoulder of a Dodgers team that won the division the last two seasons. In a way, I'm sort of hoping all this love for the Rox drives Los Angeles to push themselves hard out of the gate, with a 162 game slog ahead, having the team that seems likely to be our biggest challenge overreach early is an appealing proposition. In reality, I suspect it's not really going to have any effect on the standings whatsoever, just make the Dodgers and their fans a little more miffed, which I've got to say is a pleasant enough payoff in itself.

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Thomas Harding's article on Jonathan Herrera is positive, but he neglects to point out the obvious roster restrictions that might keep us from seeing the utility infielder until late in the year. Herrera is at a difficult place in his career with the Rockies; in the event something happens to another player on the major league team, he could be an option for a call-up from AAA, but the Rockies would be taking a couple of risks as they would either need to shift a player to the 60-day DL or DFA somebody else to clear a spot on the 40 man roster. Then, whenever the injured player recovered, Herrera himself would have to be put through waivers and exposed to other teams before being reassigned to the minors.

It's for this reason that it's much easier to assume a player like Eric Young Jr. or Chris Nelson, players who are already on the 40 man and have minor league options remaining, meaning they are at no risk to be lost to other teams, would get the first look by the Rockies in the event of a minor injury. Later in the season, when stockpiling AAA insurance and depth isn't as valuable as actually using it, the scales will shift and it will become more likely that the team would be willing to take the risk of losing players on the waiver wire. Until then, Herrera and Omar Quintanilla would seemingly only be options in the event of a season threatening catastrophic injury to either Troy Tulowitzki or Clint Barmes.

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