Wednesday Rockpile: Outfielders Dropping Like Flies (When Hawpe is in RF)

Brad Hawpe hits like John Kruk, but runs like...well, John Kruk actually.

Even as the Smiths Greg and Seth carried the Rockies to glorious victory over the New York Mets last night, a troubling injury bug seems to have bit Colorado, as Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe left the game after hitting a 2 RBI double in the first inning with a tight left quad muscle. Hawpe is listed as day-to-day and the injury doesn't sound like it will ground the lefty for long, but manager Jim Tracy was non-committal about Hawpe's return:

"We're going to wait and see where he's at," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "I don't think it's all that serious, but I can't sit here and tell you how many days we're talking about right now. We're going to let this settle down and check back on it tomorrow."

Hawpe's injury was of course the second for a Rockies outfielder in two games after Carlos Gonzalez pull up lame with a tight hamstring on Sunday. Gonzalez was available to pinch-hit in last night's game but the Rockies' beatdown of the Mets rendered that unnecessary. With any luck CarGo will be in the lineup tonight in right field as Seth Smith takes the field in left. Injuries are testing the Rockies' depth, but the Rockies have responded well thus far--and indeed, they just may be forcing Jim Tracy to play the best players.

Hopefully Seth can take this newfound, short-term opportunity and run with it. He certainly performed well in the leadoff hole last night and may have regained his sweet swing. It was Greg Smith's first MLB victory since his time with the Oakland A's (9/6/08). Jim Armstrong wonders in the article what happens to Smith when Jeff Francis returns from the DL. To that I reply that either (if Francis is somewhat himself) would be just fine filling out the starting rotation.

Meanwhile, the Miguel Olivo 100 home run watch continues. As you may be aware, Olivo has 98 home runs in his career. What makes this interesting/historic is that DINGERZ only has 99 walks in his career, giving him the chance to be the first player in major league history with 100 HRs to have more dingers than free passes.

It appears that with his hot start Olivo has settled into the 1A role in Tracy's catcher rotation, having caught 4 of the 7 games so far. With the way Olivo is hitting right now, this isn't a horrible thing, but it is revealing just how quickly Tracy (apparently) moved Olivo ahead of Chris Iannetta in the pecking order. Hopefully both men will produce prodigiously for the Rockies as the season goes on, neither being too worn down.

Troy Renck has a mailbag in which he answers questions about S. Smith, the Rockies' baserunning, a holdout from the Catcher Wars, and several others.

Finally, for those of you who pay attention to these things, the CBS Power Rankings have the Rockies 4th and the SB Nation Power Rankings rate Colorado 7th.

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