Thursday Rockpile: Aaron Cook heading to DL, and cracks appearing in the Padres rotation

Yarr... Pirates ahead, Cap'n. We need some revenge after they beat us on our home turf. I'm thinking a sweep kind of revenge.

Aaron Cook is expected to head to the 15 day DL, facilitating a return of Jhoulys Chacin to the rotation, Jim Armstrong blogs. The Rockies can't afford weak links in the last two months with the kind of deficit they have to make up, the team hopes this remedies the soft spot in the rotation that's been showing up every five or six days.

Jim Tracy's streak of winning homestands continued and Melvin Mora's okay, according to an Armstrong notes column.

Another, more detailed notes column has a lot of tidbits, including that Wilin Rosario was a big target for other teams prior to the trade deadline. Rosario, who may miss the rest of the minor league season with a sprained knee, was on pace to become only the second 21 year old or younger player in the past decade to hit over 20 HR's in the Texas League. He won't quite get there now, but the other was the Cardinals Colby Rasmus, and as Rasmus is showing this season, it's probably wise St. Louis held onto him when other teams were trying to pry him away. The same will prove true of Rosario. 

So, yeah, back to the Pirates. My personal thought is that the Rockies road woes this season (here's a Dave Krieger column) are getting exaggerated in our minds a bit because we're looking at them after the season's low point. There are not going to be anymore road trips in 2010 worst than that last one. The Rockies certainly need to improve away from Coors down the stretch, but really they also need to calm down (as do we) and not worry about it so much. Remember one of the rules from horror flicks: the panicky ones always make the stupid fatal errors. You don't want to be the teenager that runs straight into the killer's knife here, Rockies. Nobody wants to be that teenager.

San Diego's still 6.5 games ahead of the Rockies, but don't rule out catching them, as their rotation is starting to show signs of wear and tear after starting out inordinately hot:

 

  • Clayton Richard had a 2.74 ERA in 16 starts through June 30, but he's had a 6.11 ERA in the six starts since. Inexplicably despite this, he has a 3-1 record in those starts and the Padres as a team are 4-2. He's never thrown more than 170 innings in his professional career, he's looking somewhat gassed already at just over 137 IP, and the Padres, due to a lack of off days, aren't going to be able to give their starters extra rest anytime soon. 
  • You can't read this unless you highlight this.
  • Wade LeBlanc also has never thrown over 170 IP in his career, like Richard, he's dropped off since the beginning of July, albeit not as far, adding over a run to his ERA and looking more like the fifth starter he should have been all season.
  • Jon Garland, who had a 3.13 ERA and an 8-5 record before July, has had a 4.93 ERA and a 2-2 record since. He's a veteran innings eater, however, so counting on fatigue to be as much a factor for him might not be wise, but as his post July record shows, we can count on him returning to mediocrity.
  • Mat Latos has already passed his professional career high in IP, unlike the other starters for the Padres, however, he has shown no sign of letting up, improving to a 1.41 ERA since the beginning of July. Albeit at 22, and never having thrown so much, I'm still rooting for fatigue to start showing up in his line down the stretch.
  • Kevin Correia has also improved since the beginning of July, but like Garland, there's limited upside here.

 

Forget about looking at Giants statistics similar signs of cracks, as their 22-9 record since the beginning of July should be indication enough that you aren't going to find much to go on. Actually the solace here is that you, they, everybody in their right mind knows that they can't be quite this good. I think the Rockies can still catch both teams, but I'd like to be a couple of games closer by the middle of the month.

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