Thursday Rockpile: Happy Thanksgiving!

The Rockies massive personnel transformation over the last two years continues to make many of these AP photos obsolete. - Doug Pensinger

So I'm not going to have much for this post, just because there's not a lot of Rockies news right now.

I'm in agreement with J. Aberle on this, but I really like the Ryan Wheeler for Matt Reynolds swap that the Rockies made this week. You can read Baseball America's take here. Wheeler's not a typical power hitter, but he should become an overall solid offensive player whose usually limited power will play up at Coors Field, making him a bit more suited for corner work than he would be at sea level. There's a solid chance that he could emerge as the Rockies best option for starting at third base in 2013 if he takes any sort of step forward offensively or defensively over the winter, and as was pointed out in yesterday's Rockpile, there's a looming first base hole that could need filled as soon as next season as well. A full potential Rosario/Wheeler/Rutledge/Tulo/Arenado infield could be serving the Rockies very well come 2014, it's a bit of light that's starting to show at the end of this current tunnel.

Speaking of the current tunnel, if you're the type that's into statistical projection systems as a tool to help forecast what to expect for the coming season (I would suggest it, especially if you're currently trying a "gut" method of projecting instead) you can't do much better in accuracy than Heltonfan's NEIFI system, plus he's providing it to us for free, which makes it even more awesome. Unfortunately, he's the bearer bad news for now, as both Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa are realistically a lot more problematic than we as fans or the Rockies front office hope for in our purple tinted visions. This is one of the major downsides of 2012, as the pitching performance was so bad team-wide that we have to lower our expectations going forward for just about everybody on the staff.

The one issue that some fans (see the comments of the MLB Trade Rumors post for examples) have been bringing up with the Reynolds/Wheeler trade is that the Rockies need to be trading for more pitching and this move seems to be the opposite of that. However, with only 12 or 13 MLB slots for those pitchers on the MLB staff, it's going to be necessary for the team to bump the bottom rung back down to AAA if they make any sort of upgrades to the major league staff. Reynolds, as a LOOGY was in that bottom rung area and if all goes well in the remaining off season, he would have been one of the players we should hope would be bumped to the margins of fighting for a roster spot.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody, enjoy the holiday!

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