Wednesday Rockpile: Baseball is Weird

April 24, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) rounds third base after hitting a two run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Carlos Gonzalez now has more homers than Jonathan Herrera. All is right with the world! Oh wait, the Rockies lost to the Pirates thanks to a bullpen meltdown by Rex Brothers and Matt Belisle (right after Belisle received accolades in the Post) as well as a power surge by Clint Barmes and the managerial genius of Clint Hurdle? The world is on its head!

Don't Panic. It's pretty much business as usual for Rockies baseball -- which is to say that in any given game any player can be the hero or the goat. I mean, Belisle had retired 23 of the 24 men he had faced before last night. Two of Colorado's four most valuable position players per Fangraphs in the season's early going are Herrera and Eric Young Jr while the most valuable pitcher is old enough to be my father.

Baseball is weird. That's one of the reasons we all love it. It's also the reason that Barmes can go 3-3 with two doubles and a homer (and his batting line after the game was still only .146/.196/.313) against his former team, which should know better than anyone not to throw him an inside fastball.

It's a long season -- we'll have a game where Herrera, possibly the weakest position player in the National League, hits an opposite field homer that is instrumental in winning us a game. Oh wait, that already happened. More stuff like that is going to happen this year, for and against the Rockies. Long season. Small sample size. Cliche.

The Center Field Job

Per Troy Renck, Dexter Fowler is fighting for his job with upstart Tyler Colvin. There are two main reasons why this may be:

1. Colvin has been pretty darn good when he's put the ball in play -- in the 21 at bats in which he hasn't struck out, Colvin is 10-21.

2. Fowler not putting the ball in play consistently (12.1% of PA end in walks, 25.9% in strikeouts). Walks add value, just not the tangible value that many fans appreciate. Also, Fowler appears to be swinging for the fences -- 5 of his 11 hits have gone for extra bases, but from what I've seen of his swing it's probably why he has only 11 hits.

Then again, Colvin has struck out more than Fowler on a rate basis (31.3% of PA). I'm happy that Jim Tracy has stuck with Fowler to this point and believe that his patience will be rewarded once Fowler starts hitting line drives consistently. Not that Fowler's on both of my fantasy teams or anything.

Off-Topic.

Los Links!

The Rockies are taking advantage of the new CBA rule allowing a 26th man for doubleheaders, calling up right-hander Zach Putnam (acquired for Kevin Slowey) to their bullpen. His stint in the big leagues will likely last only the one day, but he'll probably get a chance to get in one of the games.

Don't look now, but Jorge De La Rosa might be getting a minor league rehab assignment if all goes well in his extended spring training outing today. That would put him on track for a mid to late May return date -- and an interesting dilemma for the Rockies as to who will be sent down when he comes back. My money's on Drew Pomeranz given what I've seen thus far and his option status.

In case you missed it, Andrew 1 talked to Pirates SBN blog Bucs Dugout in their podcast. His section, where the pitching staff and Jim Tracy are discussed, starts about the 17 minute mark.

Irv Moss of the Post talks with one of the men on the original Denver Bears AAA club in 1955.

Finally, Rick Reilly at ESPN relays the great story of Jeremy Guthrie playing a Twitter-organized game of catch with the one legged, newly free of cancer Woody Roseland.

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