Wednesday Rockpile: Enter the Rutlegend

July 21, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Josh Rutledge (14) hits an RBI single during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

SMALL SAMPLE SIZE! SMALL SAMPLE SIZE! GET YOUR SMALL SAMPLE SIZES HERE! In a dismal 2012 season (60 losses with a week left in July!), I don't much care. Josh Rutledge (the Rutlegend) has been a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. In fWAR, he's been just as valuable in 44 plate appearances as Marco Scutaro has been in 407. In rWAR he's been more valuable, though rWAR considers Scutaro to be a replacement level player.

Fresh off his promotion straight from AA, all Josh Rutledge has done in 11 games in the Show is hit .341/.364/.634 with 8 extra base hits while playing shortstop. Sure, it's only 44 plate appearances and his shortstop defense hasn't been rated highly by the advanced metrics, but I for one am very excited to see a prospect from the next generation make his presence felt at the big league table. I'm not making any guarantees here about Rutledge's future (cue sigh of relief), I'm just excited to watch a young player succeed.

2012 was supposed to be a bridge to success in the coming years. Terrible pitching this season has put that plan somewhat in jeopardy, but if Rutledge and Nolan Arenado are able to solidify the infield in the near future, the Rockies should really have a great line-up to at least make them competitive in slugfests.

Rockies Links

Wilin Rosario has been the most impressive newcomer for Colorado this year (though with time Rutledge could usurp that title), so it's good that his ankle injury wasn't serious.

Troy Renck writes about Edwar Cabrera, his struggles in his 2nd big league start, and why the Rockies should have left him in to clean up his own mess.

Meanwhile, Patrick Saunders' mailbag talks about the possibility of trading Dexter Fowler, Jordan Pacheco's future at catcher, and a few other interesting topics. I'm one of the biggest Fowler fans on this site (he's been the most impressive player on the team this season), so it's no surprise I'm against trading him.

Off-Topic.

Ramirez Trade, Hamels Extension

It's already been a busy trade season in MLB, but two pretty big moves happened last night, both of which indirectly affected the Rockies.

The bigger shocker was the fact that Hanley Ramirez is now a LA Dodger. As recently as two years ago, Ramirez was touted as the best shortstop in baseball -- and he's still only 28. Sure, he's owed $31.5 million over the next two years, but even as he's struggled this year, he's still been a league average hitter. In my view, the Dodgers got a player with an elite ceiling, still in his physical prime, and they didn't give up a whole lot to do it. Oh, and they also got a decent LOOGY in Randy Choate in the deal. Faaaaantastic.

In return, the Marlins received Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough -- plus, most significantly to the Marlins, the Dodgers are paying all of Ramirez's salary. Jon Sickels has more on the players headed to the Marlins. Cliff Corcoran of SI has a great breakdown of the trade -- and how it represents a familiar theme for the Marlins.

Secondly, Cole Hamels signed a 6 year, $144 million extension with the Phillies. The contract has a vesting option that could make it worth $160 million. Hamels had long been rumored to be heading toward LA, so this is probably good news for the Rockies. And good news for people who want to see just how much money the Phillies are going to spend to retain their own players.

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