Tuesday Rockpile: Daniel Winkler overshadowed in Rockies prospect ranks, but for how long?

Daniel Winkler pitching in minor league spring training. - Caitlin Rice

Daniel Winkler is doing his best to stand out in a crowded Tulsa rotation. Plus, lots of notes on the recent success of Jordan Lyles, Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado.

Rockies Mailbag: Daniel Winkler outpitching top prospects at Double-A - The Denver Post
Patrick Saunders talks prospects in his latest mailbag, giving particular attention to Winkler, who is flat-out eating hitters alive for the second straight season. I'm of the opinion that, for several reasons, Winkler should be the next in line to get a call to the big leagues should the Rockies be hit with another injury, or if Franklin Morales has a string of poor outings. More on that in a bit.

In a bit of humor, "Lars" from Durango asked why Jim Wright still has a job, bringing up the success that Morales and Hammel had elsewhere. As Saunders correctly noted, Morales was not a world-beater in Boston, and as far as Hammel is concerned, "Lars" clearly doesn't remember that Hammel credited Wright for helping him rediscover himself during a stint in the Rockies bullpen late in 2011. Actually, I would argue that Wright -- along with Mark Wiley -- are HUGE reasons why Rockies pitchers have made such tremendous strides since the beginning of last season. Maybe "Lars" should pay a bit more attention to what he's seeing rather than get sucked into the never-ending negative narrative surrounding the Rockies' pitching staff.

Jordan Lyles emerging with Rockies as team around him takes off | Rockies.com: News
Tracy Ringolsby wrote a nice piece about Lyles, who shut down the Rangers for eight innings on Monday. Lyles entered the game with poor numbers against Texas in a not-insignificant sample size, as I noted in Know Your Foe, but his performance against the Rangers this time around lends credence to the belief that he is a completely different pitcher in 2014.

GIF: Nolan Arenado extends hitting streak with home run - Rox Pile
Hayden Kane has a GIF of Arenado's homer that got the Rockies on the board on Monday night. The ease with which Nolan pulled his hands in and barreled up that inside pitch was a beautiful thing to watch. This dude has always been able to hit, in the pure sense of the word, but now he's starting to do so with some authority. He's making himself into a rather tough out for major league pitchers.

Dominant Rockies: Tulo, Arenado, Lyles - Stats & Info Blog - ESPN
Mark Simon presents an updated heat map for Troy Tulowitzki, who is hitting .596 at Coors Field. He also includes another absurd Tulo stat: the Rockies shortstop at home is 15-for-18 -- FIFTEEN FOR EIGHTEEN -- with four home runs with men on base. It doesn't matter where you're playing games. Those are just stupid, stupid numbers. Simon also has blurbs on Arenado and Lyles, including Nolan's improved performance on pitches down in the zone and Lyles' formula for success at altitude.

Baseball Prospectus | What You Need to Know: Tulo on a Tear
The Rockies are the subject of Daniel Rathman's series at B-Pro. He writes about something we already know but should be noticed by the rest of the country: that, for as good as Tulo and Arenado are offensively, they might be an even better left-side combination on defense.

Around the league

Giants win sixth straight in bizarre extra-innings game - McCovey Chronicles
As well as the Rockies are playing, the Giants are playing even better, which is why the Rox haven't been able to take control of the NL West despite their current 4-1 homestand and 14-7 stretch since their last series loss -- which, of course, came at the hands of San Francisco.

Ranking baseball's most exciting plate appearances. | SportsonEarth.com : Will Leitch Article
Leitch ranks the most exciting plays in baseball, leading with the inside-the-park home run. What does your list look like?

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