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Views from the Top Row - More Good News on Ryan Shealy

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Besides lighting it up in the Olympic qualifier (where he was named MVP), according to Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News, Ryan Shealy's work in the outfield is progressing very nicely. So nicely, in fact, that in a welcome surprise, the Rockies have come to their senses in regards to going after Marquis Grissom (Ryan Spilborghs continuing with a hot bat in Mexico also helps).

The article also chimes in on the unfolding pursuit of a catcher, with former Rockies farmhand Josh Bard gettting another mention as a primary target. Bard would be less of an offensive threat than Paul LoDuca, but would also be considerably cheaper and younger. the final few notes are on a few players the Rockies had expressed interest in but are asking for contracts well beyond what we're willing to approach at this time. Kudos to the team for not caving to Shawn Estes and Pedro Astacio's demands.

For those ESPN insiders among you, Dan O' Dowd talks with Buster Olney about staying the course with our youth, I can save you the dime and tell you it's nothing you haven't heard before if you've been following the team regularly. The fact that we're actively trying to lock in our best young players like Brian Fuentes, Aaron Cook and Matt Holliday into longer term deals hopefully gets us out of being the de facto Ny Yankees, Boston Red Sox farm team we'd started to become.

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Since I did something like this the other day with the backstops, I thought I might also point out how much room there is for improvement in our corner outfield positions in relation to the rest of the division (this time, I'm deferring to Beyond the Box Score's compilations:

2005 NL West Left Field by Win Shares:

  1. Colorado, 23 WS
  2. Arizona, 23 WS
  3. San Diego, 22 WS
  4. San Francisco, 18 WS
  5. Los Angeles, 13 WS
Absolutely brutal production from the Dodgers in this corner is another reason their season was wrecked. Depending on how many games Barry's able to play in San Francisco, we should probably expect a higher output by the Giants, while Arizona will likely decline a smidgen with Luis Gonzalez. San Diego will likely drop back a step or two with the aging Ryan Klesko still getting most of the time as well. If we expect a reasonable step up in production, really, Matt Holliday should be the best overall in the division in left field next year, as I don't expect Bonds to play in enough games to finish ahead of him.

Right Field

  1. San Diego, 34 WS
  2. Los Angeles, 23 WS
  3. Arizona, 21 WS
  4. San Francisco, 17 WS
  5. Colorado, 16 WS
That sixteen we put up represents the lowest in the National League for last year, so this is one key area where we can improve, and you can see why the Rockies put it on their priority list for the offseason. Thankfully, however, with Shealy and Spillborghs they discovered in time that their in-house candidates were more likely to give them what they were looking for than the affordable outside help. What should we expect from the rest of the division? San Diego will drop down to our 2005 level, LA will likely benefit a bit from a healthy JD Drew, and I'm not seeing Arizona moving a lot up or down. San Francisco has done nothing, expecting a healthier Barry Bonds to give Moises Alou near full time work in right. Don't count on it, the Giants will only see marginal increases at best.