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Views from the Top Row - Good news on Stewart, more Torrealba rumors

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First of all, in the footnotes to Troy Renck's Post column praising Ryan Shealy's skills, we get this important tidbit for prospect watchers:

A follow-up exam with the Rockies' hand specialist revealed no fracture or damage to third-base prospect Ian Stewart's left wrist.

Which erases a large part of the doubt regarding how ready our top prospect will be for 2006. The article also reiterates a Shealy to Cleveland for Josh Bard scenario, which I have to repeat leaves me feeling very queasy unless we get some other quality prospect as well.

Speaking of our pursuit of a catcher, two Washington state newspapers continue to print that the Rockies are interested in Yorvit Torrealba, the Post-Intelligencer and the Tacoma News Tribune. Again nothing concrete has come out of our camp, but the first link says "a deal could be in the works in a matter of days" which means talks are already in the advanced stages, probably with haggling over what prospect is in the return to Seattle being the last hold-up.

At the official site, a mailbag to Thomas Harding goes over the three Millers: Matt, Tony and Jim, populating our minor league ranks. The answer Harding gives from player development director Marc Gustafson on Matt should be parsed carefully, "he's an offensive left fielder who had a huge year, not only offensively, but also with his work defensively." I emphasized the key words, the work Matt's putting in, and the impressive bat he has, have rightfully pushed him into our top prospect lists, but his game still has room for growth and isn't that close to MLB ready, particularly outside the batter's box (I've heard this sentiment from two reliable sources) but look for him to continue to build on his fantastic 2005.

Similar words by Dan O'Dowd in regards to Tony Miller refer more to all aspects of his game, both offensively (cutting down on the K's) and defensively. On the final note, regarding Jim Miller,

Miller had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, on the heels of 34 saves in Class A and Double-A. When he's ready will depend on his mastery of the curve and breaking ball, but he has a Major League-level fastball. It will be best for the Rockies if they have an experienced bullpen and don't need him, but he could be ready if injuries and non-performance arise.

Yeah, it would be nice if I had a monkey who laid thousand dollar bills as well, but let's be honest, "injuries and non-performance" always arise, even in the best bullpens. Look for Jim to be in purple pinstripes at least at some point by September.