Yeah, BWAA, it's a good thing that you didn't vote Matt or Tulo or Clint into the winner's circle or you would have been so embarrassed when our guys took your silly trinkets and used them as drip pans to catch their engine sludge. We would have melted them down and sold the metal for scrap, or made something truly useful out of it like a set of prawn forks. The only trophies that matter to us come with flags attached. Okay. So the cha-ching after the award might have been welcome to the above guys, but like sg8335aa pointed out yesterday, for us fans the dollars saved might be a blessing in disguise.
Tracy Ringolsby gives a couple of names that only the hard core Rockies fan will find important this morning: Pedro Strop and Esmil Rogers.
Both former infielders turned pitching phenoms were added to the 40 man roster yesterday, the Rox are taking a chance with others left off, but they are in a better position to know who's ready and who's not. Before the Hawaii Winter league I would have argued for Shane Lindsay's inclusion, but I think he showed there that he's still clearly got a long ways to go to recover from last off-season's surgeries to his pitching arm. The article points out that eight others that would have been protected now were already on the roster, I like the inclusions of Newman and Bellorin in this list, but I really wonder if Sean Barker is that valuable to this team.
At any rate, even more hard core fans look around for who other teams protected. And I hate to admit that I am just that nerdy. Our late pick this year in the Rule 5 draft probably means we won't use it to add to our roster but I did take time to compile a list of the players our divisional rivals protected in my quest to gauge where their teams are headed this winter and in the coming seasons:
Arizona - Esmerling Vasquez rhp, Javier Brito 1b/of, Wilkin Castillo c.
These are representative of Arizona's next wave of talent. Brito's a patient enough hitter that he easily makes up for a slight lack of power, Castillo's a good defensive catcher, and Vasquez is a power arm similar to the two we protected but a bit more refined. In light of a serious arm injury suffered during the AFL, I'm kind of surprised that they protected him as he may not be able to pitch next season at all. To me, he profiles best as a reliever, but the Diamondbacks switched him to a starting role in 2006.
Los Angeles - Xavier Paul of, Lucas May c, James McDonald rhp, Ramon Trancoso rhp, Justin Orenduff rhp, Mario Alvarez rhp, Cory Wade rhp.
The Dodgers are rich in pitching talent and they're intent on keeping as much of it as possible. Wade and McDonald are probably the two from this list that will cause us and the rest of the division the most distress down the road.
San Diego - Ernesto Frieri rhp, Wilton Lopez rhp
I wonder if Frieri was protected just because he has the name to match the club. Actually, both are flamethrowers and like Rogers and Strop, exactly the type of pitcher other clubs like to pick up in the Rule 5.
San Francisco - nobody.
How telling of a weak system is that? Like the Rockies, most of the players that San Fran would have protected had already been added through the course of the year, but there wasn't a lot of quality there. This system is getting better, but there are still two or three seasons of growth needed. With the highest pick in the division, obviously the Giants have the best chance of benefitting from taking other teams' leftovers in the Rule 5 draft, I suspect that leaving roster slots open for this went into their thinking.