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Monday Morning Rockpile / UPDATE: Zach McClellan called up; Kim to the DL---- Hawkins demoted

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Update [2007-4-16 18:19:57 by malakian]:

A couple of roster moves were announced this afternoon:

-Reliever Zach McClellan was called up from Colorado Springs.
-Byung-Hyun Kim was placed on the 15-day DL (right thumb contusion).

Clint Hurdle also announced that LaTroy Hawkins is no longer the primary set-up man. Manny Corpas and Ramon Ramirez will assume 8th inning roles, while McClellan will intially be used in the 7th inning.
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Monday Moring Rockpile:

These are the cumulative scores of road trips that involve at least two NL West rivals over the past two seasons. This list goes backwards, with the most recent at the top:
2007:
Rockies 28 - Opponents 30 (nine games)
2006:
Rockies 28 - Opponents 36 (six games)
Rockies 29 - Opponents 39 (six games)
Rockies 19 - Opponents 25 (seven games)
Rockies 17 - Opponents 42 (nine games)
Rockies 47 - Opponents 25 (six games)
2005:
Rockies 32 - Opponents 30 (six games)
Rockies 29 - Opponents 32 (nine games)
Rockies 35 - Opponents 31 (six games)
Rockies 27 - Opponents 43 (nine games)
Rockies 18 - Opponents 36 (six games)

Just from a mere score per game standpoint, the best comparison of this most recent series is to the nine game trip we took at the end of August 2005. We went 5-4 that trip, winning four of six one run games. This time, our record in one run games was one and four. We had the same manager both times. One run games are a crapshoot, and if anything the disturbing trend this season is that we're in so many of them, not that we're doing poorly in them.

Let's look at why we're staying close:

Colorado Leadoff Batters: .115 AVG/.313 OPS

Yes, that's the lowest in the majors on both accounts. In slots two through six we're in or just out of the top 10 in the MLB in OPS, taking #1 at slot number five thanks to Holliday. At slot seven in the lineup we take a big dive to #27, as pitchers have been picking Tulowitzki out as a weakness. Troy's been making some solid contact however -he has the highest line drive percentage of balls in play among our regular starters- and I really see this turning around soon, particularly if the better strike zone awareness he showed yesterday holds up. Slot eight has a fairly low OPS, but the sixth highest OBP in the majors. Again, this will improve, chances are starting this week. I am a little disheartened by Iannetta's LD%, note the chart linked above, but his contact didn't seem too bad in the first three games, so hopefully a return home serves him well.

Taveras, meanwhile, really disturbs me. Bunting for hits -at least toward the third base side- was supposed to be a strength of his game, but he's been terrible at it thus far. Yesterday he barely escaped disaster with a squeeze that travelled fifteen feet in the air toward first before dropping. Just a smidge higher and Tulowitzki would have been doubled off of third. He needs some space to back off and at least be the player he was in Houston, but it seems the pressure to be more than that is getting to him.

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Dave Krieger notes some of this in today's Rocky Mountain News without the detail, and also wonders how long we should wait on Hawkins to find his groove.  I'm thinking seven more games.

I'll have a Pebble Report up around 10:00 MDT, as there are a lot of links from around the minors over the weekend I want to get too.