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Monday Pebble Report:

Check out Baseball America's Prospects Blog for which Rox are among the minor league leaders in certain statistical categories. Eric Young, Michael Paulk, Keith Wieser, Brandon Hynick and Steven Register rank in good categories, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chaz Roe rank highly in a bad one.

Colorado Springs: Josh Newman continues to look like a better pitcher than Tom Martin. He struck out two in his one inning of work yesterday, which was about the only highlight of a 4-0 loss. I don't know if AAA is where Newman peaks, but he's looking like he needs a shot at one more level. So the problem with replacing Martin with Newman is in the latter's results against left handed batters there at the Springs. A situational lefty is supposed to be dominant against left handed hitters and better than he is against right handed hitters, and in run average, that hasn't been the case with Josh so far. Part of this is selection bias, because of his role, Newman will be used most frequently against the top left handed hitters and relatively weak right handed ones, but a lot has to do with those five walks he's given up against southpaws. Newman tightens the control, and our Martin infestation might finally have a solution.

Tulsa:Alan Johnson got a homerun from Duke Sardinha and nothing else, but once again shut out the AA opposition for Tulsa to provide another victory to the Drillers. He's definitely created a dilemma for the powers that be:

"That decision is up to the (Rockies) front office," Drillers manager Stu Cole said. "But he has definitely done an outstanding job when he's been here."

That quote comes from the more complete game review in today's Tulsa World.

Modesto: It's a tricky call regarding Johnson. With Tomas Santiago's injury the other day, the Nuts would be shorthanded in pitching even with Johnson. Keith Weiser could possibly be called up, but I would think the Rockies would want to make sure Josh Sullivan was healthy and able to step back into the Tourists' number one slot before they made that decision.

Brandon Durden took the hard luck loss yesterday, pitching well for eight innings but not getting enough run support to cover it. Durden wasn't dominating, he scattered nine hits and a walk and gave up three runs, but his 14-8 GB-FB indicates his stuff was mostly effective. Jeff Kindel homered and doubled and drove in the Nuts' only two runs batting out of the sixth slot. Leadoff man Dexter Fowler got aboard three times but didn't come around to score, and would have been served by being closer to Kindel in the lineup, but Jeff's struggles on the season so far justified him being that low yesterday. Hopefully, he moves up now that he's showing signs of breaking out of his slump.

Asheville: Almost as frustrating as the Rockies' loss yesterday was the heartbreaker in Asheville, as the Tourists battled back from an eight to four deficit to tie the game in the seventh inning, only to be shut down in the last two frames and suffer a 9-8 defeat. Because Asheville plays in such a small field, Victor Ferrante's inside the park homerun is one of the rarest of feats you'll see there. Michael McKenry and Matt Repec also homered for the Tourists.

One thing that I can say about Michael Paulk that I've been meaning to bring up from the reaction to other statements I've made about him is that they prove to me that one pre-draft question about him has been emphatically answered. Baseball America's Allan Simpson wrote this about him:

Cal State Northridge's best draft pick should be lefthanded-hitting OF Mike Paulk (71), who led his team with 12 homers and 42 RBIs. He has impressive bat speed but doesn't have a great feel for the game.

This seems to me like a bogus scout category anyway, but reading all the praise for Paulk's defense at first this season leads me to believe that Paulk's "feel for the game" is very much alive and well. I've been convinced enough that I too have sold him short (even though I'm still uncertain what his future in the system is) and he'd be in my revised Asheville top 10 for sure.

Extended Spring: Another player I want to correct the record with is due to omission, but I left Yull Silano out of my Extended Spring Training top 10 and didn't list him as a potential starter the other day. He'd probably be in the top five or six of the first category, and I see him as a potential #3 right now in the second.