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Monday Morning Rockpile:

Todd Helton's quote from yesterday's Rockpile got me to thinking about who really is to blame for the Rockies' mounting losses, if not the pinch hitter, and if Todd's implying that he'd rather see us cut them loose. Here's the Rox top five and bottom five in WPA, a stat that's pretty good at measuring who's coming up big and who's flunking out in important situations:

  1. Todd Helton 1.64
  2. Matt Holliday 1.55
  3. Troy Tulowitzki 1.51
  4. Kazuo Matsui 0.45
  5. Chris Iannetta 0.39
  6. Jeff Baker -0.64
  7. Willy Taveras -0.67
  8. Jamey Carroll -0.74
  9. Steve Finley -0.95
  10. Garrett Atkins -1.00
It's kind of surprising, actually, isn't it? I mean, we're obviously missing Kaz (who returns tonight, yeay!!) but that Iannetta would actually rank fifth is a pretty bad indictment of how bad the team outside the top three has been in run producing situations this year. And this also means that yesterday, when Clint Hurdle pinch hit for Iannetta with Jeff Baker with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, he was actually taking the hitter who's been more trustworthy in clutch situations out of the game. Baker's performance in that situation actually bumped John Mabry out of the fifth worst slot, so the pinch hitter who wasn't pinch hitting probably still deserved the axe by Helton's standards, but the question remains what to do about those bottom three names.

O'Dowd wants Tulo to move to the fifth or sixth slot in the lineup, which would bump Atkins down to a less damaging slot, but that decision is up to Clint Hurdle, according to Patrick Saunders. What are the bets that he makes the right call on this one? At least it also means that Carroll gets benched, but there is a drawback in that our best left handed bat off  the bench (Omar Quintanilla) now will probably head back to the minors.