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Monday Morning Rockpile:

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The Rockies just completed a stretch of games going back to the beginning of May (April 30, actually) where the only opponent with a winning record that they faced in that span was Arizona. After getting off to a rough start, the team turned around and finished 21-18 overall in that run. Not spectacular by any means, and probably not quite decent enough to be worthy of contention, but I could point to articles in papers in each of these opponent cities (those with losing records) citing the same desire to see their team turn the season around in this soft spot of the schedule. As of this morning, the Rockies are the only one of the underperforming group to close to within five games of .500.

These next twenty-five games leading into the All-Star break, however, represent a considerable step up in the degree of difficulty with a dangerous Houston team being the worst of the bunch and the AL and NL leading Mets and Red Sox being the best. They also will determine a lot about how the rest of the year will shake out.

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It would take an absolute disaster in this stretch, I'm thinking over seventeen losses, to really consider trading Brian Fuentes before the end of July. That's why speculation like this should be ignored for now. Even Jayson  Stark's claim that Todd Helton is perpetually on the trade block needs to be taken with a considerable grain of salt.

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Troy E. Renck has a mailbag, in which he says the Rox are going to make a push for yet another multi-million dollar reliever this offseason. I'm telling you, as long as I see this, Casey Weathers looks better and better as a draft choice. Renck also disses on Chris Iannetta, who still has a higher OPS than Torrealba. Come on, Troy, you know better than to just take batting average at face value.

In another article, Renck mentions that the Rockies have leverage over Weathers in contract negotiations, which is to be expected for a college senior. I think he's remiss not to also mention that as an expected fast mover, Weathers is likely to be earning a major league paycheck faster than most if not everybody else in the draft, making the potential difference in signing bonus less a dollar loss than it might seem.

Also from that article, note that JC Romero, as well as Jay Witasick, is available, and both represent upgrades over the leader in the poll to the right-->.

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Tracy Ringolsby points out the .500 road record for the Rockies in his recap, an achievement that may be difficult to maintain in Fenway. I'm eager to see how Matt Holliday's bat plays there, however.

The Hirsh brothers have proven to be accessible, even while Jason struggles at times this season. He's got some really fantastic leadership qualities, and I'm hoping yesterday's start is a sign of good things to come.