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Saturday Morning Pebble Report:

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Colorado Springs: Jorge DePaula returned to his lucky dominance at Security Service Field, pitching (along with Ramon Ramirez and Matt Herges) another shutout despite stuff that wasn't outstanding. He's just an interesting case as to why he's been able to stay so successful so far. On offense, Clint Barmes extended a fairly solid run he's had in June, getting a triple. He's had a hit in every game he's had a plate appearance (he entered as a defensive replacement Wednesday and didn't get to bat) since June 2, and you'd have to go back to May 30 to find the last time he didn't get aboard via hit or walk in games with PA's. And unlike Cory Sullivan, this hasn't been quite the same empty streak of singles or home XBH's only, but he's been at least decent on the road as well. He has stopped taking walks the last ten games, so that's still a bit of a concern it seems, but the contact's still mostly positive. Joe Gaetti had a pair of hits, including a double, but unfortunately he figures to lose playing time now that Sean Barker's coming back.

Tulsa: Limiting my choice to relatively realistic in-house candidates, what I would really prefer for the Rockies at second base in 2008, in order of preference, would look like this at the moment:

  1. Re-sign Kaz Matsui
  2. Matt Macri proves ready and capable of handling the position.
  3. Clint Barmes proves ready for taking over.
  4. Jamey Carroll rebounds, or Omar Quintanilla's ready to take over.
  5. Jonathan Herrera proves ready and capable.
I guess six would be Corey Wimberly, but he's looking a lot less ready than the others at this point. Why I bring this up, though, is to show that I'm still really high on Matt Macri, and see him as our best hope for having a power hitting second baseman along the lines of Jeff Kent or Dan Uggla. We'd be sacrificing quite a bit of defense compared to the rest on this list, but the offensive upside might be worth it. Macri hit a pair of doubles yesterday, and if he had enough AB's to qualify, he'd be in the top five in the Texas League in OPS and slugging percentage. I'm afraid what's going to wind up happening, however, is that similarly to Uggla, he gets left unprotected and is picked off in the Rule 5 draft in December by an opposing team.

Alright. Franklin Morales had a start similar to most of his efforts this season, maybe a little bit deeper, as he went six innings, allowed five hits, including two HR's, struck out six and walked two (plus an HBP). It looks like we'll have to hope he turns it up in the second half.

Herrera (2 for 5, double) and Christian Colonel (3 for 4, HR) both also had big days at the plate, but the Drillers' bullpen leaked away the early lead and Tulsa wound up losing eight to seven in extra innings.

Modesto: Brandon Durden had a solid seven inning start, giving up just one run on seven hits and a walk, but Andrew Johnston blew his fifth save of the season as Modesto took the 4-3 loss. Johnston's one pitch repertoire is really presenting a problem in the California League, and  it's very clear that he needs a secondary pitch if he's to have success any further up the ladder.

Cole Garner and Nick Haley each had a pair of hits in the loss.

Asheville: Keith Weiser was probably pushed a little too far, and his stat line will make him look a little less effective than he actually was last night, as he pitched seven and a third innings and allowed six runs, including a two run homer in the eighth. Troy Tulowitzki's former Long Beach State teammate, Jared Hughes, shut the Asheville offense down, meanwhile, as the Tourists' slide picked up again a day after breaking their longest losing streak of the season. The final was eight to nothing.