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Saturday Morning Rockpile:

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Aaron Cook came up with the type of outing both he and Rockies fans have been waiting all season for. This one came against one of the least potent lineups in the NL, but the boost of confidence should serve him well in next week's scheduled start against the Padres.

In addition to the above linked article, Tracy Ringolsby also writes that the Rockies have some interest in the Yankees' Kyle Farnsworth if his 2008 salary burden is lessened. Five and a half million for a middle reliever is a luxury not many teams would be willing to go out on a limb for, Farnsworth is probably already on the only one to do it regularly.

Part of the reason why I think the Diamondbacks are going to fade out of the NL West race before the Rockies and for the rest of the season is the state of their deteriorating rotation, and the fact that they are unable or unwilling to make a fix with it. Thus far, the only team in the division that has realy taken steps outside the organization to address needs that have arisen is San Diego, but the Dodgers have found help internally. The Rockies have too, to some extent, in the bench bats of Cory Sullivan and Ryan Spilborghs and the emergence of Manny Corpas as a legit MLB late inning reliever in the wake of Brian Fuentes' collapse. It remains to be seen if Ubaldo Jimenez will be the puzzle piece we need in the rotation, but at least his first start was promising.

Next week will be one of the most important of the season to date, and one where the Rockies will really be able to make a statement that they belong in the conversation when it comes to competing in the division, particularly since these Padre/Dodger games will be just before the trade deadline and this will be the last good chance for a quality fix to any problems that we have left. The team is still flawed, clearly, but how flawed relative to the division leaders will be what we want to look at. Of course, two more games against the Nats come first, and the players themselves can't look past those.