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Friday Morning Rockpile: Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

With Elmer Dessens expected to sign today, that may solve Sunday's problem. But a new one may be brewing after last night: how long will Ubaldo Jimenez last in the rotation? In his two August starts he's allowed 11 earned runs, after allowing seven over his three July starts. As Troy Renck asks, Will we see him make his next start?

"You know I am not going to give you an answer tonight," manager Clint Hurdle said.

"We will continue to evaluate things. He will get out there tomorrow and evaluate tape and look for ways to make improvement and go from there."

If these precarious spots in the rotation are still being determined through clusters of starts, one would be led to believe that Jimenez should have at least one more start since he would have three home starts and three road starts for Hurdle and others to evaluate. Also, he'd make a second start against an NL West opponent, the Padres. Everyone will want to see how he reacts to facing the same opponent another time this season. He'll be seeing quite a bit of the NL West over the final month and a half of the season, and this team will need pitchers that can go about pitching effectively, or at least on a mediocre level (as Renck believes).

Dessens would fit the description of being mediocre, as his career performance against the NL West is nothing great. In his career, Dessens has seen the Giants and the Padres hit the best off him with OPS's of .916 and .833. The Dodgers and D'Backs follow with .750 and .682. Were the team included, the Rockies would rank second at .875. He's also prone to allowing the long ball against  these clubs.

Of course, most of us are waiting for Franklin Morales to be promoted to the majors by month's end.

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Tracy Ringolsby believes it would be a better idea to go after a catcher or to sign Holliday to a long-term extension than to sign a big-name free agent center fielder (Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones) who will be available this offseason. Hunter's having one of his best seasons, may break his single-season home run record (set last year), and he'll probably cost less than the next guy. Still doesn't mean we'll need to have three outfielders who will strike out 100+ times in a season. Even with Jones' down year so far this season, he's still going to command a high price tag. And at age 30, he's not getting any younger. If this year is more indicative of his future production, handing a huge contract to him would rank right up there with the other two guys the Rockies once signed.

If the team doesn't go after a center fielder or doesn't find a catcher and Scott Boras asks for more money for Matt Holliday than the Rockies are willing to give, would it be best to turn around and try to sign Atkins to a long-term deal? Though, that supposes the team can't afford to sign both, which may turn out to be the case.