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Tuesday Morning Rockpile: Speier's Third Chance

The bullpen continues to undergo changes as the Rockies keep looking to strengthen their position to get into the playoffs. Ryan Speier will be with the team once again, while Ramon Ramirez will head back to Colorado Springs. Speier allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings with the Rockies this season, and he also slipped on the mound back in April against the Mets, moving Shawn Green to third on the balk. That eventually led to Endy Chavez laying a bunt down to win the game. It was also the game that turned Tulowitzki into the tough-luck hero as his RBI triple in the tenth was wiped away by Brian Fuentes allowing a home run to Damion Easley of all players.

In the minors this season, Speier has returned successfully from a torn labrum to record save 28 games with the Sky Sox. He's only allowed two homers in 40 1/3 innings, one home and one away. Maybe Speier can strike out a few more guys than walk them this time around.

Since his return from the Springs in late July, Ramon Ramirez has pitched four innings and allowed two runs. Sending him down is not for not having performed well as it is he's the easiest one to demote. You can't deny that Speier deserves a chance. The question is, is this going to turn into a rotating bullpen spot? Only if Speier fails to perform.


Has Tulowtizki hit a rookie wall? Neither he nor others on the team believe so:

"Obviously I haven't been swinging the bat well of late," he [Tulowitzki] said. "This game is all about adjustments, but I've been working hard in the cage to get back to where I was."

. . .

"He's not going to hit a game-winning homer every night, and he's going to have his ups and downs, but he's still playing well," Helton said.

. . .

"Sometimes I don't think enough credit is given to major-league talent," Hurdle said. "I think pitchers counterpunch and pitching coaches study tape, so I think a lot of that plays into it. Now he's got to find a way to counterpunch."

Helton's right, we can't expect Tulo to always come through with that big hit. We've been spoiled by his big hits at the end of June and his "clutchiness" the entire season. He's only a rookie, 22 years of age, and we haven't seen all of what he is capable of. As Mike Gallego said:

"This guy is only going to get better and better and better just by (gaining) the knowledge of the opponents."

One thing to also note about Troy is that his eye for the zone has been consistent. For the first three months he struck out in the lows 20's and had 10 walks in each month. In July, he struck out 11 times in July (OK, fewer games because of the All-Star Break) and walked seven times. This month he's walked four times in six games. While not getting many hits so far, he's still getting on base.