Todd Helton took extra BP yesterday to work on his swing, Thomas Harding reports at the official site.
That story is summarized in Patrick Saunders and Troy Renck's notes, where a brief footnote also suggests something I mentioned the other day in a game thread, that Marcus Giles is getting plenty of PT despite being crowded out of the second base picture to showcase him for a possible trade. I had mentioned then that I thought it was Ken Rosenthal who had pointed that out first, but as a matter of correction it was actually SI's Jon Heyman. Giles is just one of several Rockies that could figure in trades in the next week or two, here are some of the others:
Omar Quintanilla - If he's the likely loser to Clint Barmes for the team's utility role, his future with the Rockies would seem very much in jeopardy. Jonathan Herrera and Corey Wimberly appear ready to move to AAA, and the Rockies seem to like Matt Kata's left handed bat a little better this Spring.
Barmes - The two main reasons to trade him over Q or Kata would be because of further potential platoon advantages, given that both Jayson Nix and Jeff Baker (who both seem pretty likely to earn roster spots at this point) are right handed, and second, he seems to be garnering the most attention from other teams and could therefore bring in the higher potential return. The reason O'Dowd's reluctant is because of his defensive versatility and the fact he's just a good clubhouse guy that's well liked (with good reason) by all the players and everybody in the organization. I think we need to take a captured bird approach here and say if you love him, let him go. He'll get a better opportunity elsewhere and we'll get a better return right now than we probably would later.
Cory Sullivan - A few days ago I would have had Scott Podsednik being the more likely candidate to not be in the Rockies organization come April, but Sully and Seth Smith have been getting fewer AB's, which indicates that either the Rox are showcasing Pods (like Giles) or more likely, taking a stronger interest in him for the last outfield bench spot. I don't know if I like this idea, but I certainly don't want Sullivan to become another Jeff Salazar who has the potential to haunt us nineteen times a year.
Juan Morillo -
It's going to be hard to slip him through waivers back to AAA, but it might be equally difficult to trade him at this point. You can just look at Arizona with Dustin Nippert and Brandon Medders as examples of pitchers in similar situations that GM's are just waiting to get cut. He's out of options, so if the Rockies don't think he'll be able to handle big league work, their choices are limited. I don't think that's the case though, and am right now projecting him to be in our bullpen Opening Day.
Speaking of trades, still no word on who the Rockies will get for Jamey Carroll, but our former utility guy is adjusting to his new digs and perhaps even getting a catcher's mitt.
As I mentioned Monday, Micah Bowie is another surprise this Spring, looking more likely right now to be one of our initial 25 to break camp. He can thank center fielder of the future Dex Fowler for some help in keeping his Cactus League line sparkling yesterday, but overall he's been quite solid and right now I'm hoping he fills the Jeremy Affeldt role better than Affeldt did. At this point, I'd say the bullpen on March 31 shapes up this way:
CL: Manny Corpas
LH: Brian Fuentes
RH: Luis Vizcaino - possibly could start the season on the DL
RH: Taylor Buchholz
RH: Kip Wells - I'm not really comfortable with this, I'd rather it be Ramirez, but the contract situation indicates Wells starts the season on the MLB team, and it's preferable to him starting.
RH: Juan Morillo -
out of options, the flamethrower seems ready just in time.
LH: Micah Bowie
RH: Matt Herges - put him in place of Morillo and figure Juan goes to AAA, I was under a mistaken impression this morning.
Josh Newman, John Koronka, Ramon Ramirez and Darren Clarke provide solid depth in AAA in this scenario. Chris George some less solid depth.
The value of a catcher as a pitch caller doesn't show up statistically as significant, and in fact seems to be somewhat mythical, so stories like this tend to inflate the value of and needlessly prolong careers of no-hit glovemen like Brad Ausmus or Mike Matheny. Still with this, I don't mind that Yorvit's value is being artificially inflated as long as the club continues to understand that Iannetta's the better long term play.