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Friday Morning Rockpile:

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If there are any concerns over Franklin Morales' velocity during Spring Training, they aren't emanating from Bob Apodaca:

Various scouts have noted that Morales' fastball is coming across the plate between 89-91 this spring, down from the 94- mph heater he threw when he first got called up to the big leagues late last season.

Apodaca, however, is not concerned. Indeed, he sees it as a sign of Morales' maturation.

"I want him to grow as a pitcher and not worry what the gun's showing," Apodaca said. "I want him to grow as a pitcher and throw in the bottom of the strike zone."


That's something Rox Girl brought up on Monday after some Keith Law observations were posted. If Frankie needs to lose a little bit of velocity to become more of a pitcher rather than a thrower, so be it. He'll go five innings today against the Mariners.

The trade winds are blowing. It's becoming pretty clear that the Rockies won't trade Clint Barmes, partly as a result of his utility role with the club and partly for asking price ("return value that would equate to a starting shortstop"). But, the funny thing is that a third team has interest in Barmes: the Giants. Vizquel is out until the middle of April (provided he doesn't suffer any setbacks on the way), Kevin Frandsen has been eliminated from consideration, and Brian Bocock, who has never played above High-A ball, could be the surprise starter at shortstop for the Giants. Bocock was a 9th round pick in the 2006 draft. So they could use Barmes, but the Giants seem more concerned with finding the right deal for Joe Crede. The Giants have offered such stalwarts as pitchers Scott Williamson and Randy Messenger and OF Dave Roberts. The White Sox want a top prospect and a young reliever. Here's a better deal: the Giants get neither player and continue into oblivion this season.

On the other side of the trade spectrum, the Rockies are looking at suitors for Cory Sullivan and Ramon Ramirez. Pods over Sully? You can make a good(?) argument for Pods over Sully if you prefer the speed Pods brings off the bench over Sully's defense. Wells over Rami? Uh, anyone want to tackle that argument?

Seth Smith will work in center field over the rest of Spring Training as he tries to make the team. This just seems like a nice way of saying that he's not going to make the team, but he could use more experience against big leaguers.