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Saturday Pebble Report

Colorado Springs: W 12-3

It's been written in other places that now that the Rockies are the defending National League champs, that they no longer have the luxury to sit around and wait while rookies like Jayson Nix struggle to find their bats and become valuable assets to the team. After going zero for six last night, and five for forty thus far in April, Nix's time to prove himself worthy is running out . Says Clint Hurdle:

"He needs to play sooner or later. And if I don't play him, I have to move him. I plan on playing him."

Moving him meaning most likely more than just a trip down I-25 to Colorado Springs, as the Rockies would probably attempt to deal him rather than risking losing him to waivers. Why I bring this up here is because if Nix gets moved, Omar Quintainilla will get an opportunity to take his 25-man roster space. Clint Barmes would likely move into the starting second base slot, leaving a void at the utility position -which Quintanilla would fill as he can play both short and second with aplomb. Last night, Q went four for five, raising his average on the season to .356 and his OBP to .496. He's not going to do that in Denver, and he's showing a huge out of character spike in his BABIP that suggests that he's not even going to do it in the Springs for the rest of the season, but the idea of turning an automatic out into a fifty-fifty probability of a player being safe piques my interest, at least.

I'd say that we've got two or three more weeks before we absolutely have to do something, but a surge by the Diamondbacks or a long losing streak (five out of the last six might qualify) should force the issue sooner.

As for the game, the Sky Sox won with a nine run sixth inning that saw Joe Koshansky and Sean Barker score twice, once on a botched throw from the opposing catcher after a Chris Frey bunt attempt and ensuing Quintanilla single, and the second time when Barker hit a three run shot to cap the scoring.

Tulsa: L 12-4

The first time through the lineup, the Drillers hit Mark Mulder pretty well, scoring three runs in the first inning. After that, their bats were mostly silent apart from the fifth inning solo shot by Matt Miller. Meanwhile, Springfield put a hurt on Alan Johnson and Edward Valdez, scoring eleven of the twelve runs and generating sixteen of their seventeen hits off those two.

Modesto: L 2-0

Will Harris finally allowed his first run of the season - it was bound to happen sometime- as he and Andrew Graham failed to maintain the excellent work and shutout put in by Aneury Rodriguez (seven innings, two singles, six K's, one walk). Not that it mattered, the Nuts once again forgot to bring an offense to the ballgame outside of veteran minor league journeyman and recent pickup Tony Blanco who had a double and single.

Asheville: W 11-3

The fireworks started early as the Tourists pounded out fourteen hits against Greenville. Darin Holcomb (6), Michael Mitchell (2), Everth Cabrera (2), and Jeff Cunningham (3) all homered. Cabrera's and Mitchell's blasts were back to back solo shots to lead off the top of the first and set the stage for Cunningham's three run blast. Holcomb wound up finishing a triple shy of a cycle, Rike doubled, tripled and walked and scored three times, Mitchell and Cabrera each scored three as well and Cabrera even had his twelfth stolen base. It was definitely a pad your stats kind of day for the T's. 's Darin now leads the South Atlantic League in extra base hits with fourteen, and is second in the Sally (to Matt Cusick, fight on Matt!) in OPS with his sparkling 1.134 number. Brian Rike's eighth with a .927 OPS. Holcomb, Rike and Cabrera are all in the top ten in OBP as well.

Jhoulys Chacin, meanwhile, had another quality start. He pitched a solid six and a third, allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk with seven K's.