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Tuesday Rockpile: The Closer Battle, D-Day for Jeff Francis?, Uniform Numbers

Renck's Rapid Pen

In one of his many posts yesterday, Renck reports most notably that Manny Corpas was the most impressive pitcher over the weekend.  The re-emergence of a dominating Corpas would greatly soften the blow from losing Brian Fuentes, not to mention setting up an exciting closer battle.  To that, Huston Street says "Bring it on!"

Clint Hurdle is hoping to lean heavily on Todd Helton, enough to even make him the #3 hitter.  Why? 

"We talked over the winter about him being the toughest out in the National League, and you'd like your toughest out to hit third." 

That's tough to argue.  Even when Helton is off his game, he's still the toughest out in the lineup.  Renck also notes that Alan Embree is old and that Dexter Fowler can no longer fit through a fax machine.

At 1PM MT today, Troy Renck and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post will we available for a live chat.

Courtesy of The Cowboy, Jeff Francis will throw today in a bullpen session.  Have a watchful eye.  Today might be the day that Francis gives in to surgery.

The Power of Going Digital

Recently, the Rockies released their 40-man roster, complete with all player names and numbers.  You could find it here or on the left side of your screen.  A few purely cosmetic observations:

  • Carlos Gonzalez may keep the tradition alive for #5 in left.  GarGo has rudely taken Big Daddy's number.
  • Be forewarned - if you see a #16 Rockies uniform in Tuscon, don't fret.  It's not Kip Wells - it's Huston Street.  Or me.  
  • New outfielder Matt Murton will be wearing one of the most popular numbers in the franchise's history: 14.  Other notable 14's:  Andres Galarraga, Greg Norton, Sean Barker, Troy Tulowitzki, and Dexter Fowler.
  • Fowler switched from 14 to 24, taking the number Ian Stewart has worn for the past two seasons.
  • Stewart will now be wearing #9.  That struck me as odd.  Maybe because of Vinny Castilla.  Maybe because of the Cousin's defensive position.  Maybe because of Juan Pierre....or maybe more.  Something about the idea of Stewart wearing that small number and poking a pitch in the second deck from the south batter's box struck me as strange.

As odd and inconsequential as it sounds (and is), the Rockies have never had a good Left-Handed Home Run Hitting Single Digit Wearing Guy.  In the spirit of the LOOGY, let's call this a LHHRHSDWGy.  The franchise leading LHHRHSDWGy's:

Name LH Home Runs
Neifi Perez            15
Jorge Piedra            12
Jason Bates            10
JD Closser              8

The best LHHRHSDWGy in Rockies history was a switch hitter!  We've had plenty on the right handed side - Castilla (271), Matt Holliday (128), Troy Tulowitzki (32) and Yorvit Torrealba (23) - but no lefties.  If CHONE is correct, Ian Stewart will be a franchise record holder by September.

I'll Have Extra Cheese Please

Patrick Saunders at the Denver Post tries to have a little fun by suggesting the most cliched and lame headlines possible by using the Rockies roster.  The one I'd most be interested to see?

"Hynick maneuver rescues Rockies.” 

Feel free to make up your own.