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Wednesday Rockpile: Rockies Mull Impending Roster Decisions

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After the utter domination that was the Colorado Rockies' pitching last night--and considering that the opposite happened on Opening Day--the Rockies still don't have a great handle on their current pitching situation. Opening Day's performance led Dave Krieger to think that small ball is the key for the Rockies. 

But let's take a look back at the performance of Ubaldo Jimenez for a minute. He threw 107 pitches and allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking three. That's a pretty good line, but what made it so impressive was the velocity and variety of Ubaldo's pitches last night. As Troy Renck writes

Jimenez continued to morph before the Rockies' eyes. He threw a fastball at 98 miles per hour, a sinker at 92, a big curve and a changeup that suffered an identity crisis, acting like a split-finger on six occasions by diving dramatically.

Also, per BBTN, Jimenez struck out four players with 96+ MPH heat. It would be safe to say that could Ubaldo pitch every game for the Rockies this season that the club would very well off. That and Troy Tulowitzki is on pace for 162 home runs this year. But enough about the past.

Morales, Fowler to start, Gaudin weighs options

Today's game will feature the one major league start stint of Franklin Morales. The success of Morales in the fifth starter slot has been identified by some as a key to the Rockies' season, though from the above link and this one, it appears that Morales could be fighting an uphill battle for a roster spot with the acquisition of Jason Hammel.

In addition, Juan Morillo appears to, via trade or by waivers, be headed out of town, with Matt Belisle and Hammel set to join the team Friday. Morillo's lack of multi-inning versatility in the bullpen and marginal control seem to have doomed him to being waiver wire fodder--but I'd still like him to get his opportunity to pitch for the Rockies, in today's game perhaps (preferably with a big lead to protect).

Also prominent in Rockies news today was that super-prospect Dexter Fowler would get his first start of the year against soft-tossing lefty Doug Davis today and again on Friday against Cole Hamels. From Renck, here's how the Rockies foresee using Fowler:

As for Fowler, Hurdle wants to get him continuity in at-bats, stringing a few starts together like he will this week. Hurdle said that Fowler will also play against some right-handers, but not against No. 1s and No. 2s in rotations with "good late movement." He will look to spot him against No. 3s, 4s and 5s.

In other roster news, Tracy Ringolsby notes that previous Rockies free agent target Chad Gaudin cleared release waivers from Chicago, meaning that the Cubs must pay his $2 million salary, meaning that the Rockies would only be on the hook for the $400k minimum were they to sign the right-hander. Gaudin must decide whether to accept a minor league starting spot with the Rockies or a major league slot in middle relief with other teams. For a back-end rotation starter like Gaudin, it's a big decision to make that will likely shape the rest of his career. I hope that Gaudin joins the Sky Sox and provides starter depth, but a major league roster spot is pretty enticing at this point for someone who just cleared waivers.

Other Rockies News

This has been mentioned previously in a FanPost, but per Ringolsby, Wyoming Rockies fans with Bresnan Cable will be without coverage for 24 games this year due to a slight rate increase for FSN--who are carrying 150 games this year. The link details which games that Bresnan will not carry--they are all in the season's first two months.

Troy Renck answers some Rockies questions in his mailbag, with topics including the farm system (solid), trade possibilities (not likely), Pedro Martinez (not happening), and others.