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Thursday Rockpile: The 2009 Rockies story begins to develop

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With yesterday's win over the Diamondbacks the 2009 Rockies are already better than the 2008 squad by one measure, being over .500 after game three of the regular season beats last year by two whole games for the last time in the season we achieve that distinction.

Starting depth getting deeper? 

The Rockies quiet building up of an arsenal of starters could be continuing if Chad Gaudin signs and accepts an assignment to start in AAA. Tracy Ringolsby writes that Gaudin is leaning to signing with Colorado because the Rockies want him as a starter rather than a reliever.

There was some hand-wringing after Spring training that the team's starter depth was being stretched thin, that doesn't appear to be the case at all anymore. These are the possible fifth starters we could be seeing at some point in 2009, some will flop miserably, but counting on all of them to seems a bit pessimistic :

 

  • Jason Hammel (MLB)
  • Matt Belisle (MLB)
  • Franklin Morales (AAA)
  • Greg Smith (AAA)
  • Greg Reynolds (AAA)
  • Jason Hirsh (AAA)
  • Brandon Hynick (AAA)
  • Jhoulys Chacin (AA)

 

Gaudin would add to that list and present an interesting challenge for the Sky Sox to keep everybody on a regular throwing schedule.

Remember, when you are looking at player projections that they are done on a curve and the number you see will be the middle point. The actual projection shows that there's a possibility for that player to perform anywhere in a given range and the further from the middle the player gets in that range, the less likely the performance will happen. So while some players will perform at the bottom of their ranges, others will move to the top and this is where the strength in quantity of pitchers is really important, as it increases the likelihood of the Rockies finding an overachiever. 

Miscellany

Patrick Saunders says that the Rockies are a joy to watch this season, and I couldn't agree more. This team just greatly impresses me, I like the way all the parts work together like a machine so simple even our manager could run it.

It's a touching story that Troy Renck shares of Franklin Morales performing in honor of his father, on the 18th anniversary of the tragedy that took his life.

Dagnab it, Everth Cabrera performed well with the Padres last night. By reading Jack Etkin's article about him you can see why he was my favorite everyday player to watch from Asheville last season. So while I wish him all the success in the world, I was sort of hoping that success would come with the Rockies.

The Rivalry Develops?

Chris Young getting tagged in the back in the ninth inning of last night's game by Ryan Speier was speculated to possibly be some sort of retaliation. I don't know about that, but Young did play a prominent role in the last regular season game these two teams played, hitting a solo homerun off of Manny Corpas to tie the game at one in the eighth inning, and then collecting the bases loaded walk-off walk from Luis Vizcaino to win it in the ninth. Was he disrespectful, overly dramatic while doing so? It could be I suppose. At any rate, it may be interesting to see what happens the next time these rivals face each other in a couple of weeks.

The problem with calling it a rivalry thus far is that clearly Rockies fans put more stock in it than Diamondbacks fans. Part of this is due to the fact that the D-backs have pretty much owned this series except for 2007 (this will change this season), part of it has to do with there seemingly being more Cubs fans in the Phoenix area than D-backs fans, but something's clearly amiss when only 18,000 fans show up to a game with two quality teams from the same division with the kind of history that's already developing between them. Let's hope Rockies fans will have a better understanding of what's at stake the next time these two clubs meet.