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June starts with four-game set at NL Central's cellar-dwellars

It's hard to believe this, but the Rockies have lost only one of their past four series. They have a solid chance of winning three of their past four by facing the worst team in the league not found in Washington or Colorado.

Since winning two of three at Coors Field May 12-14, the Houston Astros have seriously misfired. Despite winning a series at PNC Park over the weekend (where the Rockies held control of a game for all of a half inning), Cecil Cooper's club has managed just 4 wins in their last 14 games since we last saw them. That abysmal stretch has dropped the normally competetive Astros to the NL West cellar, just a half game ahead of the Rockies for the second worst record in the National League.

The Rockies and Astros split the season series in 2008, each winning two of three on the road.

Head over to The Crawfish Boxes if you'd like to commiserate with fans of a disappointing team.


Houston Astros (20-28, W1, 6th, 9 GB)

Monday-Thursday : 4-game series at Minute Maid Park

Despite adding a legitimate offensive threat at their weakest offensive position from last year, Houston's offense has been absolutely terrible. Lance Berkman has managed lead the 'Stros in HR and hold a share of the team lead in RBIs with 29 in spite of being very inconsistent. Only the Padres, Mariners and Giants - three very poor offenses - have scored less than Astros, and Minute Maid Park isn't a pitcher's ballpark. With Michael Bourn and Kazuo Matsui setting the table, one would have projected Houston to be a top team in base thefts, but with just 31 bags, they are ranked just 14th in SBs. That's one less than Rockies, who lost nearly 100 SBs off last year's squad in the form of two players.

Cecil Cooper is still trying to find a combination that will work in his lineup. Sound familiar? Edwin Maysonet has been called up to start in place of the injured Kaz Matsui and he has responded with 9 hits in 20 at-bats, four on Friday. Hunter Pence has quietly performed as the 7th most valuable OF in the NL, and Miguel Tejada has been only surpassed by Hanley Ramirez among NL SS bats. Geoff Blum will probably play some of the hot corner during the series as well.

Michael Bourn .287 1 12
Miguel Tejada .350 5 29
Hunter Pence .341 5 19
Carlos Lee
.308 8 29
Lance Berkman
.230 10 29
Ivan Rodriguez .264 5 22
Jeff Keppinger
.293 2 5
Edwin Maysonet
.450 1 5

The Rockies staff has not been great, but the Astros haven't been a great deal better, as Houston has allowed just 12 ER less than Rox hurlers. More of the damage has come against the bullpen; their ERA is bottom ten of the league, only three MLB pens have been charged with more losses, and with one less save, they would be tied for the MLB low. It's not the fault of interim closer Latroy Hawkins and new setup man Chris Sampson though. Both have ERAs under three at the back end of the pen.

Probable Pitchers:

Tonight, 6:05 pm MDT

2009 - Aaron Cook 3-2 4.82 1.48 26 24

2009 - Roy Oswalt 1-2 4.62 1.36 47 17

Tuesday, June 2, 6:05 pm MDT

2009 - Ubaldo Jimenez 3-6 4.37 1.44 53 26

2009 - Felipe Paulino 1-4 6.75 1.83 26 16

Wednesday, June 3, 6:05 MDT

2009 - Jason Marquis 7-3 3.93 1.28 33 23

2009 - Brian Moehler 2-3 6.43 1.66 24 9

Thursday, June 4, 6:05 MDT

2009 - Jason Hammel 1-3 4.83 1.73 27 12

2009 - Wandy Rodriguez 5-4 2.26 1.23 62 21

The Astros have lost Wandy Rodriguez' last two starts, but he is still having an incredible year. In fact, he has a Fangraphs value better than Johan Santana, good for third in the NL.


Edwin Maysonet has hit .450 since his callup two weeks ago. Miguel Tejada (.385/.429/.577 last 7) continues to quietly shrug off whatever age he is, and Lance Berkman has a .922 OPS the last week despite hitting under .270 in that span. Closer Latroy Hawkins has allowed just 2 ER in his past 11.1 IP.


Ivan Rodriguez (.286/.286/.357) has really been scuffling, so Humberto Quintero has gotten a few starts recently. Hunter Pence has slowed down in the past week, but he has still collected 6 hits and a .400 OBP the past two series.

Bandaid_mediumBrandon Backe, Doug Brocail, Geoff Geary and Jose Valverde are all on the 15-day DL. Kazuo Matsui is on the 15-day DL as well for something that has little to do with his backside. Well it sort of does. He was placed on the DL for a hamstring strain May 26. Roy Oswalt is listed as probable and Geoff Blum is questionable.

Your NL West Report is available under the fold.

NL West Report

Arizona (22-29, 4th, L1, 12.5 GB)

Last Week: 1-2 vs Padres, 2-2 vs Braves.

This Week: 3 game series @ Dodgers, 4 game series @ Padres

News: Dave Cameron at Fangraphs welcomes Justin Upton to superstardom. The former first overall pick is still the third youngest player in ML and hit a frightening .373/.444/.709 clip in May.

Justin Upton

#10 / Right Field / Arizona Diamondbacks





Aug 25, 1987

2009 - Justin Upton .329 .404 .606

GM Josh Byrnes is undecided on whether to throw in the towel and trade off veterans just yet. Most likely trade candidates would be Felipe Lopez and Doug Davis.

Tim Dierkes at MLBTradeRumors evaluates four big Arizona contracts and their future in the desert.

Marc Hulet at FanGraphs looks son-of-stink Daniel Schlereth, potential future closer.

Chad Tracy was placed on the 15-day DL this weekend with the same injury that derailed my sophomore season - a strained oblique. From personal experience and Hiroki Kuroda's two month absence for two months with the same injury, Tracy will be out much more than two weeks. Josh Whitesell will get consistent starts in his absence.

Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Tom Gordon hamstring 05/04/2009
Yusmeiro Petit shoulder 05/09/2009
Conor Jackson pneumonia 05/12/2009
Chad Tracy oblique 05/30/2009
Tony Clark other-excused 05/06/2009
Brandon Webb shoulder 04/07/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Scott Schoeneweis other-excused 05/29/2009

Los Angeles (35-17, 1st, W1)

Last Week: 3-0 @ Rockies, 2-2 @ Cubs

This Week: 3 game series vs Diamondbacks, 4 game series vs Phillies

News: Hiroki Kuroda is finally back in a Dodgers uniform. Kuroda gets the start tonight at Dodger Stadium against Arizona. He had been out two months with a strained oblique.

Hiroki Kuroda

#18 / Pitcher / Los Angeles Dodgers





Feb 10, 1975

Eric Stults went on the 15-DL yesterday with a thumb injury. He is replaced on the roster by AA RHP Travis Schlichting. That's an interesting move. The Dodgers are easily the class of the majors this year but are still willing bypass a prospect by AAA. And the Rockies have better talent in AA than Schlichting, who was drafted as a hitter.

GM Ned Colletti has not discussed trading for Jake Peavy since the White Sox deal fell through.

Eric Gagne wants to pitch for the Dodgers again. He has signed on with a Canadian-American League team in hopes of resurrecting the career that fell apart in Texas, Boston and Milwaukee after leaving Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Will Ohman shoulder 05/28/2009
Eric Stults thumb 05/31/2009
Hong-Chih Kuo elbow 04/30/2009
Jason Schmidt shoulder 03/30/2009
Hiroki Kuroda oblique 04/07/2009
Xavier Paul knee 05/21/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Doug Mientkiewicz shoulder 04/17/2009
Claudio Vargas elbow 04/05/2009

San Diego (25-25, 3rd, W1, 9 GB)

Last Week: 2-1 @ Diamondbacks, 1-2 @ Rockies

This Week: 3 game series vs Phillies, 4 game series vs Diamondbacks

News: The Padres may have surprisingly succeeded to be mediocre this year, but they still figure to fall off a bit. Does that mean Adrian Gonzalez could be traded?

Adrian Gonzalez

#23 / First Base / San Diego Padres





May 08, 1982

AGone leads the majors in HR, has hit 11 of his 20 dingers to left field including his last five, and ranks as FG's #8 most valuable player in MLB so far. CEO Jeff Moorad says the answer is an emphatic no:

I've said publicly that no player is untouchable, but I would be hard-pressed to imagine a deal that could ever make sense for Adrian Gonzalez.

Jake Peavy injured his ankle and get his start pushed from today to tomorrow to rest it.

The Friars are reportedly looking at Dustin Ackley, Donovan Tate , HS RHP Zach Wheeler, NCAA LHP Mike Minor, and Aaron Crow for this third overall pick in the upcoming draft.

San Diego Padres Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jake Peavy ankle 05/31/2009


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Shawn Hill elbow 04/26/2009
Luis Rodriguez ankle 05/14/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Cha Seung Baek forearm 03/30/2009
Mark Worrell elbow 03/27/2009
Mike Adams shoulder 03/27/2009
Everth Cabrera hand 04/20/2009

San Francisco (25-24, 2nd, W1, 8.5 GB)

Last Week: 3-0 vs Braves, 2-1 vs Cardinals. Frisco rebounded from a 1-5 week on the road to go 5-1 at AT&T Park last week. They'll have to figure out how to win on the road to have any hope of the playoffs. A good chance comes against two poor teams this week.

This Week: 3 game series @ Nationals, 3 game series @ Marlins

News: Randy Johnson won his 299th career game last week. That means he could win #300 Wednesday in Washington.

Randy Johnson

#51 / Pitcher / San Francisco Giants





Sep 10, 1963

Brian Sabean is apparently looking at trying to acquire MIL OF Corey Hart. Adding any bat to their lineup makes sense, but I'm not sure what's in it for the Brewers.

Contrary to last weeks' reports, Matt Cain is not being dangled in a trade for a bat. Also of note, Frisco has tried to get Dan Uggla from Florida but is not interested in Matt Holliday.

Juan Uribe has become the Giants' everyday 3B due to various injuries and bouts of ineffectiveness with Travis Ishikawa and Pable Sandoval. It will probably end up being a two-position, three-man platoon with Sandoval getting the most starts for the near future.

San Francisco Giants Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Aaron Rowand ankle 06/01/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Noah Lowry ribs 03/27/2009
Joe Martinez concussion 04/10/2009