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Sunday Rockpile: Brad Hawpe off the trade block; Street and Tracy chips off the old blocks, and Matt Miller just blocked.

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The Boulder:

The Rockies won't be trading Brad Hawpe this summer according to Dan O'Dowd:

O'Dowd's words do provide an interesting glimpse into his philosophy as General Manager:

"I don't know where any of that came from," O'Dowd said. "I don't foresee us doing anything with him. That's something you would only do strategically, for the big picture. That would be something for the offseason, if at all."

Which helps explain why he always waits until November or December to make moves with major Rockies players such as Jason Jennings and Matt Holliday. The way I'm reading it, is that he's basically saying that the team he builds at the beginning of the season is the team he's going to stick with through the season. Complementary parts might be moved to help that team along during the year, but important parts, such as Hawpe, won't get shipped out until the season's played out.

This leads to a more interesting question of who else might be in that important part category (Huston Street?) and who might be seen as a more fungible component, and therefore tradeable (Ryan Spilborghs?). It's given me food for thought, at any rate.

Other Big Rocks:

Happy Father's Day everybody. What would daddy's day be without a couple of stories of MLB'ers and their relations with their fathers? Two newer Rockies, Huston Street and manager Jim Tracy get the honors this year: 

Huston Street is a successful Major League closer, but back home, his father, who quarterbacked his alma mater to a national championship, is the star. But Huston is happy to share the glamour with dad.


 Tracy discusses the man behind the manager.


Rockies right-handed relievers Matt Daley and Joel Peralta have quickly caught the eye of manager Jim Tracy.


Taking the smile off the face of Tom Runnells is pretty hard to do these days.
Troy Tulowitzki talks about the expectations he has on him, both from himself and Rockies fans in a pretty interesting article from Longmont.


The Rolling Stones:


Yesterday was a fantastic game for the Rockies, and what's really exciting to me is to see the energy get into the crowd. The team is still averaging just under 5000 fans/game less than last season, but their recent play has energized Denver, so as long as they continue to generally play well, the capacity crowds should be coming back soon.
The Rockies are now nearly a 1 in 4 favorite for the NL Wild Card according to BP's straight up playoff odds report, and the odds are nearly 1 in 5 that they get it in their ELO adjusted report. So why does their PECOTA adjusted report have our odds of winning the WC at just 1 in 13? Mostly because their PECOTA projections were much harsher on the team than they should have been. The projection system is generally decent, but for various reasons it really flubbed up with the Rockies this season. I would trust the ELO odds more than anything else right now.


This Michael Roberts blip predates the last two games against the Pirates, but anytime anybody's willing to take Mark Kiszla down a notch or two for being a bit two-faced, I'm willing to give it some attention. Roberts is smart not to make a knee-jerk to complete optimism after the Rockies recent run just as it's usually wise not to knee-jerk to pessimism in a bad stretch. Measured responses are always welcome.


The Pebbles:

What does the team do with Matt Miller? He's not going to beat out Carlos Gonzalez or Dexter Fowler, he's not going to beat out Seth Smith or probably even Matt Murton, and trading a player like this almost never happens either, even if they're good enough to just crack the MLB (look at what the Dodgers got from the Pirates for Delwyn Young, for instance. In the end, barring some catastrophic injuries ahead of him in the depth chart, I think he walks to another team, and I do wish him success there.
Oy pitchers. Rockies pitching prospect Christian Friedrich has been held back from a start due to elbow pain.

A Q and A with Bill Geivett on the Drillers and the Rockies farm in general.

Kyra Laumbach won in the 11-12-year-old age division and became the first girl in the competition's 13-year history to win the team championship in any age group.


A little more of why the Rockies were able to lure away Joey Wong from his senior season at Oregon State, which has seemingly been somewhat of a surprise there given all the media attention it's received.



Crazy Flatlanders:


Joel Sherman. Enough said. In this one he suggests that yesterday's hero Todd Helton would be the contract the Rockies would most like the commissioner's office to swallow, making him a free agent.
On the surface there's nothing too weird about this. Helton's contract has been discussed ad nauseum here and other places and there's no doubt that the Rockies could use some of the money that's to be owed him in the last couple of seasons on other points of the team. But if you read the blurbs and the rationale behind it, you get a different picture. Houston shouldn't rid itself of Carlos Lee's contract because the Astros are nominally a contender and should instead dump Kaz Matsui. Milwaukee shouldn't get rid of Jeff Suppan's contract for similar reasons. So either Sherman's saying that the Rockies don't need Todd Helton to win and compete this season (last night states otherwise) or that they simply aren't really as competitive as the Brewers or Astros in the first place.

I was telling D-backs Skins and anybody who would listen this Spring that when a pitcher complains of shoulder tightness or stiffness late in Spring Training, as Webb did, it's usually a very bad sign. Jeff Francis had similar late Spring, early regular season issues last season (it was great to see him celebrating with the team after Todd's walk-off, btw) and the ultimate result is him missing 2009 completely. This is just a cautionary tale for next year if we read any similar reports of Rockies pitchers from about the 15th of March on, that we should hope we have a good backup plan in place for said pitcher.