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Friday Rockpile: Mechanics change has Tulo on the road back to success, O'Dowd playing it cool, more

Troy E. Renck chimes in with a piece on Troy Tulowitzki, and how a slight change in mechanics has brought familiar success to the young shortstop. A toe tap that has helped Tulowitzki time the pitch better has increased his power. Since Jim Tracy took over as manager of the ball club, Tulo has hit 12 home runs - better than any other shortstop in baseball.

Dave Krieger's article about Dan O'Dowd "playing it right" discusses the GM's unwillingness to part with top prospects but at the same time, not being afraid to make moves to improve the big league club. The Rafael Betancourt deal is a good example of that; though O'Dowd feels that Connor Graham will someday be a good back-end reliever, he knew that he had to give something to get something, and getting Betancourt could go a long way toward shoring up the bullpen issues the Rox have had as of late. The article also mentions that the club has been impressed with the performance of Matthew Reynolds, who is currently pitching at Double-A Tulsa. He has made five solid appearances there since being promoted from Modesto, where he was dominant for the first half of the season.

Other links...

The Rockies (along with the D-Backs, I suppose) have started to unveil plans for their new Spring Training complex.

The "Batting Stance Guy" will be paying a visit to Coors Field today. Check him out here.

ESPN's Jason Churchill wrote an Insider-only piece about early returns for some of the 2009 draft picks. He mentions that the Rockies will have a tough time signing Matzek (as we all know), but that they haven't let it get them down, as they signed their next 34 picks. He mentions Tim Wheeler's performance at Tri-City, which has been pretty good (.308/.385/.411) through 26 games. Wheeler has struck out 23 times, but Churchill points out that it's still far too early to be too concerned with contact rates.

Fox Sports has Garrett Atkins listed as a low-cost alternative to Scott Rolen (among available third basemen).

Finally, FanGraphs mentions Seth Smith among players with rising stock. Highlighted in the article is a ZiPS projection (.298/.369/.470) for the remainder of the season for Smith, which is right on line with what he's done so far this season.