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Thursday Rockpile: Rockies bumping along the road

Manager Jim Tracy sees the recent offensive slump as a short term phenomenon, which is probably the correct approach to take. The Rockies certainly want to salvage as many wins as possible in the remaining eight games of the road trip. 

Patrick Saunders writes about how the Rockies will hopefully keep the attention of Denver sports fans for the remainder of the summer. It's something I've brought up frequently this year, before the season even started, but given how small and mid-market teams are mostly hurting, being able to keep attendance up through the remainder of the recession could have very large ramifications for the way these teams operate over the next decade. Consider what it means that the Diamondbacks have already practically written in prospect Brandon Allen's name (acquired from the White Sox for Tony Pena this summer) at first base for 2010. That San Diego seems fully committed not only to keeping Everth Cabrera, but keeping him in the big leagues as a starter again next season. The optimism surrounding these players aside, the underlying story is that these two teams won't be paying to upgrade, only hoping improvements come internally. Not that the Rockies are in that much better a position themselves right now, they 

The Rockies desire to add another left hander to their bullpen, targetting Mark Hendrickson of the Orioles. While he's not going to be a star, maybe not even a starter, Eric Young Jr. is too great a price to pay for LOOGY help, and Dan O'Dowd wisely turned down the Pirates and Nationals when they asked for him.  

Speaking of the Rockies and tall pitchers, Jason Hirsh was traded to the Yankees, where he'll join former Rockie Josh Towers in the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre rotation. In blog commentary on this trade, you will frequently read some iteration of the words, "it couldn't be for much because of Hirsh's ERA and WHIP." I would suggest to people to use this opportunity as a litmus test to weed out inferior sources of analysis. If Hirsh's ERA and WHIP at Colorado Springs were at all factors in this trade, why would it be made in the first place?

No, this trade isn't going to net the Rockies very much because it's for a minor league rental. At the same time, it will likely net them somebody more valuable to them than Hirsh, or at least as valuable, or there would be little incentive to deplete their own depth at Colorado Springs (which admittedly has been pretty deep). Reports indicate that the Yankees initiated the deal, another sign that the Rockies had the leverage and would be the more likely of the two clubs to come out ahead in the exchange. I'm not expecting much, but I do expect the returned player will at least be mildly interesting. My guess is that the retruned player might be tied to the amount of innings Hirsh is able to pitch in SW-B, or if he sees MLB time this season.

Some of the AAA pitching depth takes a hit with Greg Smith's return to the DL. Good news that Shane Lindsay is coming back, though.

The Everth Cabrera link talked a little about Casper, which is the rehab destination of Mike Timlin. Our rookie affilliate just might be the most remote minor league affilate in any organization, I wonder what the pitcher with four rings thinks of it.

Also from the Denver Post, Irv Moss writes about Jhoulys Chacin