I really don't know how no one caught this Sunday night, but according to an mlb.com article from Sunday night, the Rockies will represent the NL West with the only divisional starter in the All-Star Game:
Since Beltran is now injured, the Rockies' Brad Hawpe will make his first All-Star start in the outfield by virtue of being the top pick on the players' ballot.
I like the fact that Hawpe has earned respect throughout the league. Hat tip to Wolf for picking up on this news. Justin Upton could replace Raul Ibanez if the Phillie can't return from rehab in time. Drew Litton celebrates the Rockies having an All-Star outfielder for consecutive years by pointing out what we all thought was possible all along.
ESPN's Buster Olney constructs his best NL All-Star team if he needed it to win a competitive game, one against LHP and one against RHP. Rockies fill in two roster spots in each, though Marquis, Jimenez and Street are absent.
We don't need no stinkin bullpen!
Or at least that seems to be All-Star Jason Marquis' thoughts. 8-9 innings and Street can finish it right? Jack Etkin touches on some very interesting stats regarding Marquis' performance of late in his Quick Hits post at insidetherockies. What he doesn't note is that, if I've done math correctly, Marquis is 2.1 scoreless innings away from breaking Franklin Morales' record of consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He's pitching like an all-star.
Dave Krieger notes that Dan O'Dowd's trade for Marquis is one of the best in franchise history. I'm still partial to that Dante Bichette/Kevin Reimer swap myself.
Okay, we probably do...
Big news on the bullpen front: Flores out, Morales called up from Colorado Springs. Frankie will get that rumored spot in the bullpen. Josh Fogg did fine in long relief when he was with the team (wait he's still on the roster?), though he's had trouble getting any appearances lately. Morales may ease into late inning work if he can handle it. I worry about his composure in high leverage situations, but I'm willing to throw his talent out there in place of other options.
Manny Corpas will begin rehab assignment Wednesday. If all goes well, he could be back in a Rockies uni the first game after the All-Star Break next Thursday. Patrick Saunders points to Corpas' recovery as a key - "perhaps the key" - to the second half. This is very true, but it is also sobering. I'm no doctor, but pitching with bone chips sounds painful and unsustainable. A healthy Corpas would be great, but that's leaning on a lame horse. Corpas is optimistic and feels unaffected...for now.
So could we get someone in a trade to shore up the pen? It would involve elevating the payroll, so turn to the Monforts for that answer:
"It depends on who it is. So many teams want our young players, and if that's what it takes, it's not going to happen." - Dick Monfort, Renck
Scratch off Heath Bell from your wish lists. Keeping all of the Hynicks, Rogers', Chacins etc means that if this team wants legitimate bullpen help, it will have to come via Ryan Spilborghs and/or Garrett Atkins. Roy Halladay is available, and he's probably one of those depends-who-it-is characters, though he would take multiple top prospects, and the rotation doesn't need help - it has in fact been clearly the strength of this team.
Brandon Hynick was the PCL Pitcher of the Week for June 29-July 5. His only appearance that week was his perfect game.
The Rocky Mountain Independent launched yesterday, a new Colorado region newspaper with Inside The Rockies' Steve Foster as a driving force. Paid membership is required. Foster's first Rockies related article there outlines the six prospects he wants to see at the MLB level now: Brandon Hynick, Jhoulys Chacin, Esmil Rogers, Eric Young Jr, Franklin Morales, and Jason Hirsh. Sign up and pay if you'd like to support area media, but Foster's article doesn't offer anything mind-blowing.
Paul Phillips did indeed pass through waivers and accepted his assignment at AAA.
Carlos Gonzalez' glove is made of pure gold, magic and rainbows. That glove is earning him plenty of playing time despite a lackluster showing with the bat, as well as undue credit:
Gonzalez still has not gotten on track offensively, mired in an 0-for-12 slump. But the Rockies are 16-3 when he starts. -Renck
Rockies believe best is yet to come | ColoradoRockies.com: News
General feature fluff.
Another key to the Rockies' second half is Troy Tulowitzki. RMN posted a Counting Rocks on Tulo yesterday, which got buried by other material, so I'm linking it here too.