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Sunday Rockpile: Russ Ortiz tries for 2007 Mark Redman impression, Jason Giambi, Tim Lincecum and more

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First of all, in case you've missed the various discussions about the team's coming acquistions:

Rockies to sign Ortiz; Giambi deal close | News

Yep, Russ Ortiz. You can probably put his name in the Purple Row search box to see my feelings about him as a pitcher, but the Redman precedent has taught me never to underestimate the power of Dinger hexes in making crummy pitchers good for us for a little while. We'll need a particularly strong one for this case, though.


That Rocktober feeling coming back, but don't think Rockies are the big dog in town just yet


If you need any confirmation where Denver's sports loyalties lie, check out the Post website's front page this morning. One team loses a meaningless exhibition while another wins a key contest over a rival with serious playoff implications. Guess which is more newsworthy to Denver fans? I'm not blaming the Post's editors for this, they know what's going to sell them newspapers, and it might take another couple of playoff teams for the Rockies to be more important than the Broncos preseason in the city.

Kiszla: Intoxicating feel returns to Coors - The Denver Post


Meek vs the Freak?


This afternoon the Rockies play against the best pitcher in baseball for the first time this season, but as Andrew Baggarly notes in the San Jose Mercury News, there's respect, but not much fear among Rockies hitters about the task in front of them. Well, this Patrick Saunders article indicates maybe a little worry from Ian Stewart, but the way Stewart had been hitting before last night's game tying HR, Russ Ortiz would probably make Stewart nervous to face.


Rockies still wishing NL would adopt DH rule for this season


Smith continues to produce for Rockies in a pinch role - The Denver Post

I wish there was a good way to acknowledge the great work Seth Smith has done as a pinch hitter for the Rockies this season without implying that's his calling in life. Smith's a professional hitter, capable of being an above average starter as a corner outfielder. The Rockies have four such players, but like every other team, only three slots for them. They also have Ryan Spilborghs and three more outfielders in AAA or AA that are capable of being quality MLB reserves. It's an embarrassment of riches which could help the Rockies come World Series time.

The Rockies lead the NL in pinch hitting production at .305/.414/.525 and second place, Atlanta at .257/.402/.407 isn't particularly close. Smith, in 41 pinch hit plate appearances has more extra base hits (8) than Milwaukee's entire team does (7) in 174 pinch hit PA's.



Matzek, the 11th overall pick, said he was eager to make it back to cavernous Coors Field, which the humidor has helped turn into a decent pitcher's park, saying: "My philosophy is if they can't hit it, they can't hit it far."

From the USA Today write up of our signing of Tyler Matzek.