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Tuesday Rockpile: Bullpen dust starting to settle

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Financial commitments are already set for Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle, Randy Flores and Manuel Corpas in the bullpen, while Franklin Morales and Matt Daley have shown with their performance to be an asset with the MLB club.  That fills the seven spots right there, but Dan O'Dowd is wisely still at the market seaching for hidden deals.

The Rockies have been reportedly interested in Derrick Turnbow for nearly two months.  The former All-Star Brewer closer is 8-15 with a 6.13 ERA since 2006, with only 6.1 IP in MLB the last two seasons.  According to Troy Renck, the Rockies "remain firmly in the mix" for Turnbow, who could decide as early as tomorrow.  

Another more recently publicized option, also of the former All-Star-closer-turned-heap-of-stinking-rotting-trash mold, is Eric Gagne.  Facepalm quote candidate number one:

"Gagne was unimpressive to the Phillies during a throwing session last week, but he has a strong connecton to manager Jim Tracy" - Renck

Troy also revealed the final details on Rafael Betancourt's contract.  He will earn $3.775M each of the next two seasons.  He could earn $450k through performance bonuses.  The bonus source isn't as silly as giving him a bump for a Gold Glove, but he still won't sniff it.  The entirety of the bonus is based on "games finished," starting with forty.  Sure, Street could get injured.  But last year in a playoff push, the club went with a young converted starter with a reputation for being a headcase over Raffy.  

Jim Tracy is "tickled to death" to have Jason Giambi back.  The implications of the move are wide-reaching and riveting.  Todd Helton seems to imply it may provide him with more power in his swing in September to have a legitimate replacement at first base.  As for the rest of the article, only put as much stock into details as your ability to handle insanity dictates.  Basically, try not to envision Eric Young in left field, Jason Giambi hitting third while batting .111, or "open competition" giving Paul LoDuca Miguel Olivo's bench spot after marginally better ST play while Brad Hawpe is an unquestioned starter regardless of competetion.  Just don't put too much stock into it.  It can drive you crazy.  Trust me.  

 

NL West Quick Draw

BtB has posted the DiamondView 2.010 for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The projections for Kelly Johnson and Comeback Player of the Year candidate Conor Jackson are especially bullish, while the Snakes' middle infield is incredibly square.

He played three seasons in San Diego and toiled on Joe Torre's bench in 2009.  After a very lackluster campaign last season, Mark Loretta has chosen to retire, immediately taking a position as special assistant to baseball operations with the Padres. If it felt like Loretta specifically tore up Rockies' pitching in his career, it's because he did. The 38-year-old started against Colorado more than any team in MLB, and his .847 OPS against the Rox was his best against any NL team.  Even though I had a TBLA/Clint Barmes level disdain for facing him, I respected him as much as any opponent.

There's a couple more links after the jump

As RIRF pointed out in the Rockpile yesterday, Jim Caple wrote a piece for ESPN that poorly fits their "Hot Stove U:  Six Weeks of Knowledge in 2010" series.  The insider piece throws "more sophisticated, precise and complicated" stats like WHIP and OPS under the bus, saying "no stat holds as much importance as the humble run."  Sure, it's important to score runs, but it has almost no predictive value and is entirely context dependent.  Team runs maybe, but individual runs are silly.  Caple asks:

Why are we told how many triples a player has hit but not how many runs he has scored? I'll tell you why. Because the run is the most neglected, underrated stat in baseball.

No, it's because even most traditionalists realize runs are stupid.  Jimmy Rollins had an OBP .002 higher than Clint Barmes in 2009, yet he was top ten in the NL in runs.  Hmmm.

The series isn't completely worthless though.  Fangraphs' own Matthew Carruth and Dave Cameron have written articles thus far.   

And just to be fair, we'll jump to the other side of ridiculousness, where The Hardball Times has revealed TWELVE new SABR stats:  xBABIP, xWINS, xLOB%, HRR/FB, xHRR/FB, R/HR, xR/HR,  RS (Run Support), xRS, BS (Bullpen Support) and xBS