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Tuesday Rockpile: Rockies Frustrated With (Treatment of) Morales

Andrew Martin, the Rockies have heard your pleas.

It isn't just fans who feel like Franklin Morales might be unfairly targeted for balking. The usually even-keeled Tracy Ringolsby was incensed at second base umpire Damien Beal, spewing multiple frustrated tweets yesterday.

"It certainly seems like Franklin is under more scrutiny than other pitchers, and it's been that way for more than a year." - Pitching Coach Bob Apodaca, via Troy Renck

According to Baseball Reference, that was only Morales' fifth career balk, including the postseason, yet the Rockies were still worried that they videotaped Morales' move in March and sent it to MLB umpire supervisor Mike Port, just to make sure there was nothing illegal about it. The Rockies were told it was fine.

Now, Dan O'Dowd has made a call about Morales to Port again, asking him to review Sunday's game. The Rockies have never been the type of organization to overly complain publicly, so this development should illustrate the importance of the issue to the Rockies' FO.

"I wanted him to take a look at the tape from (the Braves' game). When they compared last season's game in Philadelphia to the one from spring training where Franklin was called for a balk, there was no discernible difference. So we want to know what changed." - GM Dan O'Dowd, via Troy Renck

Good for O'Dowd. If there is an unspoken rule among umpires to watch Morales more closely than others as many have alluded to (notably Ringolsby and Rox Girl), perhaps this will undo some of that. We all know Morales doesn't need any help losing his cool.


Cook Fizzles

We reassured ourselves after a poor Spring Training showing that Aaron Cook would be fine. He is not. He is a sinkerball pitcher who hasn't had a feel for his sinker since October, and it shows. He is throwing the fastball less frequently than he has in seven years. He has doubled the use of his slider and curveball over his career rates, even though both breaking pitches have been well below average throughout his career. It is probably why his walk rate is double his career rate so far too. He needs to find that sinker. Otherwise, Cook doesn't have much other than veteraniness and craftiness to get guys out.

Tracy Ringolsby suggests it might be merely repeated April struggles. I'm not so sure. He has a 7.53 ERA currently after posting ERAs in previous years over his first three April starts of: 10.62, 3.79, 3.86 and 3.43.

As for the Rockies fizzle? We always seem to remember how difficult east coast road trips tend to be, and Colorado's 6-7 (2 GB) record outpaces the 5-8 (3 GB) and 5-8 (4GB) records from the past two playoff seasons. Par birdie for the course?


Other News

Miguel Olivo has been on fire with his arm and threw out two base-runners last night, upping his total to six out of eight attempts and one pickoff. That's way better than advertised, and those seven outs on the basepaths represent three more than Yorvit Torrealba managed in 53 tries.

Jimenez named NL Player of the Week | News
A No Hitter will do that for you.

Twitter / Tracy Ringolsby:  "Jeff Francis threw side session at extended spring Monday. Will have another Wed. Taylor Buchholz to pitch one inning in extended spring (today)"