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Friday Rockpile: Going to California With an Achin' in My Heart

Good morning Rowbots. With Russ in Sicily, you'll be getting a little extra dosage of me for the next week or so.

Tonight, Aaron Cook will take the mound to begin a telling nine-game road trip through California. In the past, this trip could almost be counted on to start a downward spiral in the Rockies season. Even with last year's franchise-best win total, Colorado was 2-7 at AT&T Park, 5-4 at Petco Park and 2-7 at Dodger Stadium. With rookies Jhoulys Chacin and Esmil Rogers getting their second and third career starts on this trip, a 4-5 record would be more than acceptable, if not a gift.

The bullpen will need to be as strong as ever, and as Jim Armstrong points out in the link above, the Rockies bullpen ERA is currently tied for their best month in franchise history, even after surrendering five earned runs Wednesday. Other notes that Armstrong produces: Troy Tulowitzki is second in the league in multi-hit games, and the most valuable piece of the bullpen for Jim Tracy is Ubaldo Jimenez. Yes, Jimenez. I digress.

In addition to the bullpen, it would be awfully nice if the hot bats continue to rake. Rockies pitchers lead MLB in slugging percentage, sacrifice bunts and are second in batting average. Miguel Olivo is currently MLB's most valuable catcher, despite having the 25th most plate appearances. And Carlos Gonzalez seems to have caught fire again.

As for Olivo, it is no small feat that he has so seamlessly replaced Yorvit Torrealba, endearing himself to teammates with the same qualities that made Yorvit popular. The original writing on the wall was that the Rockies would assess where Michael McKenry was at the end of the year, then judge whether to pick up Olivo's option next year, but if he keeps playing like this...

"I'd love to be here. I pray to God I can stay here a long time." -Miguel Olivo, via Jim Armstrong

Carlos Gonzalez leads the Rockies in RBI despite playing just two games away from the leadoff spot. He answered questions for fans at the Denver Post - definitely a very good read.

Three other quick links this morning:

Deduno on Colorado Springs DL | Inside the Colorado Rockies
"Colorado Rockies pitching prospect Samuel Deduno has been placed on the disabled list with elbow soreness, meaning Triple-A Colorado Springs has lost three-fifths of its rotation." Sky Sox, join the club. Stu Cole now only has four starters though, and Dan O'Dowd may have to sign a starting pitcher from outside the organization just to keep the AAA rotation turning.

Should You Boycott the Diamondbacks? | FanGraphs Baseball
The debate rages on at Fangraphs about the new law in Arizona.

Halladay scheduled to face Rockies | Inside the Colorado Rockies
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, May 11. If the rotation stays as is, Aaron Cook will oppose him.