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Tuesday Rockpile: Get Used to Seeing the Rockies Atop the NL West

We're on top of the world!  So what if it's one game.  It counts as much as Game 162, and it feels good.

Yesterday's Opening Day wasn't as tense as in past years, but maybe that means we are finally due for success sans stress and strain.  Of the heroes, we have Carlos Gonzalez, who is tied for the NL lead in batting average with Albert Pujols and the other CarGo, Carlos Gomez.  Right.  Dave Krieger wrote a measuredly glowing feature on CarGo.  My favorite line:

Gonzalez is likely to be the first Rocks leadoff man to lose the job as a promotion rather than demotion.

Ian Stewart was also a hero on his birthday, blasting a home run and sacrifice fly.  Yet, it wasn't the home run of which he and Jim Tracy were most proud:

"That was beautiful for me," Tracy said. "To make that adjustment he made on the next pitch . . . A year ago, it might have been four days later and 'x' number of strikeouts before he makes that adjustment." - Jim Armstrong

Sorry to say, but the ultimate goat was Seth Smith.  He was given the slight surprise of the Opening Day start and managed to hit one fair ball...recording two outs on one swing.  Smith will be better, but that may just worry fantasy owners.  Eric Karabell from ESPN points out Smith's presence could really hurt Dexter Fowler's fantasy value (Insider).

The bullpen was certainly shaky, as Jim Armstrong outlined this morning.  You won't move me from my prediction that Matt Belisle will surprise people though.  As bad as that home run pitch was to Gomez, he looked stellar otherwise.

The Rockies will try to win their eighth straight against the Brewers tonight at 6:10 MT with Greg Smith on the hill.  Of the four players in the Rockies rotation or lineup that weren't homegrown, Smith is one of three originally groomed by the Diamondbacks.  It must suck to see a divisional rival win with all of your players, something we don't suffer through, but that's another column for another day.

Chris Iannetta will catch tonight, but it will be his last action until Saturday....


Tracy to balance time for catching duo | News
"Rockies manager Jim Tracy has two equal catchers, and to start the year, their playing time will be equal." That's the first sentence from that Thomas Harding article.


Much lamenting has been scribed about the Rockies lack of corner infield depth in the minor leagues.  With apologies to Mike Paulk, the club made some moves with a few players you may want to watch:

Four Colorado Rockies prospects skip a level | Inside the Colorado Rockies
First basemen Kiel Roling and Ben Paulsen both skipped a level, with Roling starting 2010 in AA Tulsa and 2009 draftee Paulsen jumping from Single-A Tri City to Hi-A Modesto.  2009 first round pick Tim Wheeler and pitcher Rob Scahill will make the same jump as Paulsen and will start with the Nuts.

Predictions That Will Be Wrong | FanGraphs Baseball
Count Dave Cameron on the Rockies bandwagon.  He predicts Colorado to take the NL Pennant as well, ultimately falling to Minnesota in the World Series.  That would be an entertaining series, so let's home you're NOT wrong, Dave.

Meanwhile, as the Rockies had a solid Opening Day effort, the Dodgers were massacred by Pirates in Pittsburgh.  Vicente Padilla isn't that bad of a starter, but maybe it's karma for naming him the Opening Day guy.  Either way, the Los Angeles press is in a tizzy over their lack of an ace.

If you haven't seen this ridiculous play, you absolutely must.

And hey!  Don't forget to check in at 11am MT today for the online chat with Matt Daley.  As RMN noted, Troy Renck expects Rowbots in full force.  Unlike the last time when I helped hijack the chat, I won't be available to partake, so make me proud.