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Tuesday Rockpile: Kaz is Back, Matzek Dominates in Debut

Over the ten plus season the Dan O'Dowd regime has been in charge, every adjective imaginable has been used to describe the front office.  Brilliant.  Lost.  Intelligent.  Incompetent.  And on and on we go.  I think we can officially say now that one word absolutely describes the regime without contest:  nostalgic.

O'Dowd has brought fan favorite Vinny Castilla back as a player, then as a coach.  Don Baylor and Walt Weiss have returned to the organization as coaches.  Notable Rocktober contributors Matt Herges and Josh Fogg we brought back last season.  This spring saw the return of Justin Speier, an effective reliever during the Hampton/Neagle era.  Seven years ago, they used a 30th round pick to bring in the son of the man who hit Coors Field's first home run.  

And now, Kazuo Matsui is back with the club.  Aside from Castilla's swan song in 2004, none of the above moves amounted to much, and the front office expects the same from bringing Kaz back.

"We are looking to do something similar to last time. Put him in the minor leagues and see where he's at. There is no guarantee of a call-up," O'Dowd said. "We all remember the magic of 2007. But I also know that this is 2010." - via Troy E. Renck, Denver Post

IF Matsui's back problems go away, IF Barmes falls more off a cliff and gets injured and IF Matsui somehow rediscovers a batting stroke that seemed lost two seasons ago, we may see Kaz at Coors before September.  Otherwise, probably not.

Also in the above linked story, Renck pulled a quote from Dan O'Dowd on Chris Iannetta:

"He has addressed his swing mechanics, shown a great attitude and done everything we have asked. It's getting close (to a decision)," O'Dowd said.

I can only hope the decision regards only the time of the callup.

I'm sure Jim Armstrong was one of those kids who woke his parents up at 5am on Christmas Day.  The one-year anniversary of Jim Tracy's promotion to manager is Saturday, but Armstrong is already reflecting on Tracy's first year.  

More after the jump.  They are FP-worthy links, I just ran out of space.

Loosely tied to the previous story, Thomas Harding writes that Troy Tulowitzki loves swinging at the first pitch.  This is not a new revelation.  For his career, he's hitting .394 with a 1.064 OPS on a pitcher's first offering.  He is just 7-for-24 this season on such occasions, but his home run Sunday came on the first pitch.  And interesting quote from Tulo:

"I think I've had criticism since I've been here swinging at the first pitch, but I know I'm very successful swinging at the first pitch," -Harding

I'm sure whoever posts a Pebble Report later today will have more to say about this, but for those whose eyes glaze over at each of PR's PRs, here you go:  

Matzek dominates in his pro debut | News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball 
Tyler Matzek struck out five and allowed one hit over five innings in his Minor League debut as Asheville beat Greensboro, 3-2.  His fastball touched 97mph and the first round pick was pulled after 80 pitches.  Sheng-An Kuo served up a 2-run home run in the ninth to rob Matzek of his first professional victory.


"I'm still going to get a little anxious, but I'm going to have some confidence behind me knowing that I executed the pitches I wanted to pitch...I'll get more consistent with that, it should be fun....I'll probably just end up here (in Asheville), they told me in extended that there were no future goals.  We'll see when the next step comes, but I just want to win, help this team to win." - via Danny Wild,


Lastly, here's a graph comparing Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez.