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Sunday Rockpile: Brad Eldred is not the answer to your questions

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Todd Helton, with two hits last night, showed signs that he might be ready to break out of a season long slump (his baserunning excepted, slow always slumps) which is timely, as the first baseman is getting increased scrutiny from the press and fans for his share of the Rockies offensive slump as a team thus far this year. That said, Helton's not the the only issue, and replacing him's not really on the table right now:

Troy Renck does a great job of stating it:

...Because for all the crazy theories advanced by impatient fans, the Rockies aren't going to the playoffs if Brad Eldred is playing first base.

And there's no blockbuster trade on the horizon. No magical prospect in Triple-A. The Rockies' season hinges on the players in the clubhouse getting better.

We've had our share of "crazy theories" involving Brad Eldred espoused here as well. I know where Renck's coming from in that regard. It's hard to explain to people how a person hitting tremendously well in the PCL, particularly for one of the elevated teams like Colorado Springs, could actually be a Mendoza level hitter at the major league level. That said, there is at least one player currently in AAA that I think everybody could agree that we would like to see help:

Make that at least two players:

Dexter Fowler's doing well in his quest to return albeit there's no timetable for that and with Troy Tulowitzki's groin strain, we're needing Jonathan Herrera more right now. Meanwhile, Huston Street has suffered another delay in his injury rehab and will be spending another week with the Sky Sox.

I endured some friendly ribbing by Andrew Fisher during the game that should not have been played Friday night for bringing up a worst case scenario of Ubaldo Jimenez getting injured in the sloppy conditions. He was right, I should have chosen the second to worst case scenario, as losing Tulo even for two games hurts. Thankfully it's only a mild injury, but I think it underscores my point. The Rockies would lose a lot more money in the long run by having a star like Ubaldo or Tulo on the shelf for an extended period of time than they would by calling one game. It was a mistake that the game got played at all, we're just lucky that the damage from that mistake is relatively mild and the Rockies came out of it with a win.

A win that was still a large part thanks to Jimenez, who Tim McCarver thinks is pretty good, via Woody Paige. McCarver gives a catcher's perspective on a great pitching season, as he caught for Bob Gibson during his incredible 1968.

  • Also from the Post: Ubaldo's at the vanguard of a "year of the pitcher". 
  • Roy Johnson at ESPN agrees.
  • Jimenez is the first pitcher to win 12 of his first 13 starts since Bret Saberhagen in 1987. Saberhagen won two Cy Young awards in 1985 and 1989, but in that season between the two that started out promising, he ended with a thud as Saberhagen went 5-8 with a 4.49 ERA from July on. We probably shouldn't be too quick to anoint Jimenez his first CY until we've gone a little farther.



I also mentioned in the game thread Friday night that one of the subplots was 2005 draftees Ricky Romero and Tulowitzki facing off against each other for the first time in the majors, I had no idea that the two share a friendship as well:


A couple more minors/draft related links after the bump...

The summer equinox means that the fresh crop of new Rockies hopefuls will be arriving in Casper and Tri-City, but both teams this year feature several familiar faces to those clubs:

The experienced Casper team could be a change of pace for our Pioneer League squad, which seems to be a perpetual basement dweller in the standings due to it being the first stop for our prospects (about half the teams in the league use the Pioneer League as their second level) and due to (this is just a theory of mine) its remoteness relative to the rest of the league enhancing the usual road disadvantage.

TigerNet interviewed first round pick Kyle Parker in advance of his Clemson team's super-regional showdown and he talked about the draft and getting serious about signing after Clemson's eliminated:

The time frame he's talking about means that we will know by late June what his final decision is. All indications are still in the Rockies favor, however. Negotiations should proceed quickly once the Tigers are eliminated. They're a game away from that reality after losing to Josh Rutledge (3rd round) and Alabama yesterday afternoon.

Okay, one last link and I'll post this beast:

Just in case you're wondering, I believe the answer is yes. A lot of fans are suggesting that the Rockies shouldn't count on another miracle comeback to get into the playoffs, and this is certainly true, but the teams that are able to make comebacks seem to show it's more of a repeatable skill than we would otherwise suspect. That said, don't get too discouraged when I point out that despite the Rockies better record, we've actually fallen further behind in the wild card chase than we had last season at this time.