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Monday Rockpile: What’s the best thing to clean up the broken pieces? A Broom.

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After a 5-3 rainout victory and a 1-0 shutout, I'd say that I agree with manager Jim Tracy when he says "I'm tickled to death to see the offense doing some things" - hell, I might even disagree him so I can say that I'm completely PAST "tickled to death".

Reason I'm past "tickled to death" is that two players we need to start hitting have started hitting, in Todd Helton and Ryan Spilborghs. Seriously, what a great Sunday for Spilly, going long twice. What a great game for the Rockies in general. Francis pitches well, the offense shows up, Helton nearly takes one long...man, it was a good day. To add to that, we get tacos on Monday! Wahoo!

Seriously, how good does a sweep feel? Toronto came in as the home-run-hittingest team in the majors, offensively giant, watch out for these cool cats, and we totally shut them down. Well, 7 runs in 3 games isn't COMPLETELY shut down, we're not talking Philadelphia levels of shut down, but for all the hype, I've liked what I've seen.

In other news, and this is more minor league stuff, but Greg Reynolds was activated and optioned to Double-A Tulsa. You know, I'm in a good mood writing this right now, so everything is sunshine and bullfrogs and butterflies. All great things. Reynolds isn't looking great in the minors right now, but you know what? He's going to turn it around in 2010. He'll suddenly find some level of effectiveness that makes him put people's jobs in the majors in jeopardy. I'm basing this on nothing at all but one of those bulletproof feelings you get sometimes.

You know what else is cool? Fangraphs has now made swinging-strike% available on their leaderboards. You know what's even cooler about it? The Rockies are 8th in the majors in generating swinging strikes. That's awesome, when you consider that we're more of a "make-weak-contact" type of pitching organization.

The Rockies' beat reporter Thomas Harding takes a moment and kind of points out that Chris Iannetta has still had a rough go of things since he got called back up. He looked pretty good on Sunday, so I'm just gonna take it game-to-game and say that we have an awesome catching tandem.

Oh and apparently the NL and AL are 42-42 in interleague play thus far this season. Screw you, AL, go NL.

So on a totally random note, Ty Cobb, one of the greatest players of all time, was the first millionaire in baseball as well. Not because anyone paid him that much to play the game, but because he was a whiz at the stock market. That's awesome.

Final note: Paul Beeston and Cito Gaston are afraid of the NL. At least, that's how I read it.

More news and stuff past the jump

Rockies getting what they hoped for from Francis || Jim Armstrong, Denver Post

It's the kind of article you'd expect to see with a headline like that. Francis has been a very pleasant surprise so far. What's funny is that if you cruise back in time to see my expectations from Jeff Francis and Aaron Cook, it looks as if Cook isn't going to hold up his end of the bargain. The good news is that if Francis can keep up anything even remotely resembling this pace, he's going to probably take a bite beyond what his allotted production needed to be. Good news is that while Cookie isn't really producing, we have this Ubaldo Jimenez fellow who seems to be pretty decent and is filling in the gaps. Hammel, if he can continue this "oh look I turned it around" thing, he could help fill in the gaps as well. Chacin may not have a flashy line, but he is also filling in some of that gap. The downside is that Jorge De La Rosa being injured is going to seriously hamper his ability to take his share of the production. That all said, it seems to be working out alright, at least as far as pitching goes.

Opposing hitters coming up short vs. Rockies pitchers || Jim Armstrong, Denver Post

Good luck hitting dingers off of OUR pitchers, ah tell yoo wut.

The Value of Below Average || Jack Moore, Fangraphs.com

One of the most frustrating criticisms of the organization and of their use of Clint Barmes is the argument that "A real contending team wouldn't have a terrible player like that in their lineup". Well, turns out that a lot of playoff teams do, in fact, have players of Barmes' caliber in their starting 8. Their case is that most playoff teams' 8th best player (of 300 or more PA) is a guy who's in the 1.0-1.5 WAR range. Now, this season, it really depends on whose fielding metrics you prefer (and I'll be honest, I'm a miserable cherrypicker when it comes to WAR) but the past 2 seasons, Barmes has averaged out to somewhere in the 1.75-2.0 WAR range (and that's based on a combination of Fangraphs' UZR/wOBA-based WAR and Baseball-Reference's similar linear weights-based batting valuation and TotalZone - the latter 2 developed by Sean Smith of BaseballProjection.com). He's frustrating at times, but rest assured, most contending teams DO have to deal with this as well.