If you believe super duper strongly in jinxes, don't read today's Rockpile, because we're talking about all of our contingency plans.
I mentioned in the comments of yesterday's Rockpile that I had beaten the Phillies in the NLDS and moved on to the NLCS with the following fielders:
C Iannetta (the sim game hates Olivo)
1B Danny Ortmeier (Helton AND Giambi out for the season)
SS Tulo (thank GOD)
3B Stewart/Herrera (Johnny is mashing LHP somehow)
CF Gonzalez (but not for long, he just got hurt...Spilly in CF!)
RF Hawpe/Spilly (total platoon)
OF Bronson Sardinha (I know right)
It just made me wonder who's next in line for Colorado if a series of drastic injuries force O'Dowd and Tracy to get REALLY creative.
Let's just dance around the diamond. We'll be drawing from Wolfmarauder's Project Libra for this as well, so check it out.
Should Olivo or Iannetta go down, I'm torn right off of the bat. Phillips could be called up, as we have 1 40-man spot left. As a backup, Paul Phillips fits the bill. Mike McKenry is looking decent offensively in AAA though, a .790 OPS isn't too bad, especially when it's including a .360+ OBP. We all know that AAA stats don't necessarily mean anything, but I'm liking the skillset thus far, and we know the guy has a cannon. What do you think, Phillips or McKenry? Wil Rosario is killing the ball in AA, and exhibiting that power swing that will undoubtedly be a big part of his MLB skillset. I don't rush him, personally. What about you?
1B is kind of obvious. Should Todd Helton get hurt, we end up with Jason Giambi at 1B. If Giambi gets hurt, I personally move Hawpe to 1B, but seeing how the organization doesn't seem sold on this point (which baffles me still), I wonder if they'll move Melvin Mora to 1B, or go for someone in AAA. They could get really creative and use that 3B-groundball-taking that Iannetta has owned up to and try him at 1B, give him some steady AB, but I'm kind of convinced they'll be all scared chickens about it and just call up Brad Eldred - or Baron Von Eldred as some of us know him as. It kind of speaks to our lack of another 1B in the organization. I kind of miss Danny Ortmeier now. How creative do you get?
More rambling and news past the jump.
2B might be more of a reality than this exploration of depth. With Barmes' offensive struggles, Johnny Herrera's practical inability to be a positive contributor with the bat, and Melvin Mora's inability to play 2B, we know we're looking for options. I personally think if we ABSOLUTELY NEEDED a 2B, we should start seeing who's selling. If we're not in the trade market, we have a couple of options. Both involve AAA: Option 1 is Kaz Matsui finding magic and leprechauns and baseball kami and somehow becoming a MLB player again; Option 2 is that we give Chris Nelson's undoubted CSprings-inflated .916 OPS a shot in the majors. This might happen sooner than later, as David Ohno pointed out that Nelson started at 2B for the Sky Sox on Monday night. Basically put, we have "depth" in the sense that we won't be playing Seth Smith at 2B. Eric Young Jr should be the "incumbent" but I'm kind of excluding him because his leg still has him out of commission.
SS is horrifying to think about. Tulowitzki will never get injured. Ever. No. I refuse to believe that he is capable of getting hurt. We need him too much. But should the unspeakable happen and the world ends and Tulowitzki DOES go down, we might actually be taken care of in the same way as at 2B. Barmes can defensively slide right over, and basically his bad bat will be "excused" as he'll still be a solid SS. Herrera can also play SS, and Chris Nelson's natural position is 2B. One player I forgot to mention at 2B is Omar Quintanilla. He can play both positions, and while his fairy dust can only go so far, he could be a decent fill-in for us if the ABSOLUTE WORSE CAME TO THE ABSOLUTE WORST.
3B is decently covered as well. Stewart's bat may or may not be missed, depending on what your personal scouting report says, but the point is that Melvin Mora is a 3B, despite how frustrating he can be. His bat has jumped up to just-below-average on the wRC+ scale (99), and while we'd miss Stewart's glove, Mora could do the job. Johnny Herrera is this year's Jamey Carroll, in the sense that he can play roughly any IF position and I'm surprised we haven't seen him in every OF position as well. If we needed to dig below the surface, Travis Metcalf isn't looking too shabby in AAA, and while his home/road splits are pretty ugly, his glove is more or less solid. I imagine he'd be like the 4th choice on the list.
The OF, our position of GREATEST DEPTH or whatever, might be the easiest to recover from. Out of the 4 current MLB outfielders, 2 of them can play CF (Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs) and Seth Smith has played CF as recently as 2007 in AAA. It'd be an ugly situation if we had to use Smith in CF. Hawpe is more or less limited to RF, and there's really no reason we'd move him to any spot in the OF other than RF. I don't play Smith in RF unless just absurdly need to, as Spilly and Gonzalez would both be better suited to RF than would Smith.
As far as depth goes, the minute someone in the majors goes down, Dexter Fowler is obviously the first person to arrive, ready or not. After him, we have 3 very capable emergency outfielders. Jay Payton would provide the Veteran Presence, and he's received very positive reviews from scouts - in fact, he could be a trade candidate come the deadline. Our next two options are Cole Garner and Matt Miller. Both are posting a similar OPS, the difference being that Miller is more OBP driven, while Garner is more SLG driven. That said, if we're looking at bats, I might just take Garner. While Miller's OBP driven OPS might seem to translate better to a major-league level, he has similar walk rates to Garner, and his .330 AVG might not hold up if brought to the majors. Pick one? I pick Garner. For the record, Bronson Sardinha is leading the Drillers in OPS.
We can talk about pitching depth another day.
Depth? We have depth. Good depth? Ehhhhh I'm not so sure about that. We have options though, if worse comes to worst. Absolute worst.
In the news category, Tulowitzki is feeling better and expecting to play on Tuesday in Minnesota, according to Troy Renck. Helton's looking good as we talked about yesterday, and Spilly is downright hot.
Joey Nowak of MLB.com talks about the pitching the Rockies are sporting. The thing that amused me the most was his introduction, where basically everyone involved in the pitching process credits each other for the success we're having. I find it especially amusing that we'd taken offensive prowess for granted all of those years and now we have to lean on our pitching more than we ever have in franchise history.
Thomas Harding writes his own version of the Francis Resurgence that we saw yesterday from the Denver Post. He cites Francis' veteranitude as part of the reason for his pleasant return. Go Jeff.
Playing Twins on road leaves lineup in need of a DH || Troy Renck, Denver Post
THE ANSWER IS BRAD HAWPE, HOLY CHEESE
Other notes: Hammel got hosed by Strasburg (anyone surprised?) and Target Field is not a home run park thus far.
Rockies' bullpen set to get even more armed with Street's return || Jim Armstrong, Denver Post
Despite some problems, the bullpen is solid, and they're all hungry for more. Go bullpen. Also bring on Huston Street and Taylor Buchholz. When they're ready.
From Little League to The Show for Daley || Thomas Harding, MLB.com
awwwww Matt Daley loves his daddy - really, it's one of those good "here's where he comes from" pieces, and it also features a "Happy Father's Day" from Carlos Gonzalez.