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Friday Rockpile: The Reds Hunt for October

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Overflow again

If you don't want to sift through the Offtopic nonsense, baseball discussion occurs: here, here, here, here, and here

Friday Commentary:

The Reds have looked ripe for a breakout season through about 3 years now. 2010 has marked the year where they have gotten their best opportunity. With previous contenders Chicago Cubs and MIlwaukee Brewers in down years and the Pirates and Astros lollygagging about, only the regularly competitive St. Louis Cardinals represent a significant threat to October dreams in Cincinnati. They're an exciting team, with a lot of young talent, and they represent one of the most intriguing teams to me this year. I am excited to see them. After we play Cincinnati, the only NL team we will have yet to face is the Pittsburgh Pirates, whom we will play upon returning to Coors Field at the end of the month.

The Reds will be the first post-All Star challenge for the Rockies, three games that begin a nightmarish 11 game road trip that takes us East to the Marlins and Phillies afterwards. Remember that Jim Tracy has stacked the rotation a bit differently. With Ubaldo Jimenez set to get the maximum amount of rest after two innings pitched to start Tuesday's All Star game, Jason Hammel will be filling the #1 slot for now, followed by Jorge De La Rosa and Aaron Cook before heading to Miami. The Rockies will be facing the well-styled hair of Bronson Arroyo today. 2008 breakout star Edinson Volquez will be making his seasonal debut against us on Saturday. Sunday's starter has yet to be announced, but Aaron Harang will be eligible to return from the DL should they so choose to activate him, but it is more likely we face Johnny Cueto.

Though the crestfallen days may be over for now (and will be until August 2nd), this 11 game road trip needs to be taken seriously. While we all hope that the Rockies can continue capitalizing against good teams, it must also be realized that facing teams like the Reds and Phillies will provide a challenge for us. Most of our recent success has come at home, and it is time to show that we can take the act on the road. The 11 game road trip is nothing when you realize that only 11 games of the next 35 will be at Coors Field.

Links (of which there are few):

The talks of a Dan Uggla trade have been heating up this past week, and yesterday our friend Troy Renck confirmed via Twitter that the names of Esmil Rogers and Matt Miller have been mentioned in consideration. Renck also mentions that the team is listening to requests about Franklin Morales. The team will not, however, be trading Jhoulys Chacin for any reason. Good.

Also from Renck, this time for the Denver Post, injured first baseman Todd Helton will not be ready to return immediately when he is eligible to come off the disabled list in Florida (as I predicted). For now, the team will be bringing Helton along with them in case they need to activate him at a moment's notice. This would mean that if Helton is ready to be activated before returning home to Denver, he may not be going on a rehabilitation assignment with a minor league affiliate. Interesting, though Renck specifically mentions that the team will still probably give him one, suggesting that Helton's presence on the road trip may be more related to his presence alone than his potential performance.

This was mentioned in the comments for yesterday's Rockpile, so it may have already been seen by many of you, but I thought I'd give a link to Jack Moore of Fangraphs' Four Factors column, which focused on Carlos Gonzalez yesterday. It's an interesting look at his flaws, but I wouldn't say it offers anything we don't already know, such as he's gotten lucky with some hits and he never walks (he has fewer walks this season than both Clint Barmes and Miguel Olivo, though to their credit, both batters seem to have improved their patience at the plate this season). The most interesting aspect of the column is comparing his current stats to those from 2009 and 2008, providing a little bit of evolutionary context to Gonzalez' short career thus far.

A couple more after the jump.

If you recall, Jim Tracy got a street named after him in his home town of Hamilton, Ohio (Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook also lives here, though he was born in Kentucky). Tiffany Y. Latta of the Hamilton JournalNews has the story. Take note, Rowbot Photshoppers and Meme Artists: that picture there of Jim Tracy and his street sign may be quite useful to you someday.

ESPNLosAngeles reports that the McCourts may be ordered by the McCourts to sell the Dodgers during their legal battle. The financial chaos involved in the divorce proceedings has the judge concerned that the operations of the Dodgers may be simply a nightmare to attempt to resolve in this manner.

Each McCourt continues to complain of low liquidity, and L.A. Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon thought of one way to resolve their cash flow issue -- putting a for sale sign at Chavez Ravine, the newspaper said.

Low liquidity, eh? This is perfect for a Chinatown reference, even if it's the wrong kind of liquidity.

"Forget it, Frank. It's Mannywood Dodgertown."