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Friday Rockpile: The Road

Offtopic Discussion Here

Friday Commentary:

Call it a consideration of flaw in professional character: if I'm some sort of stage performance artist, who can only perform on a stage that is comfortable to me, am I a good stage performer?

Probably not.

What if I'm a baseball player?

We can can cite faulty pitching or anemic offense until the cows come home. We all know what the Colorado Rockies are capable of. The question is, what wizard snatches it when we get off the plane in a visiting city? Or is it just lost along with the team's personal luggage?

Further, we can argue feverishly about what positions need upgrading and what our best chips are for putting a player trade in place to help secure our advancement. Being the local independent centrist neutral moderate subjective-obsessed relativist, I can say with some personal satisfaction that I really don't care to speculate on such things. What I cannot say is that the team has a visible flaw, and it's not the kind of flaw that can be blamed on a specific coach, or a specific player, or a specific Jim Tracy. Don Baylor could be managing the Orioles, Dan Uggla could be our second baseman and Jim Tracy could be selling hot dogs at the concessions pavilion, and I feel fairly certain we'd still be lost on The Road.

But wait, that counts as speculation. Am I placing myself into some torturous purgatory where my core values and ideals are regularly sabotaged, forcing my to accept the fact that me or anyone in the position of "baseball fan" is quite easily labeled "hypocrite"?

It's not Carlos Gonzalez striking out at a key at bat, or Manuel Corpas getting a call in a late and important inning, or an frequently inconsistent lineup card that strikes fear into my brain when I consider the following evening's baseball affair. It's simply that little @ sign following the words "Colorado Rockies". I'm not going to even pretend I know how to address or solve this problem. But I hope someone does, and even if they just pretend, maybe it will work.

Have some links (post-jump).

Jack Etkin at Inside the Rockies reports that Taylor Buchholz' rehab assignment has been completed, and it is time for the team to make an important decision: activate or option. DEAREST ME. Is it really so possible that I can spend so much time researching and analyzing MLB transactions, yet be so consistently wrong about a player's option status? With the Jonathan Herrera confusion still keeping me up at night, now suddenly Taylor Buchholz grew an option tree in his backyard? This, I know: Buchholz has been optioned three times before, and has spent more than 20 days in the minors each time. If Buchholz has an option, I'm just going to make it easy on myself and decide that MLB transaction rules as they apply to certain players are drawn Dan O'Dowd's straw hat.

The decision on what to do with Buchholz, whether it makes sense or not, is expected today.

Etkin also reports, as I did yesterday, that minor league starting pitchers Ethan Hollingsworth, Parker Frazier and Josh Sullivan have all been promoted, moves that are expected to be permanent. Hollingsworth moves to AA Tulsa, while Frazier and Sullivan join A+ Modesto.'s Thomas Harding feels we can add Brad Hawpe to the list of players we need to see returning to some sort of form from injury, and soon. Harding is referring to Hawpe's body slam into the fence in Anaheim, nearly a month ago.

"It'll probably feel better around Christmas," - Brad Hawpe

Gee Brad, I know you're joking, but that's not doing a lot to inspire my confidence, especially since we may need you to join our 3-5 person 1B juggling act.

That list of news items also contains some interesting notes about the Philadelphia series that starts today, particularly in regard to the drama that occurred the last time we faced the Phillies. The Phillies will be beginning their tenure with a brand new hitting coach, which can be read about here in this article by Philadelphia Daily News author David Murphy. Also of note is Todd Helton's on again off again rehab, which started off has him being back right away, which moved to a few days later, which moved to a rehab assignment, which moved to more strengthening and conditioning. Many of us had more than an inkling that Helton was not going to be ready to come off the DL immediately. I even predicted that it would be more than a little while before we saw Todd again. It's clear that the organization was really hoping he'd be ready to go by now, but we can all be pleased that at the very least, they're not letting the name Todd Helton speak the most volumes about how healthy he really is. I just wonder if the next step is "maybe in September".

Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times (accessed through the Denver Post) gives some details on the upcoming increase in random drug testing in the minor leagues. The tests will be focusing on detecting human growth hormone. Some people have expressed concern that these tests may ping dozens of minor league players, throwing the whole system into chaos. That remains to be seen, but the question rises... if HGH is illegal to be used without permission (which in the MLB, it is), then why would so many minor leaguers be dabbling in this?

Finally, this community article by Fangraphs user Buizly makes detects some interesting patterns in All Star voting. Take a look.