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Tuesday Rockpile: The Return of Troy

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Well that was ugly.  A 2-9 road trip hurts.  Losing to Charlie Manuel four times and giving him his 500th win in Philly stings.  While there have technically been two "worse" road trips in franchise history by record, this one smarts a lit more given the talent on this team.

The Rockies went 11-for-71 with RISP over the road trip (a .182 average), including 5-for-33 (.152) in the Philly series. With that dearth of clutch hitting to the point that stealing first base from second seems a good decision, Troy Renck has brought up Jorge Cantu's name again, who may or may not be the the most comparable player to Melvin Mora we could acquire.  This link claims the Rockies have stepped up in talks for Cantu ahead of other teams.  I almost couldn't blame them for panicking.

Let's face it.  This team needs a wake-up call.  But it isn't as if a natural born leader and All-Star hitter is just going to randomly pull up to the clubhouse in a 1967 Camaro to save the d--

/Is tapped on the shoulder by a nameless, faceless, coffee servant.   /Listens

Hmm..  So it seems the Rockies WILL be getting a natural born leader and All-Star hitter pulling up to the clubhouse in a 1967 Camaro.  Okay, maybe not the Camaro part.  But Troy Tulowtizki is returning from the disabled list, about a week earlier than initial projections, to resume his shortstop and cleanup hitting positions.  For those concerned Tulo has been rushed, don't be.  Troy Renck reports Tulo tested his wrist completely, making diving plays, swinging and missing and hitting the ball hard.  If his wrist checks out physically, now is not the time to be conservative.  For those concerned he won't be mashing home runs, well...he probably won't, but he'll still undoubtedly help the team on and off the playing surface.

As for the yet unreported roster move, Renck suggests it will either be Dexter Fowler being optioned or Brad Eldred getting DFAed.  With Hawpe's condition unknown, I'm not sure I like shipping Fowler out.  It almost has to be Eldred, who has not started in a week and went 1-for-11 on the road trip.

At any rate, maybe Tulowitzki's presence will help the Rockies get right.  But they need help from the schedule.  It doesn't do any good if we constantly miss bottomfeed-

/Is tapped on the shoulder again.

So the Rockies finally play the Pirates, becoming the last NL West team to get a crack at them.  In fact, the Rox get Pittsburgh for four games the following week, meaning 7 of the next 12 games are against Pittsburgh.  In between is a series against the beatable Cubs and a two game set against the Giants.  

Anything less than 4-2 this week against the Pirates and Cubs would be a grave disappointment.  Frankly, anything less than an 8-4 stretch against the Pirates, Cubs and Giants could come back to haunt them as much as the past road trip did.  Let's consult my handy dandy NL West Report to see the schedules for the rest of the division over that span.

  • Los Angeles:   3 game road series @ Padres.  3 game road series @ Giants.  4 game home series vs. Padres.  3 game home series vs. Nationals.
  • San Diego:  3 game home series vs. Dodgers.  3 game home series vs. Marlins.  4 game road series @ Dodgers.  3 game road series @ Diamondbacks.
  • San Francisco:   4 game home series vs. Marlins.  3 game home series vs. Dodgers.  2 game road series @ Rockies.  4 game road series @ Braves.

Go Marlins, go Dodgers (maybe), and most importantly, go Rockies.  It is absolutely critical for the Rockies to make up ground in the next two weeks.  For once, all the cards are placed right to make it so.

 

Links after the jump.

Kiszla: Brad Hawpe isn't the answer for Rockies - The Denver Post - I don't normally link Kiszla, but he has some salient points about the Rockies homegrown hitters falling flat and the need to resolve Hawpe's status.  That is, until he recommends trading Jhoulys Chacin for Corey Hart.

Rockies finish 17-16 without Tulowitzki - The Denver Post - Don't let this get lost in the flurry of the poor road trip.  I probably would have taken that mark, considering the road trip scheduled and teams faced on the home stand following Tulo's injury.

Giambi's errors overshadow his productive day at plate - The Denver Post - Giambi takes responsibility for his goofs.

Chris Coghlan Pie Injury DL | Florida Marlins | SportsGrid  No, Coghlan did not collide with Felix Pie.  He tore his meniscus while slamming a shaving cream pie in Wes Helms' face following a walk-off win.  Ridiculous.  Forget Year of the Pitcher.  This is Year of the Freak Injury, though there has not yet been an injury to The Freak.  Here's a few from this season already.

In the spirit of that:


UPDATE:  
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rockies are strongly considering being sellers at the trade deadline.  He names Ryan Spilborghs, Brad Hawpe, Jorge de la Rosa, Aaron Cook, Joe Beimel, Rafael Betancourt and Melvin Mora as pieces the Rockies might try to trade.  Only Cook and Betancourt have guaranteed contracts next season.  It seems to me to be pure speculation on Rosenthal's part (what's new there?), and the four games left before the deadline could decide a lot.  Thankfully, they are home games against the Pirates and Cubs.