I spent many a post over the last moth desperately trying to persuade our loyal Rowbots that calling up Brad Eldred simply wasn't worth it. In the event that Todd Helton hit the disabled list, I would have expected Chris Nelson to be recalled again. While Nelson doesn't play first, he was already on the roster, a roster that had one space empty that was pretty much reserved for Taylor Buchholz's emergence from the 60 day disabled list, where he currently does not count against the 40 man limit. With Jason Giambi and Melvin Mora providing fragmented but acceptable first base options, Eldred never really crossed my mind as a legitimate option on the roster, particularly with the All Star Break coming up this week.
Now that Helton IS on the DL and Eldred IS up with the team, the status of the analysis must change accordingly. A little bit of important information on Eldred's contract status. He is out of options, for one thing, meaning when he leaves the team, he is designated for assignment, must clear waivers and must also accept outright assignment. Eldred also has less than a full season of major league service time, meaning that even if he were to stay active on the roster through the end of the season, he'd still be under team control next season, allowing us to pay him minimum salary.
The reason this is important is because the minors are somewhat dry of right handed power that figures to experience success off MLB pitcing at this point. Eldred himself may not be an exception; strikeout concerns, little experience, MLB pitching, short doorway in the clubhouse and so forth all represent potential threats to attempting to pull some sort of longevity out of his contributions. Because of this, none of what I say here should be considered an outright endorsement to keep Eldred, especially since we've only seen him in one game so far. If he does reamin with us, however, we will have a right handed power bat and alternative to an ailing Helton. Whether or not we can afford the roster space to keep him, though, is another issue altogether.If Helton returns in two weeks (the front office seems optimistic but I won't believe it until I see it), someone's going to have to go, and it's probably not going to be Giambi or Mora. Further, Taylor Buchholz is going to need that 40 man spot.
Judge Eldred for yourselves
Links after the jump.
According to Joey Nowak at MLB.com, the Rockies will be optioning Esmil Rogers back down to the Sky Sox to make room for Jorge De La Rosa (who doesn't appear to be recognized by SBNation's auto tag system anymore). We've already debated the issue of who should get bumped from the rotation to mostly dead levels of death, but even in the situation where Chacin has to be the loser by default outright as he is this time, I would prefer to leave Rogers in long relief and keep Chacin starting for the Sox. We must not forget that Rogers is running headfirst and out of option years into a rotation of Jimenez, Hammel, Cook, Chacin, and <INSERT LEFTY HERE> in 2011, meaning that barring injury, his future is most likely in trade, waiver claim, or in our bullpen. I'll make my full case below:
1. Rogers has struggled in the starting role this season at both the MLB and AAA levels.
2. Though Chacin is more developed than Rogers, he is still young enough to benefit from regular starting activity at any level. While Chacin is no Franklin Morales in terms of mental breakdown susceptibility and even being the guy that always comments on how much consistency is overrated in this game, I still find myself worried that we're going to squish Chacin into a role that will waste him, whether now or long term.
3. The aforementioned lack of space in the rotation for Rogers, who is stuck at the major league level (that is, if we intend to keep him in our organization) makes now as good a time as any to make a permanent transition to the pen for him. The only argument against this I can see is a possible lower in value for trade moves, but July 31 is not so far removed that Rogers could not be recovered into starting material by any future MLB destination.
Nowak also has notes on the surprisingly pleasant recent contributions from Dexter Fowler and Ian Stewart, as well as Eldred and the first base position as a whole during Helton's absence.
"Tracy has had no qualms about the fact that up to five different players could play first base for the Rockies in the near future. Besides Eldred, who was called up from Colorado Springs on Wednesday, and Giambi, he said Chris Iannetta and Hawpe will take ground balls at first. Melvin Mora has also played five games at first." - Joey Nowak, MLB.com
Time to bring out Tracy's D&D dice and do some 1B roleplaying games of chance.
Carlos Gonzalez finished third in the All Star Final Vote for the NL. While it would have been cool to see another playable Rockie make the team, Joey Votto, who won the vote, probably deserved to make the team over the other candidates. Troy Renck of the Denver Post also comments on the story.
Though I do not have ESPN Insider, MLBTradeRumors suggests that this article from ESPN's Buster Olney discusses the potential trade of Dan Uggla to the Rockies inside the premium section. If that is incorrect, I apologize, and enjoy some trade talk about Adam Dunn other teams mentioned here instead.
No major transactions news from Matt Eddy yet today, as it seems he has fallen off his Thursday schedule once again. Just keep your eyes to the new and improved Project Libra to keep ontop of the organizational moves.
Finally, it an interesting bit of non-news, Fangraphs author Alex Remington has posted a little article about the nature of baseball, addressing some of the things I love and hate about the game. Take a look and see what you think about some of these baseball philosophies.