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Tuesday Rockpile: The Return of the ToddFather?

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As a follow-up to 22-year-old's Jhoulys Chacin's dominant performance Sunday, we got a fantastic and rare four-hit game from 37-year-old Todd Helton.  How rare?  It had been 403 days (July 16, 2009) since his last game with four knocks, and that had been the only one in the past three years.

It included his 523rd double, tying him for 37th all-time with Willie Mays.

I haven't looked, but I'm guessing this morning, headlines around the blogosphere abound to the nature of "Highway to Helton," "Rockies Fans Gave Up on Helton Too Quickly" or "Helton Has Returned."  It is certainly something we want to believe, and a cursory look at his statistics on either side of his DL stint look promising:

Todd Helton 2010 G GS PA AB 2B HR RBI BB% K% BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
Before DL Stint 69 63 286 248 10 2 16 11.9 21.4 .246 .336 .310 .646 .301
After DL Stint 16 14 62 52 4 2 7 14.5 23.1 .308 .403 .500 .903 .359

Sixteen games isn't enough to be conclusive about anything, but I would be lying if it didn't make me happy.  Here's the more interesting monocle in which to gaze at these statistics though:  Dan O'Dowd's.

O'Dowd is going to have to decide on Helton's final month how to handle the first base situation next year.  Does he buy Helton's resurgence in full, providing little in terms of back up support?  Does he trade for a young talent (Chris Carter/Billy Butler/Yonder Alonso) and push Helton to the bench?  Does he take a flyer on an Aubrey Huff?  It all depends on how strongly Helton finishes out the season.  If I'm O'Dowd looking at those numbers at the end of the season (provided trends continue), I see no way I can push Helton out of the starting lineup, though my nerves insist on a stronger contingency plan than a Jason Giambi.

September can be a very interesting time for non-contenders or those teams on the outer periphery.  But without a truly intriguing prospect as Tulo or Ubaldo to call up for a cup of coffee, the ToddFather situation is the one I will be paying most attention to.

 

Schedule Finally Helps Rockies

With the win last night, the Rockies have won eight home games since the All-Star break, with seven wins coming out on the road.  That split doesn't seem uneven, but then consider 24 of their 36 games since the break have come outside of the Mountain Time Zone.  With 16 of the next 22 games at Coors, Colorado has one last legitimate chance to push themselves back into the playoff conversation.

Cook has successful rehab outing at Tulsa | Inside the Colorado Rockies  This will be covered more in the Pebble Report, I'm sure.  But Cook threw five innings, allowing one run on three hits including an 8/3 groundout/flyout ratio.  David OhNo reported 88-89mph on the gun on consistently low sinkers most of the night.  That is exactly what we want to see from Cook.

Rockies prospects Matzek, Gomez out with injuries | Inside the Colorado Rockies  NOTE:  Neither of these injuries are breaking news, though the details and plans for both are a little more filled in.  Matzek is expected to miss one start with biceps tendonitis and be back Sunday.  Gomez hurt his back 11 days ago (his back is what had him on the DL early this season) and he has been shut down indefinitely.  Jack Etkin expects Gomez will be unable to play in the Arizona Fall League.

Bulk of playing time goes from Barmes to E.Y. - The Denver Post He is now 1-for-12 with 7 K's in his last three starts and has struck out at least twice in 4 of 5 starts.  There is no doubt that Jonathan Herrera and Chris Nelson would get a shot if Young doesn't start making more contact.

Twitter / Troy Renck, Rockies: Randy Flores has cleared waivers, paving the way for the Rockies to outright release the southpaw if they cannot form a trade.

Top Five Reasons To Still Follow The Rockies This Season - SB Nation Denver by some dude named Russ Oates.  What does he know about baseball?