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Thursday Rockpile: Rockies better get a good hotel this time

Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez received some praise from Bud Black in this Tim Brown column, despite being on the losing end this series:

"I don't know if there's a better three-four in baseball," Padres manager Bud Black said.

It's quite a compliment, and while there are likely a couple of pairs in baseball (Pujols/Holliday) that probably put a lie to Black's statement in current talent, it's hard to argue that the Rockies aren't in a very good position with this pair moving forward.


Adrian Gonzalez deserves attention for the MVP. True. If the Padres hang on and win the division, I think he probably deserves it as much or more than anybody else in the league. I think this year it's a "several worthy candidates" season in the NL, and I really don't believe there will be cause for outrage if it's Joey Votto or Adrian or Carlos Gonzalez or even Pujols or Ryan Zimmerman. If it's a Phillies player, than we can get ticked off.

The bigger point here for Rockies fans, however, could be that second note, that the team is really taking a serious look at Eric Young Jr. to the point of not playing Clint Barmes against a pitcher that he's had some success against. EY2 is sporting a .340/.389/.380 line over the last two weeks, it's similar to the .308/.379/.385 line of Dexter Fowler in that same time-frame. You might have noticed, but the Rockies record over that time period is also fairly decent. For the Rockies to sustain momentum, it's crucial that both players continue to set the table for Cargo and Tulo over the coming road trip and the remainder of the season.

That's the 2010 microview, but there's also a bigger picture development playing out, which has the Rockies looking for ways to maximize the impact of their twin MVP's in the heart of the order. Choosing Young over Barmes and Jonathan Herrera signals that OBP and speed are the priorities for both the first and second lineup slots, and that the team is willing to sacrifice some defense and power in order to get it.

So far, the experiment has been remarkably successful. After splitting time with Barmes and Herrera for a week in mid-August, Young was seemingly inserted as a full time starter at second base on August 22. If the date rings a bell, that's because it was the day the Rockies were 11 games back. They've gone 18-6 and made up eight and a half games on the Padres since.

There's a lot of this that's coincidence, and you'll find many baseball observers on both the scouting and statistical side that don't view Young as an ideal solution for a full time second baseman, but it's difficult to argue with the results thus far. The Rockies have found a spark and that spark came in at the same time that Young did.