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Thursday Rockpile: In driving them off, Rockies ticket sales staff might be doing customers a favor

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Besides win-loss records in the fifth month of the 2011 calendar year, the Rockies perform the worst in the major leagues in another area that would certainly improve their bottom line. In a recent MLB wide survey using mystery shoppers, the Rockies season ticket sales staff ranked dead last in the majors in customer satisfaction, with 33% rating the buying experience "below average," and only 10% felt they were "above average." Divisional rivals San Diego topped the list and had 82% of their shoppers rate the team's sales staff as "above average" or "one of the best."

That said, after last night's dominant outing by Ubaldo Jimenez, maybe the ticket staff will be a bit more motivated knowing that they're selling a quality product. A possible pitch: "Now with third basemen that hit over .200!' Progress!

I kid, as I do think the team will improve over the coming few weeks, batting practice or no batting practice.

The opportunity of a second MLB start tomorrow excites Juan Nicasio, who seems to have his head on straight when it comes to not looking for more strikeouts, but just keeping the ball down to find success:

"The strikeouts will come," Nicasio said. "When you don't think about striking out people, that's when you strike out more people. When I have a chance, I'll try, but I'll do the same thing as last time -- try to get people out with my fastball down in the zone. Then I'll see how the game goes."

Meanwhile, while he's pitching against the Giants Friday, the man Nicasio replaced on the roster, Jorge De La Rosa, is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on the same day.

I'm guessing Andrew Fisher will probably Russ Oates mentioned this more in the Pebble Report, but 2009 first round draft pick Tyler Matzek was demoted to Asheville after continuing to struggle in Modesto. Matzek's ceiling remains very high, it's the chances of reaching it and his floor that have been getting obliterated with the lack of command, control, and consistent pitch quality over the last season plus.

While he's still too young to be considered a bust, Matzek unfortunately adds to a string of disappointing delays for Rockies first selections after they took Troy Tulowitzki in 2005. From 2006 to 2009, Rockies first picks Greg Reynolds, Casey Weathers, Christian Friedrich and Matzek have seen only one player get past AA in Reynolds, and all four pitchers' careers get mired in inconsistency and/or injury. Lucky for our prospects of a return from the 2009 draft, the Rockies next three selections after Matzek (Tim Wheeler, Rex Brothers and  Nolan Arenado,) are all performing very well to date.

Another pick from that 2009 draft, fourth rounder Kent Matthes, had the home he lived in while at the University of Alabama, a home his parents still own and rent to other Crimson Tide baseball players, destroyed by last month's Tuscaloosa tornado. The Shreveport Times has an interesting, uplifting story of how two players survived the twister in the house with a bathtub and a mattress.