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Monday Rockpile: Arizona Looks Poised To Take The Division - Are We OK With That?

If you asked Colorado Rockies fans who the Rockies' biggest division rival was, right now they'd probably say the Giants. There are 3 other teams in the division: the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers, and the Padres. None of these teams seems to really be an issue though, despite the fact that Arizona is currently leading the division. No, the Giants remain the team that Rockies fans love to detest, for whatever reason.

Funny how things change in the course of 4 years. In 2008, Rockies fans were nice and cocky coming off of a NL Pennant and a lot of future coming up to supplant that current staff. Guys like Ian Stewart, Dexter Fowler, Ubaldo Jimenez, Franklin Morales, and newfound Ace Jeff Francis? These were the guys who would keep the team in contention for years to come. While we're in the wayback machine, the Rockies' biggest hatred was directed toward 2 players: Eric Byrnes and Justin Upton, AKA Punkton.

If you recall, it was the 7th inning of Game 1 of the NLCS. Nobody out, Chris Snyder on 2B, and Justin Upton is hit by Jeff Francis. Next batter, Augie Ojeda, on a 1-2 count, grounds to Garrett Atkins at 3B, who starts the 5-4-3 double play. Justin Upton is called out at 2B after a ridiculous takeout slide that was ultimately ruled as interference. The fans at Chase Field didn't like that call much, as evidenced by the sheer amount of trash they proceeded to rain down upon the field. But that takeout slide forever dubbed Justin Upton, one of the best young talents in the National League, as Punkton.

Byrnes, on the other hand, went ahead and made that fabulous faux pas, claiming that despite the Rockies' series lead, the Diamondbacks were in fact outplaying the Rockies.

Nowadays though, hatred has shifted. Cody "Boss" Ross, Tim "Freak" Lincecum, and Matt "Seriously How Does This Guy Perpetually Have The Rockies' Number?" Cain now represent the biggest threats to the Rockies. Scoreboard watching involves seeing if the Giants lose. Yeah, we're good about watching the NL West in general, but we don't really care what the Dodgers are doing. We don't care if the Padres held on in the 9th. We pretty much don't care if Josh Collmenter is having a good season or not. Did Chris Young hit the walkoff? Are the Dbacks still holding their division lead? Based on the typical west coast scoreboard watching in the game wrap threads, I'd say our eyes are more on the Giants.

It makes sense, too. The Giants just won the World Series. The Giants and Rockies have been exchanging blows for the past 2 seasons. There was that whole debacle with the Giants' broadcasters accusing the Rockies of cheating and Tim Lincecum not fully understanding what was meant by a "juiced ball" and getting caught on camera not understanding things. Of course the Giants and Rockies are going to be at each others' throats. But how long will it be relevant?

Let's take a very quick look down the road. The Giants have traded most of their farm away for the roster in the current state that it is. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have been slowly moving their major league pieces for strong prospects, and after the past draft, their farm is looking downright dangerous. A lot of this division and how it shapes up will depend on: the Rockies' current depth shaping up; the Dodgers' divorce and how that reshapes their organization; how long the current Giants' MLB team can keep them in contention (and what flexibility they have in Free agency); if the Padres' ability to build pitchers from the very earth itself can continue keeping the team an ever-present pitching threat; and ultimately, the Diamondbacks' ever strengthening farm. 

Maybe it's time we start taking the Diamondbacks a bit more seriously.

Tracy on D-Backs series and other Rox news ‘n’ notes | On the Rox — Colorado Rockies news — Denver Post

Armstrong makes this note in his post-Dodgers series, pre-Dbacks series blog post:

"It’s great to have a guy like him coming to the club and helping us. The guy is here for a reason. We understand he’s not trying to be a superhero. That’s now what we’re looking for. He just needs to play his game and help the club."

In his career, Kouzmanoff is a career 93 wRC+ batter and a +6 3B (per UZR/150). This suggests that he's 7% below the average MLB bat for his career, and saves 6 runs more than the average fielder over the course of a season. He's been worth as much as 3 Wins Above Replacement in a season as recent as last season with Oakland. If Kouz can rebound to even Mark Ellis batting lines, he'd be a positive player at 3B.


Minor League Notes, August 27, 2011 - Minor League Ball

You might have missed this the other night, but Tyler Matzek struck out 13 batters, walked only 2, allowed 2 hits and 1 run over 7 innings against the Hagerstown Suns. After his miserable start to 2011 in Modesto, Matzek appears to have turned a MAJOR corner in his development. I know the Rockies have invested a pile in this kid, but seriously, pay this kid's pitching instructor to stay with the team. I don't care if the kid is being coddled. I don't care if the kid is being babysat. If he can turn in excellent MLB performances because he has his coach around, it's worth the extra whatever dozen thousand dollar expense his personal handler will require.

I'll say it again: If we get another stud to stand alongside Pomeranz, I don't care what it looks like and what critics say. Continue kicking ass, Tyler, prove everyone wrong, and give the Rockies a PomMatz two-headed dragon.


Iannetta not in Rox lineup after Saturday marathon | On the Rox — Colorado Rockies news — Denver Post

I know this is from yesterday, but:

So it was that Jim Tracy has scrapped his initial plan to have Iannetta catch this afternoon.

HAHAHAHAHA yeah he totally was gonna start Iannetta 2 of 3 games. That's totally Tracy's MO, starting players he actively hates.



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