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Tuesday Rockpile: They Can't All Be Kershaws

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Alex White made his second start in a Rockies uniform last night, and it wasn't pretty.  The right-hander, typically known for fantastic control, lost sight of the strike zone, walking six for the first time in his professional (major and minor league) career.  Five Diamondbacks crossed the plate against White, leaving many disenchanted with the Rockies' new toy. 

White is a large man, with confidence and maturity oozing out of every pore.  He's a bulldog whose goal is to pitch better than the pitcher for whom he was acquired.  It makes it easy to forget that last night, he just turned 23.  Twenty three.  I was fumbling through the beginning stages of my first professional job at 23, and White is staring down Justin Upton.

Some starting pitchers have incredible success at 23, but most are still early in the ripening process.  This also be noted for Jhoulys Chacin, 23, who leads MLB in walks allowed.  Though he has 318 big league innings under his belt, there is still some fine-tuning to come.

It is perhaps worth noting that when Ubaldo Jimenez turned 23, he had made on big league start, then struggled to the same walk rate Chacin has had this season in his Jimenez' 23-year-old season.  There is time.  They can't all be Kershaws at 23.  A n extreme few are.  

So instead, we are relegated to watching a pot of water attempt to boil as the season fizzles to an uninspiring finish.  September will be a month of auditions in lieu of playoff pushes.  It isn't just Colorado that lacks drama this September.  As Matthew Carruth points out, this season boasts the fewest playoff races at the end of August this milennium.  

Most teams are looking to the future with their expanded roster.  Two potential September callups had fantastic nights last night in AA, with Wilin Rosario hitting two home runs and Tim Wheeler setting a Tulsa Drillers record for long balls.  Rosario is sure to get a look in September, while Wheeler might call it a season in Oklahoma despite four HR in 6 games.  There's a potential catch for Rosario, Wheeler, Thomas Field and any other potential callup from Tulsa:  the Drillers have won seven straight to pull within one game of a playoff spot with five games left, three against the team they are chasing.  Would the Rockies rob the Drillers of a hard-fought surge to the playoffs by stripping its roster?  Doubtful.

Off Topic

Tracy Ringolsby - Twitter:

Rockies encouraged by LHP Drew Pomeranz recovery from Aug. 20 appendectomy. Had 30 pitch bullpen session at Tulsa. Could he be up in Sept?

Pomeranz, who will turn 23 in November, took an encouraging turn barely a week after his surgery.  As Troy Renck notes,  Pomeranz could pitch in a game Monday, in what would be the Tulsa Drillers' season finale.  If that goes well, there's no reason to think the Rockies won't entertain the thought of a late season spot start debut for Pomeranz..  Stay tuned. 

 

Rockies Carlos Gonzalez CarGo named NL player of the week | On the Rox — Colorado Rockies news — Denver Post  Good to see the power back after returning from that wrist injury.

Lindstrom rounding back into game shape | ColoradoRockies.com: News Matt still doesn't feel fully recovered from the nerve injury that sent him to the disabled list, but he does feel better.

Rockies' Rex Brothers learns from rookie mistakes - The Denver Post  Brothers, also 23, gets to learn on the fly.  Really, aside from two poor stretches, he's been brilliant, striking out 42 in just 31 innings, a K-rate that would rank him 8th in MLB behind Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, Al Alburquerque, Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Sergio Romo and Hong-Chih Kuo.

Rockies Mailbag: Team needing more than Tulo, CarGo - The Denver Post  Renck again throws out the names of David Wright, Wandy Rodriguez, Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham and Carl Pavano as potential off-season targets.