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Saturday Rockpile: Who Will Replace Nicasio? Plus Tulo's Hot Streak, More

Like it or not, we may see this guy again soon. But, are there potentially better options?
Like it or not, we may see this guy again soon. But, are there potentially better options?

There's still no further update on Juan Nicasio. Last I saw, he's being evaluated for a possible neck injury, but is resting comfortably in a hospital. (UPDATE: Alanna Rizzo tweeted that Nicasio had surgery this morning to repair his C-1 vertebrae. More to come later...) While my thoughts are with Juan, we have the luxury as bloggers of looking forward and, in this case, trying to pinpoint potential replacements. It wouldn't make sense to do anything outside of looking internally, as the last thing this team needs to do at the moment is jeopardize future seasons to get through this trainwreck. Here are a few guys that should get a look - for better or worse:

Christian Friedrich: He's not on the 40-man roster, but by my count the Rox have two open spots, so no corresponding move would be required at this point. Friedrich is still stuck in AA after once being thought of as a guy who was on the fast track to the majors. Injuries and ineffectiveness put an end to that talk, and his results this season have been mixed. Friedrich looks quite hittable this season, but doesn't walk a ton of guys and gets a good number of groundballs. That, factored in with the fact that now is a perfect time to see what this guy has, may be a good indication that the Rockies should give him a shot.

Clayton Mortensen: Please, God, no.

Greg Reynolds: He has a 6.58 ERA in Triple-A, but he also pitches in the Pacific Coast League, so take that with a grain of salt. Plus, he has enjoyed a limited amount of success in multiple cameos with the Rockies this season. If the club doesn't want to "rush" Friedrich, Reynolds is probably the most sensible option. He'd probably only get a couple of starts anyway, depending on Nicasio's condition and Alex White's rehab schedule.

Cory Riordan: He is on the 40-man roster, but has been awfully hittable in a repeat year in Tulsa after being solid last season. However, like Friedrich, he doesn't walk a heck of a lot of batters but unlike Friedrich, he's a flyball pitcher. He doesn't have great stuff, so that probably will not bode real well at the major league level right now.

Alan Johnson: Nice story earlier in the year when he started against the Cubs, but no.

Billy Buckner/Edgar Gonzalez: The two former Diamondbacks each have MLB experience, and they're the oldest of the bunch. I wouldn't have a huge problem with either guy getting a short-term call, but neither is on the 40-man roster and at least with Friedrich, the club probably feels the need to put him on there to protect him anyway, whereas these guys would literally just be taking up space. Buckner gets a good amount of groundballs, but he's a walk machine of sorts. Meanwhile, Gonzalez gives up an absurd amount of home runs (though again, it's the PCL), which is in direct correlation with his heavy flyball rate.

In all, Friedrich makes the most sense, even without a ton of statistical proof. We'll see what happens shortly, either way.

More after the jump...

Tulowitzki tearing it up for Rockies - The Denver Post
Well, it's seemingly official - Troy Tulowitzki is officially in the middle of one of his patented hot streaks. The only difference between this one and previous ones that he's had (see June 2007, the entire second half of 2009, September 2010, April 2011) is that the team isn't winning this time - not to mention the fact that Tulo isn't coming up big in 'clutch' situations. Tulo is hitting .355/.412/.617 since July 1st, but we've seen him come up lame in many high-leverage situations. In this current stretch, his walk rate is down and his strikeout rate is up from his season totals. However, neither are completely terrible, and I'd almost rather have him being more aggressive, as it seems to have sparked him a bit. It just sucks that his aggressiveness hasn't paid off late in games.

Jim Armstrong also has a little tidbit at the end of the blurb that is quite humorous; Ubaldo Jimenez received more first-inning road run support last night than he had all year combined for the Rockies. Yuck.

Get uniforms right and be who you are - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
I love this piece. As a guy who believes that a team's logo and uniforms are a significant part of the overall picture, I can appreciate what Steve Berthiaume has done here. He mentions the Rockies in his "Traditionalists" category, among teams such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Dodgers. For what it's worth, the Rockies have the best uniforms and color scheme in baseball, hands down. Sure, my opinion might be biased, but so what? Prove me wrong.