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Friday Rockpile: Rockies Manager Hunt Begins In-House, Extends to In-Division and Beyond

While Tom Runnells and Stu Cole are both candidates for the managerial position in Colorado, the Rockies are also looking just outside of their doors as well.

Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Replacing a manager is never an easy task. There are a million things to take into consideration: their clubhouse presence, their instructional style, their ability/preference to work with veterans and/or prospects, how they handle a pitching staff, how they interact with the front office, how they make in-game decisions such as stealing a base or intentionally walking a batter, plus any other number of behind-the-scenes aspects that we may never hear much about.

The Rockies clearly recognize these issues, and so far seem to be more interested in hiring a candidate they already know how to work with. This is probably why, as it often is with other teams, that the bench coach tends to be the most logical choice to replace a manager who has parted ways with the club. Usually, they have some sort of experience in-game during the times when the manager has been ejected for this blinking reason or that. They tend to have built at least some sort of rapport with the players. Tom Runnells even pitched to Carlos Gonzalez during the 2012 Matt Cain Interview Home Run Derby in Kansas City.

The Rockies interviewed Runnells on Thursday, as he seems to be the leading candidate for the Rockies managerial vacancy. Also near the top of that list is AAA Sky Sox manager Stu Cole, who has spent a decent amount of time over the past few years with players such as Jordan Pacheco, Chris Nelson, Charlie Blackmon, and most of the rotation. There's history and familiarity there, and that can give the new hire a leg up in preparing for the 2013 season.

If that level of familiarity isn't enough, Jason Giambi has also reportedly stated that he would retire of offered a managerial position. Crazier things have happened.

Should Runnells, Cole, or Giambi not be a fit for the Rockies, they have also been linked to Dodgers 3B coach Tim Wallach as well as Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar, Jr. According to the New York Daily News, former Mets manager Willie Randolph would also leap at a shot at an interview with the Rockies.

Whoever the Rockies decide on, the decision will hopefully not drag out too long, especially if an external candidate is hired. There is a lot of work to be done in improving the Rockies for next season.

Off Topic

Fifteen Rockies prospects are playing in the Arizona Fall League | News
15 Asheville Tourists are heading to the instructional leagues, including SS Trevor Story, OF David Dahl, RHP Chad Bettis, C Will Swanner, and LHP Tyler Matzek. The Tourists had a very exciting year in 2012, winning 88 games and the South Atlantic League title. They will certainly make things interesting in Modesto next season.

Tyler Chatwood is successful in his first Arizona Fall League outing | News
Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood, trying to build up his innings total, struck out six against zero walks in four innings on Tuesday in his first Arizona Fall League start.

Chatwood, 22, posted a 5.43 ERA over 65 innings in the majors, striking out 41 and walking 33.

Voting under way for 2012 Hank Aaron Award | News
Carlos Gonzalez has been nominated alongside a cast of excellent hitters for the NL Hank Aaron Award, awarded to the best offensive performer in each league. While I highly doubt that anybody will take the AL award away from Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, the NL side includes such batters as Giancarlo Stanton, David Wright, Andre Ethier, and Jay Bruce, to name a few.

Gonzalez, 26, posted another solid season for Colorado, hitting .303/.371/.510 with 22HR and 85 RBI in 135 games.

Reds vs. Giants: Tales of Three Pitches | FanGraphs Baseball
God I hate the freaking Giants.