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Wednesday Rockpile: Our 8th Starter is Sure Getting a Lot of Attention

The Rockies have their fair share of well-known players on which to do a national story. There's Troy Tulowitzki, two time Gold Glove winner and among the top 5 position players in baseball. Or perhaps you'd prefer Carlos Gonzalez, who just happens to transforming into Beast Mode. Maybe former MVP Jason Giambi, 5 time All-Star Todd Helton, or free agent slugger Michael Cuddyer?

How about a guy who broke his freaking neck late last season and will likely be in the Opening Day rotation? Okay, so Tim Brown at Yahoo! did that story (and did it well) on Juan Nicasio yesterday. But the point is that the overwhelming majority of national attention hasn't been on any of these gentlemen. Nay, most of the time national writers like SI's Tom Verducci are going to write about one 49 year-old Jamie Moyer, with the team on a minor league contract.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for the Rockies getting more attention from the Baseball Nation at large. Plus, Old Man Moyer really is a great story and an inspiration to middle aged has beens everywhere. As Patrick Saunders remarks, Moyer really is a walking piece of baseball history.

However, part of me wishes that this attention were directed at someone who will have an actual impact on the 2012 Colorado Rockies -- because Jamie Moyer is a pretty long shot at this point to contribute meaningfully to this team. It's a small part, because Jamie Moyer is awesome, but if he's playing a major part in the Rockies' 2012 campaign, then Colorado will likely won't be getting a lot out of their myriad pitching prospects. Okay, that might be selling Moyer a little short -- after all, he was worth 3.1 rWAR as recently as 2008, which is to say that he was an above average player at the age of 45. His crafty veteraniness will almost certainly be effective sandwiched between two power pitchers like Jhoulys Chacin and Nicasio.

But ultimately, at this point Moyer is probably behind Jeremy Guthrie, Chacin, Nicasio, Drew Pomeranz, Guillermo Moscoso, Josh Outman, and Alex White. It certainly isn't inconceivable for him to beat the last 3 guys out for a spot, but I wouldn't expect too much production even if he does make the club. Regardless of the outcome, Moyer will be one my favorite baseball players ever. While it might not be best for the Rockies in 2012, a very large part of me wants Moyer to pitch into his 6th decade with Colorado.


Los Links!

The Rockies have a lot of new faces in camp this year, so they had a getting to know you exercise. Guess who was the star pupil? The man who knows more baseball players than the other guys combined, that's who.

Jim Tracy believes that veteran status assists with clutch hitting. Ty Wigginton was a veteran last year, and he was historically awful at hitting in high leverage situations. Color me skeptical, Jim. The article also mentions Colorado's improved lineup depth -- which is the biggest reason I believe Colorado is in line for a pretty big offensive improvement in 2012.

Nowak also writes about the possibility of Guillermo Moscoso pitching out of the bullpen in 2012. Given Colorado's pitching depth, at least one of their surplus starters will be in the bullpen, so why not Moscoso? It depends on if his magic cutter continues to serve him well.

Carson Cistulli of Fangraphs has rankings of all 31 major league broadcasting teams (two for the Dodgers). Colorado's team of Drew Goodman and Jeff Huson/George Frazier came in 28th. That sounds about right to me.

Those of you who've read me for a while know that I lean libertarian when it comes to the issue of steroids, so it should be no surprise that I heartily endorse this Grantland article by Charles Pierce on the Ryan Braun situation.