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Wednesday Rockpile: Should Colorado be Trading for Joe Blanton?

As I returned on Sunday from a long overdue vacation out of the country, I realized that I had little or no knowledge of what has transpired during spring training for the Rockies. Usually, I make it a point to pretty much ignore spring training games most years, just as I do the pre-seasons in the other sports I follow. But as I noted a few weeks ago, this year's spring training session was more interesting than in the past, so it's a little disappointing that I haven't gotten more spring action in. As such, I won't be pontificating on the events of the last week in this column, instead focusing on a couple of bigger picture things.

Dan Rathman of Baseball Prospectus thinks that the Rockies should trade for Joe Blanton to solidify the 5th slot in their rotation. Blanton is an intriguing possibility in that the Phillies would probably eat most of his $8.5 million salary, he's been a good 200 IP guy before, and he fits perfectly with the "Bridge 2012" model espoused by O'Dowd this off-season. Of course, he just lost most of a season to an elbow injury and Colorado has quite a few starters already. Rathman thinks that a package headed by Chris Nelson or Jonathan Herrera could get Blanton -- color me skeptical, but if that's the price, I would do that trade immediately.

Of course, in one article Baseball Prospectus argues for acquiring someone who will push Jamie Moyer to the curb and in another they call the Moyer saga one of their top 10 favorite off-season moves. Also mentioned is the Chris Iannetta acquisition by the Angels...all I can say is, Tyler Chatwood had better be good.

Dayn Perry of CBS Sports ranks the NL rotations and has Colorado 13th (with Guillermo Moscoso as #5), ahead of only San Diego in the division. With Blanton they'd be...12th, maybe.

ESPN will be revealing the top 500 players in MLB for 2012 over the next 10 days or so. They kicked off the series with 401-500, which included Matt Belisle (408), Drew Pomeranz (446), and Moscoso (448). Of the 3, Pomeranz is the only one that could really vault up the rankings for next year's list.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball did a Prospect Smackdown between the Rockies' beastly 3B prospect, Nolan Arenado, and Texas' 3B Mike Olt. Arenado is the "winner", but both are lauded.

Spring training articles below the fold.


Troy Renck writes about Troy Tulowitzki and his Gold Glove defense. While Gold Gloves, errors, and fielding % are far from the best ways to evaluate infield defense, Tulo's a phenomenal fielder in addition to a terrific hitter -- one of the reasons why he'll be in the top 10 (maybe top 5) of the ESPN 500 list.

Eric Young Jr. refuses to be ignored in the Rockies' outfield battle or in life. In the notes, we see that Ramon Hernandez helped Juan Nicasio find a flaw in his delivery during Monday's game. Shouldn't the Rockies' coaching staff be spotting that?

Patrick Saunders hands out Spring Training awards based on incredibly small sample sizes.

Jonathan Herrera is heading into this spring with a clearer mind after the passing of his mother over the off-season. Herrera's continued presence on the roster confuses the analyst in me, but he's the physical embodiment of some of the main philosophies espoused by management (character, hard work, etc.), so the realist in me knows that he'll likely be in the picture when the 25 man roster gets drafted.

Finally, erstwhile 3B starting candidate Brandon Wood has had a roller coaster spring for the Rockies.