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Thursday Rockpile: Rockies rehearsing for summer, expect jokes to be funny come June

Just pretend that he's left handed and that he's actually Jorge De La Rosa for now.
Just pretend that he's left handed and that he's actually Jorge De La Rosa for now.

The decision to demote struggling right-hander Jhoulys Chacin to AAA, while expected based on his year long slump, is still somewhat gutsy for a Rockies team that's already reeling from injuries and lack of performance elsewhere within the rotation and in their depth at AAA. The key measure to make these decisions is usually as much about the replacement player as it is the demoted one, but in the Rockies case with Chacin, there's not a clear improvement to be found, at least not until the five more scheduled rehab starts of Jorge De La Rosa have been completed. Instead, Colorado's banking on Guillermo Moscoso, who struggled in his Rockies debut and who many see as a smoke and mirrors pitcher unsuited to Coors Field.

This seemingly makes Moscoso the rotational equivalent of Chris Nelson, a situation that reminds me of the rehearsals of awards shows, where paper cutouts, body doubles or other substitutes for actors expected to be in the audience are used to help the hosts practice their riffs. Nelson and Moscoso are the paper cutouts of Nolan Arenado and De La Rosa, respectively, and the month of May would therefore be the Rockies rehearsal for the real festivities they plan later in the summer.

The issue, of course, is that May technically counts in the final standings, and the Rockies won't be able to use the excuse that they were just rehearsing in this month at the end of the year. It only takes a memory of one year to know that lesson. Last season, an 8-21 May set the stage for the team's later purge of much of the roster.

More links about some of those purged after the jump.

Off Topic

The Ty Wigginton and maybe cash to the Phillies for a PTBNL or maybe cash exchange of last November is approaching the six month deadline the teams would have to name the PTBNL should there be one. The deal is complicated by whether the Phillies are going to pick up Wigginton's $4 million 2013 option. With Wigginton being one of the few consistent hitters in an otherwise weak Philadelphia lineup, and with that lineup figuring to have many of the same age/health questions next season, it would make some sense that the Phillies may want to keep him around next year. Then again, their other choice is to send nothing to Colorado plus having the Rockies pick up half of the $500,000 buyout of that 2013 option. My guess all along has been that the Phillies would just skip the PTBNL altogether and decide on the cash/option stuff later, but Wigginton's .328 average and solid play subbing for Ryan Howard in the first month of the season, plus uncertainty about Placido Polanco once Howard returns, does make me a bit more open that there could be a player coming back. I still highly doubt it, but it seems more possible now than it did a month ago.

Wigginton is one of several 2011 Rockies finding some measure of post-trade success in 2012. Clay Mortenson, who the Rockies sent to the Red Sox for Marco Scutaro, has been called up by Boston. Jason Hammel is a key part of a hoped for pitching renaissance in Baltimore.

In news of two of the players the Rockies got back, while the Rockies are okay for the next few days, Alex White may take Jeremy Guthrie's spot in the rotation if the latter is not ready to come off the DL and will miss more starts. White would otherwise be the most likely choice to replace Moscoso should he struggle. Also in the link is Todd Helton giving love to the 970 area code of my childhood home. Go Western Slope and the rest of the "everybody else's" of Colorado.