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Thursday Rockpile: Thursday Pebble Report the Sequel...

I don't actually talk about Nolan Arenado in this post other than this picture.
I don't actually talk about Nolan Arenado in this post other than this picture.

So without much news coming about the MLB club, other than a couple of snarky side comments from Giants sources such as Andrew Baggarly's:

That's contributed to a staff road ERA of 4.69 that ranks 25th among the 30 major league clubs -- even higher than the horror-show Colorado Rockies. (At home, the Giants' 2.42 ERA is second best in the majors.)

ho-ho, do you see what he did there? He said that Giants road pitching is bad by comparing it to the Rockies.., classic...

Anyway, outside of Giants writers mining Rockies pitching for comedy gold, most of the Rockies mentions from the last 24 hours or so have to do with our minor league system, so I figure I'll just go with it, seeing as I don't write much about the PuRPs lately, anyway.

So, let's start off with this feature story about Tri-City's Francisco Sosa. Sosa had been an interesting prospect to keep an eye on (never likely as a starter, so not that interesting) to me before he got hit by a bus and had a metal plate put in his arm a few years ago, and he fell off my radar with middling performances since then. However, now that he seems to have recovered and fully adjusted to stateside baseball, he's started rising quite a bit again in my system rankings. His .811 OPS might not seem that impressive compared to those you'll see at GJ or Asheville, but it's solid for Tri-City, and his seven for seven in SB's adds further value. As his manager indicates, make-up and work ethic aren't an issue holding him back.

Among the system's more developed players, there's a tier of OF's below the Corey Dickerson/Kyle Parker/Rafael Ortega group that includes Delta Cleary, Tyler Massey and Juan Crousset. Sosa's probably just a bit behind that second group right now, but he's catching up. The number of OF's ahead of him in the system makes for a long, somewhat unlikely path to the majors for him, but he's got enough of a shot to at least be on my peripheral view.

Three Rockies prospects are among the minor league runs above average leaders at their positions, and two are among the trailers according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy. Will Swanner, Trevor Story and Josh Rutledge all have been moving their teams in positive directions while batting, while Rosell Herrera (before his demotion to Tri-City,) and Kent Matthes are deeply "in the red" according to Eddy's figures. Around the division, the Diamondbacks seem to have a productive offensive group knocking on the MLB door, with five prospects rating "in the black," while the Giants have had a disappointing season on the farm with top prospects Tommy Joseph and Gary Brown being among their six major offensive liabilities.

The Diamondbacks depth in the upper minors could help explain why they feel comfortable exploring a Justin Upton trade, and added to their pitching, they seem to be well poised for a competitive run within the division starting next season. The Rockies need to do some considerable catching up on the mound to be equally positioned.

The A's released the Rockies all time saves leader Brian Fuentes and the future of his MLB career seems somewhat in jeopardy. Fuentes also leads all Rockies pitchers in WPA (Winning percentage added) is second to Steve Reed in total games played among Rockies pitchers and is third only to Ubaldo Jimenez and Reed in adjusted pitching wins for the Rockies according to Baseball-Reference. Fuentes is sixth in WAR, but I think there's a decent subjective case to be made for him to be placed ahead of Jason Jennings or even Reed as among the franchise's top five pitchers to date.