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Tuesday Rockpile: Time to Prepare for 2013

Omar Infante robbed the Rockies of one place to dump Marco Scutaro.  They ought to get on making a deal sooner rather than later for Scutaro and several others.
Omar Infante robbed the Rockies of one place to dump Marco Scutaro. They ought to get on making a deal sooner rather than later for Scutaro and several others.

It is easy to forget now, but four months ago, the Rockies were potential contenders. They were almost universally included among the teams most likely to benefit from the new second wild card spot. It was unlikely Colorado would be a great team given the young/unproven rotation, but only a few things needed to fall into place to get them into the wide net of contention by the trade deadline. Dan O'Dowd built a roster with that in mind.

Jeremy Guthrie needed to be exactly who he had been in Baltimore, the rotation needed health, and it really needed 1 or 2 big-time breakout studs, preferably Drew Pomeranz and Alex White. Absolutely none of that has happened, and what is left is an unbalanced roster that exhibits no real direction. It made sense to have certain veterans on the roster to provide stability for a potential playoff push, but that is outdated and has been for some time.

On pace for 101 losses, the Rockies are 16 games out of the playoff picture.

Yesterday, the Marlins (7.5 games out) and Mariners (10 games) gave up on their 2012 seasons, selling off Omar Infante, Anibal Sanchez and Ichiro Suzuki. Now it is the Rockies' turn to shed salary and open playing time for youth. The trade deadline is a week from today, and several members of the Rockies roster need to go.

Move Them One Way Or Another

Jeremy Guthrie - He has already been traded, last Friday, for Jonathan Sanchez. Both pitchers allowed five runs in their debuts with their new teams.

Marco Scutaro - There is zero reason to keep Scutaro. Josh Rutledge has hit .368/.390/.684 over his first 10 MLB games and deserves as much playing time as possible. It would behoove the Rockies to identify what DJ LeMaheiu is to them going forward, so he needs to start at second base until Troy Tulowitzki returns mid-August. Unfortunately, the Tigers were one landing spot for a second baseman until yesterday.

Jason Giambi - It is time to cut the cord here. He has started just 18 of the Rockies' 95 games, six of them as a DH. His power has disappeared, with just 5 extra base hits in 100 plate appearances. Todd Helton returns Friday, and his injuries have been pushing him into Giambi's role. Tyler Colvin, Michael Cuddyer, Jordan Pacheco and Helton can all play first base, and some team may take a flyer on Giambi.

Definitely Listen to Offers

Ramon Hernandez - WIlin Rosario has not proven to be a reliable middle of the order bat, but he has proven to be a legitimate MLB bat, warts and all. Hernandez may be able to mentor Rosario further, but I'm dubious. The most mentoring Rosario requires, specifically from a catcher, is defensively. Hernandez is an offense-first catcher. I would recommend moving Hernandez and playing Rosario as much as possible, even if it means 25 starts from Wil Nieves.

Michael Cuddyer - Todd Helton's injuries would understandably make the Rockies lukewarm on moving Cuddyer, who has been the primary first baseman in the ToddFather's absence. But with the breakouts of Tyler Colvin and Dexter Fowler, Cuddyer isn't a required piece. He and his salary would be good to move if a team is willing.

Rafael Betancourt - Well-paid closers, even decently-paid closers, have little value on 100-loss teams. They do have significant trade value though, especially when they have a 3.09 ERA and 2.95 FIP.

If They Get Creative

Tyler Colvin or Dexter Fowler - If Cuddyer stays, the outfield will be getting crowded, especially with Tim Wheeler and Charlie Blackmon starting to heat up in AAA. Both have very high value right now but will start making money in arbitration. There is a sell high opportunity here, especially with Fowler.

Matt Belisle - Belisle is a fantasic reliever, and he may provide additional value to teammates in regards to pitching at Coors Field. I find it unlikely that the market views Matt Belisle as valuable as Mike Adams was last year, even if he's deserving of that company. If a contender blows the Rockies away though, they ought to be listening, especially with other relievers succeeding in Josh Roenicke (2.20 ERA), Rex Brothers (2.74 FIP), Carlos Torres (1.76 ERA) and Adam Ottavino.

Off Topic

Rockies Links

Drew Pomeranz improves, Todd Helton to be activated Friday - Important notes here: Helton will return Friday, Pomeranz will pitch against Cincinnati in the next series, and Jhoulys Chacin is ready to begin a rehab assignment.

Rockies' Jonathan Sanchez was more wild than effectively wild in debut - The Denver Post Was that first inning even real?

Renck: Todd Helton's legacy should be in batter's box, not on DL - The Denver Post Helton has now been on the disabled list five times in the last nine seasons, one more time than Troy Tulowitzki in has in two fewer seasons.

Other Links of Interest

Colby Lewis Injury: Season-Ending Elbow Surgery - Baseball Nation. It seems like we have these elbow injuries every week. We don't, but it is prevalent. Lewis does not have a UCL issue, but if you're curious, bookmark this Tommy John Surgery Tracker by Jason Martinez of MLBDepthCharts. Really, the Rockies are pretty lucky.

Baseball Prospectus | BP Unfiltered: Franklin Morales Fools Nobody Frankie balked, believe it or not. But he has never balked like he balked in this gif.

Chad Moriyama – GIFcap: Matt Holliday runs into wall on home run ball, said ball then hits him in the head More former Rockie derpitude giffitude.

Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard Shares 'Ichiro' Baseball Anthem: Listen | Gibbard supposedly wrote this song in 2009, when Ichiro hit .352 as a 35-year-old. It was also during the time Gibbard was writing for Death Cab's "Codes and Keys" album, which is readily apparent by the sound.

Lastly, Amy K. Nelson did some hard-hitting reporting on the internet's reaction to the Ichiro trade.