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Thursday Rockpile: Rockies pitchers living on precarious ledge with "walk, don't run" approach.

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Matt McBride's -0.5 b-ref WAR is just a tick better than Ubaldo Jimenez's -0.6 WAR. Rockies WIN that trade, booyah!
Matt McBride's -0.5 b-ref WAR is just a tick better than Ubaldo Jimenez's -0.6 WAR. Rockies WIN that trade, booyah!

So a year into the post-Ubaldo Jimenez trade evaluation, there are still no winners according to the Denver Post's Troy Renck. Rockies fans can take solace in that only Colorado can win the deal at this point, as Cleveland would have needed Jimenez to produce at a high level through this point for the trade to pay out on their end. Colorado, on the other side, was clearly looking past 2012 when making that particular move, as success this year would have been gravy, with the expected meat of the return still to come.

The troubling issue here would be that expectations for Drew Pomeranz and Alex White have been gradually eroding over the course of a season that's seen them walking opponents at a pace that will challenge the team to keep from taxing its bullpen depth and will keep the pair from pitching deep enough into games to have the hoped for impact when the Rockies acquired them.

Including Tyler Chatwood, who doesn't have quite the expectations of Pomeranz and White, but who's almost as important a pitching acquisition for the same time-frame, and the Rockies young trade acquired starters are giving the free pass away at rates that will almost certainly break the bullpen regardless of what starter system the organization has in place. While the starters' inefficient innings haven't included the large crooked numbers in the runs allowed column as often of late, they're still taking a hidden toll that needs addressed before the Rockies hope to compete again.

Rockies pitchers as a team are the fourth worst in baseball in BB% this season, and unlike the Padres who are just a tick worse, Colorado's home park isn't so lax on letting those free baserunners slide by without causing damage.

Chipper Jones says that he sees Todd Helton returning for another year for Colorado in 2013, which I think's also likely, but I hope the Rockies have to look out for their own interests to and continue to limit Helton's PA's if he's not proving effective again. Helton's current status, as well as multiple backup 1B options for the Rockies have made Jason Giambi's roster slot redundant three or four times over, and it's almost certain that the Rockies won't be able to afford the opportunity cost of keeping Giambi around another season.

Dante Bichette's incredible 1999 season is looked at by FanGraphs, and by incredible, we're talking incredibly poor at one particular aspect of the game.

Why Troy Tulowitzki or other major leaguers can play against minor leaguers in their playoffs. As the Pebble Report below indicates, Tulo may have been of more use to the Drillers if he was a relief pitcher.

Josh Rutledge has been a positive in Tulo's stead for the Rockies, and the former Crimson Tide shortstop gets another look from Alabama's leading news source.

Also in the collegiate home accolade department is this Glendale story about Rockies minor league pitcher Christian Bergman, who's been racking up awards and wins with Colorado's Modesto affiliate.

Off Topic

Visitors to the Rockies Spring Training home near Scottsdale will soon have even more entertainment options to keep them occupied in between player scouting sessions, as the Salt River Reservation plans on adding a $170 million entertainment complex, including what's to be North America's largest butterfly pavilion, on land adjacent to the Rockies and Diamondbacks complex at Talking Stick.

Uhm... politics and Rockies baseball are mixing in this article, as conservatives are using their collective powers as a union of lowly consumers to get big heartless private businesses like the Rockies to bow to their demands against the evil deeds of that dastardly company Nickelodeon. A people united can never be divided! Si se puede! Si se puede! ...wait, I've got my sides mixed up here, I think. By the way, did I mention that there's an off topic thread? Oh, and did I remember to mention that there's a rule about no politics discussions on Purple Row? Yeah, if you want to discuss the political aspects of this one you'll probably have to take it to the Twitter or other off site places.