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Wednesday Rockpile: Rockies hanging on in NL West race

Through 52 games the Rockies have been downright respectable. Can they make a run at their first division title?

Scott Halleran

I just had the very surreal experience last night of watching 10 Rockies games in a row after returning from a week-long vacation. That's the new reality of a DVR-based entertainment ecosystem - baseball is tailor made for the skip forward button on my DVR, especially when Rafael Betancourt is on the mound, though you absolutely miss the nuance of each particular game (all I can remember of Monday's game is that bunting is terrible). Still, it's better than missing them completely.

I'm still a little bit out of the loop when it comes to the Rockies' performance over the last week, but I do know that it's very good that they went 6-4 against their divisional contenders. Colorado's schedule softens up a bit over the next two weeks in that they've got a whole bunch of home games (15 of their next 18), so I believe that Colorado hasn't seen their last day in first place for 2013 just yet - and we're already almost a third of the way into the year.

Steve Treder of the Hardball Times has a handy graphic showing the NL West race to date. It's a three way battle at the top right now, and it's a very winnable battle when you consider that the Rockies have been under-performing their peripherals thus far to the tune of two wins, a figure that has them atop Baseball Prospectus' Adjusted Standings.

The point is that all of this is just...fantastic. To have a competitive team a third of the way into the 2013 season...well, it's exceeded my expectations considerably and I'm excited to see it continue.

Los Links!

Is Jorge De La Rosa the man or what? Coming off of major surgery, De La Rosa has been "money" for Colorado this year, leading Colorado's pitching staff in rWAR (with 2.1) and allowing one run or fewer in 4 of his last 5 starts. He's on pace for his best year in MLB in rWAR - and if Colorado is going to contend, they'll need it. De La Rosa's mediocre K/9 rate (5.5/9) and high BB/9 rate (3.2/9) suggest he's been a little lucky to date, but this last start was a very encouraging step in the right direction.

Chris Abshire of compares Nolan Arenado to his Houston compatriot Matt Dominguez. From a glove department, the comparison is apt - but I can only hope that Arenado provides more offensively than the anemic Dominguez.

Irv Moss writes about the winningest pitcher in franchise history. That's right, it's an article on Aaron Cook.

Tim Marchman of the Wall Street Journal writes that all drafts, including the MLB version, are scams. To which Grant Brisbee artfully replies: so what?

Finally, Patrick Hruby of Sports on Earth writes at length about the end of sports welfare.