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Wednesday Rockpile: Jesse Crain headed to Rockies?; All-Star Game hangover; 2nd Half Odds

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It's the least busy sports day of the year, the day after the MLB All-Star Game. That doesn't mean there isn't any intrigue, with the Rockies reportedly interested in acquiring All-Star reliever Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox.

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Jesse Crain to the Rockies?

As Troy Renck wrote yesterday, the Rockies could acquire All-Star Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox to shore up their bullpen for the stretch run. The 32 year-old right-hander and Colorado native is having a Rex Brothers-type year over on the south side of Chicago, posting a 0.74 ERA and 599 ERA+ in 36.2 relief innings, though he was recently placed on the DL with a sore shoulder. Dave Cameron wrote a great breakdown last month of what has made Crain so successful this year.

Renck notes that Crain very nearly signed a two-year deal with Colorado back in 2010 when he became eligible for free agency, but the White Sox were able to add on another year onto the deal. Crain's contract, which pays him roughly $2 million for the rest of 2013 ($4.5 million total) expires after the season, so he'd be very much a rental.

Would he provide enough of a marginal boost to Colorado's bullpen over a guy like Rob Scahill or Edgmer Escalona to justify the prospect cost (likely a mid to lower-tier PuRP like Edwar Cabrera or Christian Bergman)? While I'm on record saying that the Rockies should be focused on improving their offense more than their pitching, Crain would be a great addition to the pen that would help if the back end of the rotation doesn't fall in line.

All-Star Game Hangover

It's the least busy sports day of the year, the day after the MLB All-Star Game. In yesterday's All-Star Game (the 84th such event), the National League team decided to hit as if they were the Rockies on a road trip - mustering only three hits and no runs in the game. It was an exciting game in that some of the best pitchers in MLB were dealing, but otherwise it was a bit of a snoozefest.

Colorado's three entrants into the starting lineup contributed only one base-runner in six plate appearances, a Michael Cuddyer walk in the sixth inning. In all, an inauspicious display by Colorado's unprecedented three All-Star starters. That's par for the course for the Rockies, whose franchise batting line in All-Star games is now just .148/.193/.278 in 57 plate appearances. Even though they didn't perform well, Colorado's stars enjoyed their time in New York. Let's hope that when play resumes tomorrow the trio of Colorado stars don't bring back an All-Star malaise with them.

Second Half Odds

Periodically I get emailed a list of MLB odds courtesy of a sports book called Bovada, which reflect in large part the public perception of teams. Here's a few interesting tidbits from that email:

  • The Rockies have 66/1 World Series odds (20th best in the league), twice as high as San Francisco's 33/1 - the Dodgers lead the NL West with 9/1 odds despite being a .500 team
  • Colorado's 28/1 NL pennant odds rank 9th in the league and 4th in the division
  • The Dodgers are odds-on favorites (10/11) to win the NL West, with the Dbacks at 7/4, Giants 7/1, Rockies 15/2, and Padres 25/1
  • On an individual awards basis, the Rockies are doing pretty solid, with Carlos Gonzalez getting the 4th highest MVP odds at 7/1. Troy Tulowitzki was 6th at 10/1, and Michael Cuddyer was 13th at 20/1. CarGo also had the second highest odds for winning the NL HR crown at 3/1 (Pedro Alvarez was tops at 5/2)

Los Links!

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post has finally discovered wRC+. Unfortunately, if I weren't already well-versed in the metric I would have been thoroughly confused by his (or rather, Fangraphs') explanation of the metric.

Fangraphs' Carson Cistulli asks the hard questions: Does Eddie Butler's filthy Futures Game change-up provoke a mystical experience?


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