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Wednesday Rockpile: Michael Cuddyer back in action, Rex Brothers struggling

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Today's Rockies news: Michael Cuddyer was back in the lineup a day after suffering an elbow contusion, Juan Nicasio turned in a quality start, Rex Brothers tries to find his groove.

Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE

Cuddyer starts at first base night after injury | Rockies.com: News

In his daily notes column, Thomas Harding writes about Michael Cuddyer's swift return to the lineup from a nasty looking elbow contusion suffered in Monday night's game. Cuddyer went 1-4 with a run in last night's game. Given all the poor news the Rockies have received on the injury front of late, Cuddyer's ability to bounce back quickly is a positive sign for them.

Harding also writes about Brandon Barnes' battle to get to the big leagues (something RIRF covered very nicely on Opening Day), Colorado's penchant for getting in one run games, Jackie Robinson Day, and Walt Weiss's plan to give Rex Brothers a breather.

Rex Brothers tries to find old groove for Colorado Rockies - The Denver Post

Speaking of Brothers, Patrick Saunders has considerably more on the lefty reliever's struggles thus far in 2014 and talks to pitching coach Jim Wright about some potential areas of improvement. Per Wright, Brothers is trying to be too fine when he pitches, which can lead to a lot of walks. He also appears to be getting away from his strengths early on. For more on this, check out Bryan's piece on Brothers from yesterday.

Juan Nicasio's education continued in Rockies' win over Padres - The Denver Post

Juan Nicasio had a rough beginning to last night's game, allowing two runs and four hits in the first inning, but he was able to settle down considerably after that, allowing just two hits and no runs for his next five frames. Before the season I predicted that Nicasio would be Colorado's 3rd most valuable pitcher -- so far, due in part to injury, he's actually tied for the most valuable pitcher (by rWAR) with Adam Ottavino.

Colorado Rockies Top 20 Prospects for 2014 - Minor League Ball

In case you missed it on Sunday, Jon Sickels of fellow SB Nation site Minor League Ball released his top 20 Rockies prospects list. Interestingly, 18 of Jon's 20 players were also in the top 20 of our very own Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs) list, with Tommy Kahnle (not in the organization when voting was conducted) and Jordan Patterson (No. 23 on our list) replacing Dom Nunez and Alex Balog (Nos. 19 and 20 respectively on our list).

Around the league

The Wondrous and Withering Weather – The Hardball Times

Want to see quickly what the temperature was for every major league game played in Rockies history? This tool above very well could keep you occupied for a long time. In addition to the fantastic tool, Brad Johnson and Daren Willman of the Hardball Times look in depth at how temperature affects baseball. It's well worth your time.

Park Features In Play – The Hardball Times

Jeff Zimmerman takes an in-depth look at how certain park features (like Tal's Hill in Houston) affect games played in those parks.

The Old and the Restlesss: Weighted Team Ages | FanGraphs Baseball

Dave Cameron of FanGraphs has the weighted (by playing time) averages of the ages of every major league team. With a weighted average of 28.3 years old, the Rockies rate as the 9th youngest team in baseball. Colorado's position players are 6th youngest at 28.2, while the pitchers (weighed down by LaTroy Hawkins no doubt) are 14th youngest at 28.5 years old.

What It Is to Sit a Player | FanGraphs Baseball

Jeff Sullivan remarks on the impact that sitting the best position player in baseball for a game has on that individual game's win expectancy (6 percent drop). The point is that any individual position player has a small expected impact on any individual game and that we should maybe, just maybe, relax a little when one of our stars is being given the day off. Maybe.