Quick Hits

June 3, 2009 | 11:03 pm | 20  

–The Rockies are 7-24 (.226) at Minute Maid Park, the lowest winning percentage of any National League team there. They are 1-5 against the Astros, whom they will play Thursday for the final time in 2009. The Rockies have lost the season series to the Astros in five of the past six years.

–The Rockies are 2-4 under interim manager Jim Tracy, having lost four straight and seven of their past nine games. They are 4-27 when the opponent has scored first and 1-27 when trailing after seven innings.

Jason Marquis is 0-2 with a 12.10 ERA (9 2/3 innings, 13 earned runs) in two starts against the Astros and 7-2 with a 2.91 ERA (65 innings, 24 earned runs) against all other teams.

Ian Stewart‘s three-run homer in the fifth gave him his first RBI since May 13 when he hit a two-run homer off Mike Hampton of the Astros at Coors Field. Stewart went 42 at-bats without an RBI and broke a string of nine hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position with his three-run shot. Stewart, who also singled in the ninth and went 2-for-4, had his first multi-hit games since May 12 against the Astros when he went 2-for-4 with two homers, including a grand slam, and five RBI.

–The Rockies have matched their season-worst four-game losing streak. They also lost four straight April 17-20. During the current streak, the Rockies have scored nine runs and have batted .234 (33-for-141) overall and .185 (5-for-27) with runners in scoring position.

Garrett Atkins went 0-for-4, extending his hitless string to nine at-bats and dropping his average to .188. He’s 14-for-61 (.230) with runners in scoring position.

–The Astros relievers have combined to pitch 10 scoreless innings while winning the first three games of the series, allowing seven hits in that stretch.

Clint Barmes went 2-for-4 and in six games since Tracy moved him to the second spot in the batting order, Barmes is 12-for-26 (.462).

Brad Hawpe, 2-for-2 with two intentional walks, raised his average to .353, the highest it has been since May 17 (.358). Hawpe is 9-for-18 in his past five games with two doubles, one homer, four runs scored and four RBI.

Troy Tulowitzki underwent an MRI exam on his sore left hand. In his absence, Barmes made his fifth start of the season at shortstop, and Stewart made his 13th start at second base but first since May 14.

Reliever Ryan Speier was taken off his rehab assignment _ which could have run through June 11 _ at Triple-A Colorado Springs due to soreness in the back of his shoulder.

20 Comments »

  • Eric | June 4, 2009 | 12:29 am

    Tracy or Jack,

    With the Rockies basically out of contention already and are soon to be sellers at the trade deadline, which players have the best chance at getting moved? I read that since Atkins trade value is so low that the Rockies might not move him. The one name I keep hearing, however, is Hawpe. I would like to think that the Rockies would not move their best player now (especially after losing Holliday this past off season, and the fact that Hawpe is under an affordable contract for several more years). So, if you could look into your crystal ball and make some predictions on who’s going to be moved, I’d appreciate it.

  • Matt | June 4, 2009 | 7:53 am

    Tracy or Jack-
    At what point can we just call Atkins a sunk cost? It seems we’d be better off starting even Quintenilla at 3b at this point!!! It’s gotten to the point that you know he is going to fail, and the only question is, with RISP, will he pop out weakly or ground out!
    VERY frustrating to watch! Especially from someone hitting in the heart if the order!

  • roxnsox | June 4, 2009 | 9:49 am

    When Tulowitzki was removed the other night, it was the first I heard of any hand injury, yet the announcers said it “had been” bothering him. Could this help explain his struggles? Any word on the diagnosis yet today?

    Garrett’s problems have reached nightmare proportions for real. It’s hard to watch.

    Do you guys (Jack, Tracy, Steve) think they should tear the whole thing down and start over? Sell high on anybody they can? What a sickening thought, but we might be at that point.

  • Mike | June 4, 2009 | 10:08 am

    The thing about severe rebuilding projects is that a) they’re difficult, as you will likely be trading for a lot of A-level players and attempting to project their MLB ability and b) if the Rockies were worried about attendance with a .400 start, another “GenR” would be even worse.

    So, few teams try it on a wide scale.

    I’d think Marquis is the most likely candidate since he’s in the last year of his deal and teams will always be looking for starting pitching. Street, too, though he has one more year of arb eligibility after 2009.

    With Hawpe, I’d guess they’d entertain offers because they have other OF’s and Hawpe is good enough to potentially draw decent players in return. I don’t think they would move him for the sake of moving him. The other difficulty is that Hawpe can apparently void his option year for 2011 if traded, which means a team trading for him wouldn’t get him for long. So, if they deal him this offseason, he’d be in Holliday’s situation, except he’s not as good a player.

    It’s interesting to look at the Nate McLouth trade. He’s not the hitter Hawpe is, but he’s younger, plays CF, and is signed for less money/yr. The three players the Pirates received in return include: 1) AAA starter apparently projected as a 4th/5th starter type, 2) a speedy, good-field, little-power CF in AA, and 3) a high-A pitcher who apparently has decent stuff but is unpolished (control issues).

    The fruit of the deal for the Pirates is several years off, and it could turn out that none of the players are as good as McLouth.

  • Jack | June 4, 2009 | 10:37 am

    They should keep Hawpe, release/bench Atkins, and start Stewart full time at 3B.

  • cisco kid | June 4, 2009 | 10:45 am

    Would the Rockies look into moving Helton again? Would they approach the Red Sox and re-engage their previous deal in light of Papi’s struggles? That would be the ideal situation. Move Helton, shift Hawpe to 1B (his original position), which opens RF up for CarGon (his natural position).

  • Joseph | June 4, 2009 | 10:49 am

    I had no idea that Atkins still has options. Why the heck hasn’t he been sent to the Springs before now? Send him down and get him fixed down there. Had they done that a few weeks ago, he might be contributing by now. Injury or no, I would have Tulo join him. Bring up McCoy and EYj while those guys figure out whether they still have what it takes to be major leaguers. It’s also time to do something with Murton, Spilly or Smith to get CarGo up.

    The Rockies have a new manager and are still awful (no surprise) time to start hacking away at the roster. No reason to wait in my mind.

  • C Thistle | June 4, 2009 | 10:49 am

    I hear there is a 305 game winning left handed pitcher available. Maybe we should at least try to pursue him while Jeff Francis rehabs.

  • Jack | June 4, 2009 | 11:01 am

    The Rockies have no reason to pursue Glavine.

    I hate the Red Sox, but Helton deserves another chance at a championship. Good luck with trading Helton though.

    Bench Atkins and trade Helton and start Stewart at 3B and Hawpe at 1B with CarGon playing RF.

  • Jack | June 4, 2009 | 11:02 am

    And fans should get ready for the harsh reality that Francis as a solid starting pitcher is no longer possible.

  • Joseph | June 4, 2009 | 11:07 am

    Stewart should be put on notice as well, last nights performance aside.

  • Robb | June 4, 2009 | 11:30 am

    Like Cisco Kid, I was pondering the Helton issue recently. He seems to be completely healed, good for him, from his back surgery. With Ortiz done in Boston, could he be a fit there? Even if the Rockies had to eat 50% of his contract, they would still save million$$ over the next 2+ years. And, if they are willing to eat a chunk of money, they can ask for a good pitcher in return, ie Clay Bucholz. Just a thought. Tracy, what do you think?

  • Marc | June 4, 2009 | 11:48 am

    I was thinking the same thing with Todd. This time it might be agreeable for both sides and he would agree to waiving the clause.
    I will be curious to see what Jack and/or Tracy think.

    By the way – the release Atkins thought makes very little sense. Even in his current condition he would yield something in return.

  • Mike | June 4, 2009 | 12:01 pm

    Robb, if you want Buchholz, you’d better start with Iannetta. The Rockies could pick up all of Helton’s salary and they wouldn’t get someone like Buchholz. Teams do not like to part with guys like that for 35-yr old players.

    I don’t think the Sox would be interested in Helton at this point–they’d probably want a shorter term option. If Ortiz is truly done, they’d then deal with the longer term solution in the offseason.

  • Joseph | June 4, 2009 | 12:01 pm

    Drew is at $14M, Pappi is at $12.5M and Lowell is at $12M. It seems to me that the Rockies shouldn’t need to pick up 50% on according to the Red Sox scale. Maybe $4M or $5M next year and $7M or $8M in 2011.

    It’s strictly emotional, but I’m not sure I’m real keen on paying to have Helton not here.

  • Mike | June 4, 2009 | 12:10 pm

    It’s not a matter of what the Sox can afford, it’s a matter of what the market would bear. Even if the Rockies picked up $5M this year and $8M on 2011, that’s still over $22 million for 1 2/3 years of a 35-yr old player. Who would want that?

  • Mike | June 4, 2009 | 12:20 pm

    BTW, bad news there about Speier. The pen has been pitching better, but I’m glad Daley’s coming back.

  • Dan | June 4, 2009 | 12:29 pm

    Any way you slice it, the Rocks are a terrible team! Atkins needs to be at Springs to work his way back to being a hitter, assuming he can ever be a hitter again. He is the most overrated player on the team in my opinion. Too bad they didnt trade him over the winter when he had a little value, which is more than he has today. Like someone said, bad teams find a way to lose; good teams find a way to win. Pretty obvious where the Rocks fall in this choice.

  • Joseph | June 4, 2009 | 12:34 pm

    Mike,

    I picked Lowell and Drew because they are similarly aged to Helton, and in my opinion similar in value. I would actually take Helton over either of those other two.

  • Mike | June 4, 2009 | 1:25 pm

    They’re not that similar to me. Lowell is 35, yes, but is also a 3rd baseman. He was signed at a time when their other 3B options were not good, and due to his leadership role on the 2007 team.

    Drew was a reach, to be sure, but is two years younger than Helton, and was signed because it was felt he could handle the spacious right field in Fenway.

    There are more options to fill a half-year DH slot, so it shouldn’t cost as much.

    Also, a different point: They were both free agent signings, whereas we’re talking trade with Helton. Suppose the Sox would take Helton with the Rockies picking up the amount you suggest, but in return for nothing–would that salary relief be worth it for the Rockies?