We're getting ever closer to actual game competition... but we're not there yet, so you'll have to settle for mostly fluff, preview and why Jim Tracy sucks articles again in this week's links.
For example: Can Guillermo Moscoso make the Rockies opening day rotation? Purple Row examines.
Hey, that article is a lot more fun to read in February than it is in November, so it definitely could be a lot worse.
-- In a guest piece for Blake Street Bulletin, David Martin writes about Jim Tracy's inability to find answers during the disastrous 2011 season and his extraordinary ability to dodge blame from the Rockies front office.
You can usually find David over at Rockies Review.
-- Here's an awesome umpire's eye view of Jhoulys Chacin pitching to Michael Cuddyer on Monday courtesy of the Denver Post.
-- Fluff: Troy Tulowitzki played high school baseball against Jeremy Lin's brother! Denver Post
-- For those wondering, Ian Stewart advanced in the 1st round of the Chicago Cubs 64-man NCAA style bunting competition. He'll square off against Starlin Castro in round two, and is an early 8.5 point favorite. Muskat Ramblings
Honestly, if I had seen the brackets before the competition started I probably would have picked Ian to go far on the position player side. When asked (or attempted on his own) Ian showed himself to be pretty effective when squaring around and pushing the ball down the third base line.
I'd have to check (maybe later... or never), but I believe he had 2-3 more bunt hits than home runs last season. Impressive! Of course I know without question that I had the same number of bunt hits as Ian had home runs last year, so maybe that's not impressive.
-- Should the Rockies have signed Yoenis Cespedes instead of Michael Cuddyer? Blake Street Bulletin
Interesting question. But not really a fair question.
Cespedes may indeed prove to be the better player in the long run (he'll always be younger), but the Rockies couldn't afford to wait around to see how that sweepstakes played out. So under the circumstances, targeting and signing Cuddyer is the easy and correct call. Under different circumstances (if both players were available at the same time), sure, you'd put more thought into moving on Cespedes, but it is what it was, and what it was was not all that realistic.
-- In a must read, Curtis Seidle tells us why Juan Nicasio is his new favorite player. Rox Pile
Curtis, I am right there with you. Few players have earned my respect and admiration as quickly as Juan Nicasio did last season... and that was BEFORE the devastating and potentially career-ending injury that he suffered on Aug. 5th. To see how he's battled back from that and to hear about the positive attitude he's maintained throughout the entire recovery process just takes that admiration to another level.
It's exactly like the situation when Aaron Cook returned from the blood clots in his lungs a few years ago. My admiration for him went to another level, and despite his struggles at the end in Colorado, I never stopped supporting and pulling for Aaron. I guarantee that's how I'll feel about Juan, regardless of where this comeback takes him.