Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: Stress Free Francis

Rockies 3, Royals 0

Winning Player: Jeff Francis

He looks good doesn't he? I'm always a little cautious to say a guy's back to top form so soon after 21 months on the shelf... but damn, he's in really, really good form.

Everything is so smooth and effortless out there. He's locating precisely, he's setting hitters up 2-3 pitches ahead, and then he's attacking and finishing them off. That's the new wrinkle in Ubaldo's game that has put him over the top. For Francis, it's an old wrinkle that he has to live and survive by because he's not overpowering.

So far, so good.

I understand he came in to the game dealing with strep throat, so that just makes his endurance and performance.out there even more amazing.

Lineup Card: Game 2 @ Kansas City

Rockies Lineup

  • CF Fowler   (Finally!)
  • DH Giambi
  • 1B Helton
  • SS Tulowitzki
  • RF Hawpe
  • LF Smith
  • C  Olivo
  • 3B Stewart
  • 2B Barmes
Jeff Francis on the mound.

Much needed day off for Carlos Gonzalez.  And it's great to see Fowler back at the top of the order.  

Royals Lineup
  • LF Podsednik
  • 2B Aviles
  • RF DeJesus
  • 1B Butler
  • DH Guillen
  • 3B Callaspo
  • SS Betancourt
  • CF Bloomquist
  • C   Kendall
Former Atlanta Brave Kyle Davies on the mound.  

Essentially the same lineup for Ned Yost even against a left-hander.  Willie Bloomquist starts for Mitch Maier in CF and that's the only change.  

Also, hopefully the Rockies are now aware the DeJesus can throw a little bit on there in RF.  You can take advantage of Podsednik and Bloomquist all day... but leave well enough alone with DeJesus.

Rob Neyer Offers Rational Thoughts On 2B Situation

If you're ever on the lookout for rational and unbiased baseball opinions, one of the first and best places to look is Rob Neyer's Sweet Spot blog on

In his blog yesterday, Rob touched on the struggles of Clint Barmes and the Rockies rumored pursuit of an upgrade at the 2B position.

Here's a snippet of what he had to say.

At some point, you have to make a move.

But the Rockies aren't at that point yet.

Especially considering their (supposed) options.

Regarding Matsui, I'm having trouble imagining the "high reward." He's 34, and he's got a .267/.321/.380 career line. Yes, he was valuable to the Rockies three years ago, but 1) it was only 104 games, 2) he wasn't that good, and 3) that was three years ago. Matsui was lousy last year, and lousier this year. Much lousier than Barmes, even. 
Bingo... and amen even.  I completely agree with and approve of everything Rob had to say there and had to say in the rest of his article, which I encourage you to read at the link below.  I also found it to be somewhat uplifting and reassuring.

Rockies on lookout for second baseman