Loge13 heard from Dan Boniface of the Rockies blog On The Rox, part of KUSA in Denver, the NBC affiliate. You might remember we exchanged Q&A’s last May.
Dan and I are doing it again. He sent me these three questions:
1) Mike Pelfrey looked dominating last time against the Rockies. What should we expect this time out?
2) The Mets look like a different team with Jerry Manuel at the helm. Do you think the Mets problems really stemmed from Willie Randolph?
3) Were there any Mets (or NL East players) left off the All-Star team that you took issue with?
What were my answers? Go to On The Rox to find out.
Meanwhile, here are Dan’s replies to my queries:
1) Are the Rockies seriously thinking of trading Matt Holliday? If so, what are they looking for in return and do the Mets have a chance?
I can see why the Mets would have interest in Holliday – after all, coming into this series he had hit in 24 straight games against the Mets, which according to the Elias Sports Bureau is a record. (He’s gone hitless in this series so far, but really, which Rockie hasn’t?)
It’s really difficult to tell what management is thinking at this point. The Rockies have had one of the most historic flops following a World Series appearance. And this comes after the Rockies shelled out big dough for their core players: Brad Hawpe, Aaron Cook, Troy Tulowitzki, Manny Corpas all cashed in this offseason. Even Holliday got a lucrative 2-year deal, in the neighborhood of $23 million.
Holliday’s agent is Scott Boras, which could mean he’ll go to free agency at the end of 2009, as Boras clients are inclined to do. That possibility could grease the wheels for a trade (and the Rockies would need to get good, young pitching). Ryan Spilborghs has proven himself ready to be an everyday player who could step into the left field role if they did trade Holliday, and Seth Smith has shown promise as well.
So, the Rockies will have to decide whether to go the route of other small market clubs like the Twins, Marlins and Athletics and trade him for talent, or get locked into a Todd-Helton-like $100-million-plus multi-year deal. Do I think they’ll trade him? Maybe. If they don’t sign him this offseason to an extension, his days in purple pinstripes will be numbered. And yes, the Mets will have as good a chance as any to land him.
2) Back in May, we talked about Clint Hurdle's job status. You said the fair weather fans were already calling for his head after the Rockies' slow start. Clint made it to the All-Star break (unlike our own Willie Randolph, who was to be an NL coach). Is Clint going to survive the season?
Well, the World Series appearance and now the All-Star Game have both been Hurdle’s get-out-of-jail-free card. He’s currently the 5th longest tenured manager in all of the bigs and I really get the feeling that management is happy with the way he’s handled the team during his time with the Rockies. He’s done a pretty decent job this season, considering all the injuries and lackluster play, he’s managed to keep an even keel and keep the morale up in the clubhouse about as well as you can when your team is constantly 15 to 20 games under .500.
That said, if the Rockies can’t put things together here in the second half of the season, he will be in the hot seat going into 2009. I think he could be the victim of an early-season firing if we see the Rockies lay an egg again in April.
3) Mark Redman is starting for the Rockies Sunday night. He's been to the bullpen and Triple-A this season and it's only July. Did his trip to the minors in May help?
Redman has been a rollercoaster ride this season. He’s had a few OK outings, and quite a few stinkers. (See: The 10-run 1st inning he allowed against the LA Dodgers on April 26, then became the first pitcher since 1900 to allow a 10-run 1st and still pitch 6 innings in the game.)
His trip to the minors seemed to straighten things out as he won each of his last three starts for the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox, with a 2.00 ERA (4 earned runs in 18 innings). Overall he was 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA for the Sky Sox.
Once he came back to the bigs, he tossed his first quality start of the season in his first game back, and looked good doing it. But then had another mediocre outing his last time out. So, which Redman will show up on ESPN’s Sunday Night baseball? He’s going to have to be damn good to cool off the Mets.