After a Thanksgiving hiatus, the Rockies news and notes continues for another week, as I sift through the rumor mill hunting for potential moves by the boys in purple pinstripes.
Here's a shock: of what I've been able to find... well, none of it is very encouraging.
RUMOR: The Rockies are interested in signing SP Pedro Astacio. Astacio, who pitched for the Rox from 1997 to 2001, is 34 years old. He made five appearances with the Boston Red Sox last year, including one start. Since the 2002 season, in which he went 12-11 over 196 innings with the New York Mets, Astacio has thrown just 45.3 IP in 12 big league appearances.
VIEWS: God, no.
Astacio is one of the best starting pitchers in team history, sure. Despite putting up astronomical ERAs, he still managed to win ballgames and strike out a bunch of guys every year with the Rox.
But… for crying out loud, his arm is practically scotch-taped together at this point! You’re telling me that Astacio is potentially a better candidate for the starting rotation next year than Jamey Wright? Or that the Rox would rather take a chance on the deteriorating Astacio rather than plug Shawn Chacon back into the rotation?
I don’t expect this rumbling to come to fruition, but Rockies fans shouldn’t be subjected to these types of rumors as it is.
RUMOR: The Rockies are interested in working out RP Robb Nen. Nen has not pitched since 2002 with the San Francisco Giants, but he wants to continue his career coming off of shoulder surgery. Nen has saved 314 games in his career.
VIEWS: Crazy coincidence of the day: Robb Nen and Pedro Astacio share the same birthdate. They were both born on November 28th, 1969.
Not as crazy, not really a coincidence either: neither Nen or Astacio has what you’d call a clean bill of health on their pitching arm.
Now, if Nen is willing to sign for something close to the league minimum, try and work his way back to the bigs, and prove that he’s still got the wicked heat and nasty splitter that made him one of baseball’s best closers, then it’s a low-risk, high-reward proposition for the Rox, and it’s worth taking.
RUMOR:Jeff Cirillo is interested in resigning with the Rockies.
VIEWS: No player has ever fallen off the face of the earth quite like Jeff Cirillo, who went from 2001 All-Star to being released in the middle of last season by the Mariners. What a disasterous tumble.
That being said… let us never speak of this possibility again.
RUMOR: The Rockies may pursue Geoff Blum as a possibility at third base or as a utility man.
VIEWS: I was under the impression that these two positions were taken care of. Luis Gonzalez is Super-Utility-Man, and Garrett Atkins should be just fine at third base next year.
But when you keep hearing third basemen pop into conversation in the winter, that leads to one logical conclusion: the Rox aren’t sold on Atkins. To which I reply, “WHY THE HELL NOT?” He only hit .366 last year for the AAA Sky Sox, the best batting average at any level of minor league ball. Yeah, I know about the defensive deficiencies, but the fact remains that offense wins ballgames in Coors Field, and Atkins is a better bet to provide offense than anyone the Rox could possibly think about bringing in.
Huh, it’s been kind of a slow period for rumors. But that’s all I have for now. Check back again soon for more as I hear about them.
ROCKIES-RELATED DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY: "El Matador", by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. In honor of the departed Vinny Castilla. It's a high energy song, with entirely Spanish lyrics. The live version is worth checking out for sure.