2009 MLB National League West Notebook
It's Clint Hurdle's turn.
With the Rockies lingering in last place in the National League West, Hurdle, the only manager to ever take the Rockies to the World Series, is catching heat about his team's lackluster start. The Rockies entered the weekend at 16-24 and riding 12 games behind frontrunner Los Angeles. The record is the second-worst in the National League behind Washington.
A turnaround is in order for Hurdle, whose team finished 74-88 in 2008 after appearing in the 2007 World Series where it was swept by Boston.
General Manager Dan O'Dowd didn't publicly come out with the kiss of death vote of confidence but said that the team's poor start was accountable to all parties.
Hurdle has tried the tougher approach with his team. He has benched starters, held a team meeting to air out grievances and just cut left-hander Glendon Rusch whose ERA was pushing 7.00 into this month.
Now, that right-hander Jake Peavy put the kibosh to a deal that would have sent him to the Chicago White Sox, it's a situation where the Padres have to look at other options. They just can't hold on to his $11 million salary.
There's likely no turning back to trading Peavy. It appears to be a when scenario. He appears to have made it clear that he wants to stay in the National League. So who is really in the running for this power pitcher who is third in the league in strikeouts with 69 entering his May 22 start at the Cubs?
Chicago -- Well, the Cubs have so many offensive issues that those might come first. At least, the Cubs want to see how they do when Aramis Ramirez comes back.
Los Angeles -- You really can't see San Diego trading within its division unless it asks for the Dodgers' 3-4 best prospects.
Philadelphia -- There's no question there are leaks springing all over that rotation.
Atlanta, New York -- Those teams probably need some more time to see how they stand in the NL East race, especially the Braves.
Want to know why the NL West is so bad this year? All you have to do is look at the catergory of hitting with runners in scoring position.
The three worst teams are in this division. The Giants are the third-worst at .220. San Diego is the second worst at .207. Arizona is the worst at .204. Yuck!
Going through San Francisco's numbers are pretty interesting. This team has recorded two or fewer hits in 26 of its first 39 games with runners in scoring position. It also entered its weekend interleague series at Seattle in a 1-for-22 (.045) drought through its previous two games.
Words cannot describe the kind of shock and sorrow the Diamonbacks were feeling this week upon learning of the death of relief pitcher Scott Schoeneweis' wife Gabrielle. There is still no known cause of death. She was found Wednesday at the family house.
Schoeneweis is on the bereavement list and will be granted as much time as he needs to deal with the tragedy. The couple had been married for 10 years and welcomed three children. Now, this is a time where the father has to explain to his children why these terrible things happen and show them that he will be there for them.
When a door closes a window opens. That's how Juan Pierre should look at his opportunity with Manny Ramirez sitting for 50 games because of his suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.
Entering the weekend series with the Angels, Pierre had started 12 of the last 13 games in left field and was hitting .434 (23-for-53) with nine RBIs, six stolen bases and nine RBI. Of course, no will confuse the slending slap-hitting Pierre with Ramirez.
However, he has been productive and shown how good the depth is with the Dodgers. Los Angeles was 8-5 through the first 13 Manny-less games and had won seven its last eight to own baseball's best record at 29-13.
By Kevin Lonnquist
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