Pomeranz. Image: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend Links: Rockies News, 5/4

Right now Rockies fans face the challenge of weighing their excitement against their pessimism that things might be starting to go awry. Still clinging to first place and showing plenty of signs that they are a good team, the Rockies have lost eight of their last twelve contests. What they do on this home-stand against the Rays and New York Yankees matters as they try to weather this storm. Here’s what else is happening with the Rockies and around the rest of the league:

From Irv Moss: Sky Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz punishing Triple-A hitters this season (Denver Post)

It’s an easy call to say that pitcher Drew Pomeranz has delivered the most significant performance in the Rockies’ farm system so far this season.

Pomeranz has a 4-0 record for the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox and is showing the ability the Rockies thought they saw when he came to Colorado in the 2011 trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians.

In his last three starts, the left-hander has been especially tough. In 17 innings, Pomeranz has allowed only two runs and eight hits. In five starts overall, Pomeranz has pitched 28 innings, allowed 21 hits, struck out 34, walked 10 and posted a 2.54 ERA.

From Bernie Pleskoff: Rutledge’s steady ability makes him good fit for Rox (MLB.com)

Rutledge has a very easy, uncomplicated swing. There is little to no motion in his setup prior to the pitch. Rutledge has a short, compact swing that is geared to hitting the ball up the middle. He makes good contact with the barrel of the bat, showing an ability to hit line drives to the gaps.

While he is an excellent athlete, Rutledge is not very big, at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. Now 24, he might add some weight due to his training regimen, but it’s likely there isn’t much in the way of additional growth coming his way.

With a rather flat swing plane, Rutledge has enough raw power to hit some home runs every season with line drives that carry over the outfield wall. However, home runs won’t be the focal point of his offensive game. Rather, Rutledge should drive in his share of runs with timely base hits or well-struck doubles to the gap.

From Lew Freedman: Chicago Cubs Not Leaving Wrigley (Call To The Pen)

The Cubs are owned by the Ricketts family, and Tom Ricketts is the chairman. He is the front man to the community and the Cubs have announced they are going to pour $500 million into renovating, preserving and updating Wrigley Field, which opened in 1914, and is the second oldest park in the majors to Fenway Park in Boston.

For those who did not follow the years-long soap opera concerning the future of Fenway, let’s just say that a deal was cut to build a new ballpark and for the Red Sox to play elsewhere, but new ownership put the kibosh on that and kept Fenway alive in the 2000′s. To do so the leadership pumped in millions of bucks to modernize the grand old dame.

If Fenway could do it, Wrigley can do it. Spending $500 million on an old park would be considered lunacy in some cities and there are National Football League cities that have ditched plans for renovation to probe the idea of a news stadium–one that might not cost $500 mil.

From Tracy Ringolsby: A year after sale, Dodgers headed in right direction (MLB.com)

While it has made a quick fix to an image that had been tarnished during the McCourt era, the new owners were not ready for any celebration Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the purchase of the franchise by a group headed by Mark Walter, several of his partners in Guggenheim Capital LLC, NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and sports executive Stan Kasten.

They know there is a ways to go for them to overtake their long-time rival San Francisco Giants, the defending World Series champions, who they will play in a three-game series beginning on Friday.

The Dodgers have bumped the payroll from a year ago more than 128 percent, to $223 million — just $5 million shy of the Yankees and $64 million ahead of the Phillies, who had the third-highest Opening Day payroll.

From Jack Moore: Buchholz, Morris, and a Brief History of Spitball Accusations (FanGraphs)

The scandal, if one can even call it such, involves video of rosin on Buchholz’s left forearm. The accusations are tenuous at best, and as Morris himself put it, ‘I can’t prove anything. I can’t prove anything.’ Although Morris wasn’t the only one to accuse Buchholz of throwing a spitter — former pitcher Dirk Hayhurst, also with the Blue Jays radio team, joined in — it’s hard to imagine these accusations going anywhere.

However, Morris and Hayhurst give us an opportunity to revisit the spitball, in my opinion one of the most unique pieces of baseball history, from its time as a legal pitch in baseball’s early years to Gaylord Perry‘s Hall of Fame spitball and everywhere in between.

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