Inbox: Who is on the Rockies' list for skipper?

Beat reporter Thomas Harding answers questions from Colorado fans

Inbox: Who is on the Rockies' list for skipper?

DENVER -- We are nearing the end of a thrilling World Series, which means we are crawling closer to the 2017 Rockies' season.

So let's discuss the most pressing questions about the club.

@jeffkirkbride1 asks if the Rockies have spoken to Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez about their open managerial post. Onetime Rockies pitcher Mark Knudson similarly ponders about Indians bench coach Brad Mills. We have listed Martinez and Mills among the possible candidates. General manager Jeff Bridich isn't confirming candidates, permission received to speak to folks under contract to other teams or interviews.

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Marlins bench coach Tim Wallach was revealed as a possible candidate last week.

Before listing anyone, I have to have collected enough info from various sources to feel confident in doing so. Martinez, who has interviewed for several jobs (including the Dodgers, who hired Dave Roberts before this past season), and Mills, formerly the Astros' manager, are among those.

Whether the Rockies have talked to either is unknown, and it's possible that any contact may have to wait until after the World Series (Indians first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. is in that category). But Cubs manager Joe Maddon stumped for Martinez on Sunday.

Since the Rockies will have such a young pitching starting staff, what do you think of using a six-man rotation to limit innings and more rested between starts?
-- Don

Like you, I've been mulling different rotation/bullpen structures. No doubt stat analysts have been doing the same, and they'll feel more empowered because of the strategies the Cubs and Indians have used this postseason. But much can go wrong during a 162-game regular season. I'm not sure how set back the club would be by a bad homestand of short, ineffective starts. And with slumps and/or inexperience, too many times the Rockies have had a hard time fielding five starters.

But here's an idea: slip the sixth starter -- a versatile pitcher like lefty Chris Rusin -- into the rotation during homestands.

Rusin strikes out Kendrick

@Greenbaumly asks if the Rockies will invest in established starting pitching on the free-agent market. While it makes sense, I doubt it. The Cubs set a nice example with Jon Lester. But pitchers in their prime (knowing this will not be their last contract) would be reluctant to risk their value pitching at Coors, and the Rockies aren't going to overpay them to allay their concerns.

The Rockies' rotation is either drafted or signed as amateurs (think Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela) or traded for before or just after making the big leagues (Tyler Chatwood, Jeff Hoffman). Can that work? Look at the Indians.

@nafsocnorb opines that the Rockies' lineup matches or betters those of the World Series participants. The Rockies were better in batting average, batting average on balls put in play (a stat that doesn't even include home runs, where the Rockies were better) and runs. The Cubs finished second in the Majors and the Rockies third in on-base percentage. Park-adjusted stats aren't as kind to the Rockies, but that has been the case even in winning years.

Rockies' top plays of 2016

But this is a pitching-dominated sport, and we are enjoying a pitching-dominated postseason.

Eddie Butler was a disappointment this year. Knowing he was as highly touted as Gray, what does his role and future look like next year and beyond?
-- Ron S.

At the non-waiver Trade Deadline, scouts from other clubs said Butler could blossom with a change of scenery. There were times last year when the stuff looked good. I was intrigued by his work in relief on some occasions. I've wondered if the Rockies should commit to him as a reliever. I saw enough from righty Jordan Lyles to believe converting him to the bullpen was a worthwhile decision.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.