Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rockies Treading Water

Nearing the end of April the Rockies have a fairly solid 11-10 record. They're treading right around .500 but have to fight to stay there until the team regains its health. Coming into the season, the team was touted for its depth. With new injuries to Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Hammel and Brad Hawpe, (and 3 key players on my fantasy team... all in one weekend!? WTF!), in addition to the demotion of Chris Iannetta, The Rockies have some serious holes that this depth needs to fill. They have some questions, but they have some answers.

Questions for the Rockies:
Will Clint Barmes learn how to hit?  After watching most of every Rockies game this year, I have trouble racking my brain to come up with any quality at bats Barmes has had. Granted any professional player is going to run into a ball, but Clinton (my name for #12) continues to swing at low and away sliders and 'cover' the plate by swinging at pitches 3-feet out of the zone. Todd-Father covers pitches that could be called for strikes; Clinton covers pitches that could be tallied as wild pitches. But Clinton has positives: he's still solid on defense, and isn't afraid to take one for the team.

Will Chris Iannetta earn his contract? The guy touted to posses a great arm, call a good game and have the Hammer of Thor as a bat is now riding the bus in triple-A. I don't know what his deal is. He hit the first walk-off home run I have ever witnessed in person, yet can't read the location of a fastball out of a pitchers hand. Jim Tracy thinks it's in his head, and I hope so. But then again, Miguel Olivo is looking sharp.

Answers for the Rockies:
Cha-cha-cha cha cha-cha cha cha cha-cha cha TULO... now featuring a good April! Watch out Mr. Pujols, you may not earn all the first-place MVP votes this year (don't get me wrong, The Machine will win, machines always win). I fear the day when Tulo finds his home run stroke, and single handedly picks the Rockies up during a time where their pitching may begin to struggle (the bullpen looks fantastic, but I want to wait and see if their stellar ERA is inflated by cleaning up Jason Hammel's frequent blow-up starts) with a bunch of young guys coming in to fill the holes. Anywho, Tulo is hitting .325/.374/.458 (average/on-base/slugging). His slugging numbers should improve as he continues to crank out doubles and starts bashing more homers. 

Ian Stewart is quietly having a tremendous start to his season. With a batting clip of .310/.398/.594, he has clearly listened to the guidance of hitting coach Don Baylor. Apparently he has shortened up his swing coming into this season, but my untrained eye still sees a guy who has a looping, swing for the fences type swing. Whatever his swing looks like doesn't matter, so long as he hits the ball hard.

Cargo batting 5th? If the Rockies want to play little EY at second base while Barmes figures out what he's doing, I am a big fan of seeing CarGo in the 5-hole. Obviously this is Hawpe's spot in the order when he comes back, but CarGo can mash the ball from this spot in the order. Does he ever seem to have a bad day?
above: is he back?

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