Friday, April 30, 2010

Confidence Rankings: Struggling Rockies

I have ranked the struggling Rockies in order of my confidence in them to turn it around.

1 Jason Giambi

Giambi is #1 because his main role on the team is to hit. Eventually he will, because that's what professioanl hitters do.

2. Franklin Morales

I read a couple things going off on Morales after Wednesday's game and I just sorta scratched my head. He was hardly the problem in that game. In fact, if you look at how things have played out, Morales could be 5-for-5 in save chances if not for a Tulowitzki error and then an umpire error in Atlanta. So he's not KILLING the team like you might think he is.

That said, I'm not totally blind to the command issues and the "Pepto Bysmal" moments on the mound, I'm just in no hurry to remove him from the 9th inning role. I think his physical ability outweighs his mental toughness (or lack there of at times). And honestly, I'm not a bit excited about the possible replacements. At least until Huston Street returns.

Also, tt probably wouldn't hurt if Bob Apodaca tried to settle down Franklin's herky-jerky motion. I'd never be able to control where a ball was going if I winded up like that.

3. Chris Iannetta

Iannetta will be back and he will make a positive impact this season. Probably around the All-Star break, but hopefully sooner.

4. Clint Barmes

After a nice showing in the spring, Barmes is back to his bad habits at the plate. No patience. No discipline. Pull heavy. All bad things.

With a possible reduced role, I believe Barmes could offer more value and production for the team. At the very least it should force him to refocus on the things he seemed to be doing well in Arizona.

I wrote more about him yesterday.

5. Greg Smith

I put Smith last because his mental hurdles are growing by the game. Like Morales, he has the stuff to get big league hitters out -- he just needs to believe that. Unlike Morales, he can't get back into count with his fastball or nasty breaking pitches. Instead, he relies on the changeup.

It's a good pitch for him. It just seems like he's afraid to throw it for a strike, and thus, he has no pitch to finish off hitters when he's ahead. He could shoot to #1 on this list if he comes around to that, but his confidence has to be such right now that I don't know if he can be fixed anytime soon.

I'll cross my fingers anyway.