Thursday, April 29, 2010

What To Do With Clint Barmes... and Brad Hawpe

Times are getting rather interesting for Mr. Barmes.

With Brad Hawpe very likely to return right at or around schedule from the 15-day DL, I would say Barmes has roughly 10 days to get on track, or the Rockies will have to make a really tough evaluation of their roster.

Where does Barmes fit in?

A lot of that depends on what Barmes does with the playing time he receives between now and then. It also has a lot to do with how much Jim Tracy falls in love with EY Jr. leading off, and CarGo hitting behind Tulo. With the spark each has provided early in their experiments, I would say both are sticking there for a bit.

Is Barmes in any danger of losing his roster spot?

Well, you have to look at his value defensively, which is doubled when you consider he's the only legit backup to shortstop. You could stick a fork in this team defensively if Melvin Mora ever had to play short for any period of time, so that immensely increases Clint's chancees of remaining on the roster.

Plus, the guy did hit 23 HRs last season as a second basemen. That kind of pop out of the middle infield is unique and quite valuable.

So basically I'm saying he's going to remain on the roster for the forseeable future... and that's not even factoring in his zero minor league options remaining. He's not a guy you're going to risk losing without getting anything back, but you also can't trade him to fill your needs while his value is down. He's of much more value to you as a 25th man.

So who could be the odd man out?

Brad Hawpe.

That's not a popular thing to say, and he'd have to prove he's healthy first, but if there were any one guy that makes the world of sense to trade for pitching help in the next few weeks, it's definitely Hawpe.

Carlos Gonzalez can play RF and hit any damn place in the lineup he wants, so your lineup is covered. Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs share LF depending on matchups, with Spilborghs playing late inning defense. You'd rarely have to see Melvin Mora play second base again, but he, EY and Barmes could all play LF if needed, in addition to Mora backing up third and first.

Like I said, it's not a popular thing to say, and it would definitely be difficult to see Brad Hawpe traded, but sometimes circumstances dictate change. And it's not like we haven't seen beloved Rockies traded before with terrfic results -- Matt Holliday and Jason Jennings come to mind quickly.

Of course, another injury or some poor play by EY could completely change the circumstances again, but right now, that's the way I evaluate the situation.

Going to be an interesting 10-14 days to be sure.