Monday, May 31, 2010

Fowler Demotion A Sound Decision

Troy Renck broke the news late last night.

Judging from the reaction I've heard and read everyone understands and is on board with this decision. I'm on board with all of you.  It makes nothing but sense and is, in fact, a bit overdue.

Fowler needs that extra bit of seasoning he missed out on by coming straight from AA in 2009.  He was able to get by on raw ability for most of his solid rookie season, but we all know how scouting works in MLB.  They found the hole in Fowler's left-handed swing.  He hasn't adjusted.  His numbers are down and his confidence is down with it.

Some are suggesting Fowler scrap switch-hitting altogether.  I wouldn't be opposed to that.  There's no doubt his right-handed swing is ML ready (His defense and speed also already measure up to that of a quality big leaguer), so all he'd need at AAA are a few right-handed ABs against some right-handed pitchers.

However, Fowler and the team seem pretty committed to him sticking with the switch-hitting.  That's fine too if they really believe in it. It's just that he can't be learning how to hit left-handed at the big league level.  That's not fair to him, the team, no one.

So down he goes and the sorting out process begins soon in Colorado Springs.  Maybe a different voice than Don Baylor will be helpful as well.

There are several other ramifications involved in this move.

Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs are now essentially a platoon in LF, with Spilly being the immediate backup in CF and RF.  I honestly don't know what type of OF, if any, Jonathan Herrera can play, but I wonder if Melvin Mora might be used in some emergency OF situations should they emerge.  Maybe even Clint Barmes.

What we do know for sure about Herrera is that he's a more than capable middle infielder defensively.  This could lead Jim Tracy to give Barmes a few more days off and even Tulowitzki a blow here and there.

What does this move mean to Eric Young?  Well, nothing.  Sounds like he's still a long ways from coming back.  That said, if this move had happened a month ago, you'd have to think EY would be the benefictiary.  Now it'll just to be interesting to see who between Fowler and Young comes back first, and what that person's role is once they do.

Either way, I am pulling hard for both kids to come back strong, healthy, confident and ready to contribute to this team's cause.  There's little doubt they are important pieces to the final puzzle.