Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rockies Thoughts: Fowler, Hawpe, Helton, Mora

As I mentioned in my Rock Solid Recap of last night's win over San Diego, anytime you hear Todd Helton, back, and spasms in the same sentence, there's reason for concern.

Great reason.

For great concern.

I also tweeted during last night's game that if Helton's back was flaring up again, and if Brad Hawpe's ribs were sore enough to keep him out of the outfield, but well enough to let him swing, then maybe we could see Hawpe manning first base one of these days.

And then after the game came word that Colorado was recalling OF Dexter Fowler for Tuesday's game.


Until we see a corresponding move it'll be difficult to assertain what this means, but I do know Fowler was scratched from the Sky Sox game before it started, which would lead me to believe his call up is more a reaction to Helton's leaving BP than anything else.

Maybe it signals that the Rockies know Helton needs more rest, maybe even needs a week or two away from the field, which could finally open up some 1B time for Hawpe.

The Rockies have been doing okay with a four outfielder rotation, with Melvin Mora kinda playing that 5th outfielder/Mr. Everything role.  If you think you might be taking Hawpe away from that rotation temporarily, or even longer, then it makes perfect sense to put Fowler in his place.

It could just be the Rockies rewarding Fowler for his excellent play down there, but I tend to think there's something more involved than that.  The Rockies don't often make moves based on player needs  Everything is about making the team better.

It's also interesting because Helton sitting out opens up that two slot in the order, which is where the Rockies like Fowler to hit.

Like I said, it's hard to say what this means.  I hate speculating on things I have little to no knowledge of, but sometimes things add up and need to be at least pointed out.

Oher Thoughts/Links

-- In somewhat related news, Fangraphs is in full support of Hawpe moving to first base for Colorado.

They also see the Rockies as buyers in this year's trading market, and suggest Clint Barmes become the Rockies utility man after they acquire Dan Uggla.  I guess they aren't sold on Jonathan Herrera... or haven't seen Herrera play.

Remember, stat people don't typically watch games, they just play with numbers.

Personally I'm content with allowing Herrera to play 2B most every day and hit lead-off.  He's providing a spark there the Rockies have lacked, plus Uggla's ugly defense and strikeout totals don't lead me to believe he'd be worth trading a significant prospect for.

-- Credit Melvin Mora for stepping in last night at the last minute and playing a terrific game.  It may seem like no big deal, but trust me, there's a lot of mental prepartion and other factors involved in the role he was pushed into last night.

Playing first base is still kind of foregin to him.  I don't think he's hit second a whole lot in recent years.  And instead of looking at scouting reports of potential bullpen pitchers he'd face later in the game, he had to quickly make sure he was prepared to face Kevin Correia.

It was a challenging experience I'm sure, but he just went out there and proved his worth as a solid veteran with one goal in mind at this stage of his career.