Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Reynolds Walks Eight, Phillies Sweep
2008-05-28 23:06
by Mark T.R. Donohue

I speculated a few posts back about Greg Reynolds becoming the true homegrown ace the Rockies desperately need. Not yet: tonight the rookie walked three in the first inning and eight total as the Rockies got pounded for the third straight game in Philadelphia, 6-1. Willy Taveras and Garrett Atkins are back in action for the Rockies but the lineup was still mostly alien: Ian Stewart is in his first week as a second baseman, Seth Smith is getting his first extended look in the majors, and Omar Quintanilla (shortstop) has already been tried and found wanting as a major league regular. The only sub who's really hitting is Ryan Spilborghs, who has to be wondering what he has to do to lock down a permanent lineup spot. Too bad Spilborghs is filling in for the irreplaceable Matt Holliday.

Jorge De La Rosa is out of the Colorado rotation, possibly to be replaced by Glendon Rusch. De La Rosa had an ERA of 9.00 in five starts. The well-traveled Rusch has pitched well in limited exposure in Colorado Springs. He's definitely an improvement on De La Rosa, which is in itself sad, but what's really depressing about this move is that it would take several more of them just to get the Rockies back to mediocre.

So how many of these young guys we're seeing are the real deal? Reynolds certainly looks as if he's going to be given every opportunity to take his licks at the big league level this season, but like Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales he's still woefully inconsistent. Jonathan Herrera can sure flash the leather, and he's one of the few examples of this year's team who has the enthusiastic spirit of last year's. I don't think he's ever going to hit much, though, and there are a lot of other guys with better bats who are claimants to the second base job. One of the more unfortunate names on the disabled list right now is that of Clint Barmes, who can't really be counted as young any longer but is certainly an enigma to predict. Barmes was never expected to start as a rookie, seized that job until he got hurt, played his way out of it in 2006, registered no impact whatsoever on the Rockies' magical 2007 season, and now has seemingly won another job slightly across the infield... only to lose it, again, to injury. It would be a good story if weren't tied into the colossal stink bomb of a season taking place right now.

Chris Iannetta has an .981 OPS... on the road. He's your starting catcher, if you haven't figured that out already. It's a shame the Rockies ended up retaining Yorvit Torrealba and losing Kazuo Matsui, because Iannetta's fine hitting and good defense have made Torrealba obsolete. How's Kaz doing for Houston? He has a .368 OBP, but he's not hitting for much power -- only 139 more points of OPS than Willy Taveras. It's more than the Astros got (or the Ranger are now getting) from Jason Jennings.

May is almost over. That leaves... let's see, June, July, August, and September. This is going to be a long summer.

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