"Are we still developing young people here? You better believe it," Tracy said, referring to the 24-year-old Stewart. "But is the approach to doing so a little bit different? Yes, it is. Garrett Atkins is swinging the bat right now. [Stewart] is not swinging up to his capability at this particular time. Now, will those scales start to tip in the other direction? More than likely they will, and we'll move on that."
Denver Post and the Colorado Rockies Official site:
Atkins will get more starts as race heats up - Denver Post
Alright, before we go the inevitable direction the comments will go with this hot potato, let's look at how the two third basemen have done lately:
Last two weeks:
Garrett Atkins: .280/.357/.560
Ian Stewart: .346/.438/.538
Todd Helton: .348/.367/.457
Last 30 Days:
Ian Stewart: .288/.400/.470
Garrett Atkins: .217/.333/.391
Todd Helton: .309/.382/.403
Okay, so when you switch to a veteran who hasn't completely been outperforming the younger incumbent of late, to me this looks like Tracy's managing scared. Either that or he's fallen into the Hurdle "loud out" trap and looks at Stewart's ginormous K rate as a bigger problem than it really is and the sheer volume of outs that Atkins makes as a hitter as a smaller problem than it really is. A guy that makes outs two out of three times is less valuable than a guy who makes outs three out of five times, even if the latter's outs come from strikeout a majority of the time. If Atkins was really outplaying Stewart right now, I'd be fine with this call, you've got to go with what will bring you the playoffs, but in this case, I just don't see the justification for the switch.
Meanwhile, the guy that we had to get rid of to keep both of these players is hitting better than either for the Cubs lately:
I'm glad Bake's getting an opportunity, and let's hope Al Alburquerque turns out well.
Back to the Post: