For no other reason than I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to take another look at Ian Stewart's numbers since being sent down to AAA Colorado Springs on May 13th; and of course, they continue to be profoundly frustrating.
You can view Stewart's splits here as well as his game logs since being sent down.
Having a guy with an OPS sitting just under 1.000 in AAA and knowing he can't help the Rockies at all right now is as baffling as it is disheartening - But then again, I guess we shouldn't expect anything else from the one and only Ian Stewart now should we? That healthy looking OPS continues to be a complete mirage as it's boosted by a bloated .624 SLG% that can thank its existence to both an inflated number of HR's off pitches Stewart simply won't see in the majors, and the friendliest hitting environment that exists this side of Mars.
At the same time, other barometers of his progress (or in this case, lack thereof) reveal downright alarming numbers. His line drive rate, which for his major league career stands at a solid 19%, is an embarrassing 8% since being sent down to the Springs last month. His K%, which was ugly to begin with, has swelled to just over 28% in his current stint with the Sky Sox - And perhaps worst of all, Stewart's numbers are somehow, actually getting worse. Since June 13th, Stewart has posted just a .246 OBP, only walked 3% of the time, and STRUCK OUT AT LEAST ONCE IN EVERY GAME!!!!! All signs of a player doing anything but making progress. To top it all off, Sky Sox manager Stu Cole recently had some harsh words for Stewart; and in his statements, he perhaps revealed more about the organization's true feelings towards Stewart's attitude than they really want us to know.
I draw two conclusions from this mess.
- 1) Ian Stewart is not making progress toward the goals to organization set for him when they sent him down to Colorado Springs last month.
- 2) Something needs to be done about this.
I've got one idea that's probably more crazy than crazy enough to work but since it's all I have, I'll throw it out there. My suggestion: Send Ian Stewart down to AA Tulsa. If all goes well, it will do two things.
- 1) It will send Stewart a message about just how angry the organization is with his current performance, and possibly attitude.
- 2) It will take Stewart out of the Colorado Springs hitting environment which begs hitters to swing for the fences and is really not conducive in assisting Stewart with what he really needs to work on right now.
The more neutral hitting environment in Tulsa could outweigh the inferior pitching of AA in helping Stewart's progress. I'll admit it's a long shot, but at this point I'd be willing to try it because so far, Stewart's trip to the Springs has been nothing but a failure in my mind. Short of putting him on the trade market, which I don't want to do because I A) still believe in his talent and B) don't want to sell low, I think this is the only other rational option.
If you have any other ideas, please feel free to chime in below.