Just some food for thought, courtesy Jeff Sackmann's minorleaguesplits.com pages. MLE stands for Major League Equivalent, meaning some really smart people have figured out a way to roughly estimate how a minor league prospect would do in a major league setting.
Troy Tulowitzki: .686 MLE OPS
Clint Barmes .631 OPS
Kaz Matsui .557 MLE OPS
Starting and back-up Catcher:
Yorvit Torrealba .788 OPS
Chris Iannetta .761 MLE OPS (Colorado Springs)
or Iannetta .796 MLE OPS (Tulsa)
Danny Ardoin .525 OPS
JD Closser .610 OPS
or Closser .670 MLE OPS (Colorado Springs)
Jorge Piedra .588 OPS
Jeff Baker .625 MLE OPS
Ryan Spilborghs .765 OPS
or Spilborghs .690 MLE OPS
- Call up Troy Tulowitzki. Let him experience the rest of the season in a major league environment and give him the starting job over Clint Barmes. This move is meant mainly to look forward to 2007 by providing Tulo early exposure in the hopes we can get a quick jump out of the blocks next season and not have to suffer through as many growing pains in a key position when we're really trying to to compete. However, as the comparison above shows, it also could be beneficial to the team in the stretch run this season.
- Ryan Spilboghs or Jeff Baker over Jorge Piedra for the outfield bench job. This is an edit from the erroneous info I originally had (see comments) but really we already have enough lefties around that one more in Piedra isn't worth it, particularly one as bad as Piedra. Spilly would be an optimal platoon partner for Hawpe while he works out his swing issues. The defense in the field that will be lost is minimal since Piedra generally only gets a few innings of defensive work a week anyway and on a groundball staff the outfield defense on the bench is made even less important.
- Similarly, keeping Danny Ardoin around is pointless right now. Call up Iannetta, call up Closser, I don't care, but we're killing ourselves in late inning situations by not having players who are real threats to start or extend a rally. I mean if you look at our everyday lineup, with the exception of Barmes, we're fairly solid. It's the bench that needs work, and what's sad is that we seem to have most of the solutions available in house.
- This really doesn't have anything to do with the comparisons above, but for all its changes, Hurdle's lineup last night ignored one of the most obvious problems we have on the road: the lack of a true lead-off hitter. Jamey Carroll is now two for eighteen on this trip, with three walks. That's an OBP of .238 for those scoring at home, not something you want to see from the guy who will get the most AB's and who is supposed to be the table setter for our big hitters. If it were up to me, I'd move Corey Sullivan up to leadoff for away games, as his road .353 OBP isn't that much better than Carrol's .340, but his overall road OPS of .835 is leaps and bounds ahead of Jamey's .771.