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Precocious Ian Stewart experiencing sophomore slump as a freshman

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  • May: .273/.333/.455
  • June: .182/.250/.485
  • July: .432/.519/.614
  • August: .295/.412/.526
  • September: .152/.188/.273

So, ascribing to the theory that baseball is as much a game of miniscule adjustments as much as it is of big time skills, Ian Stewart's dismal performance this month leads to one of two likely conclusions:

1. Stewart has relapsed into the player he was early in the season, a Mark Reynolds wannabe who K's a bunch but doesn't homer quite enough to make up for it.

2. Pitchers have figured out a new way to approach Stewart that has him looking exactly like the player he was early in the season even though he's not, really. No really, he's not.

My sarcasm probably tells you which way I'm leaning, but I don't necessarily feel that either is a terrible sign for the Rockies or Stewart just yet. Backsliding happens early in a career. Struggles happen. Stewart's just 23, he's talented, he'll gain more of the good kind of consistency as he goes along. The real problem that the Rockies face with this is that the 2009 team can't afford to muddle through June/September Ian if we're dealing both Matt and Garrett this winter. The possible upside here is that while backsliding does happen, if Ian's as good as we think he is, then the other side of this slump ought to  leave him in a position where he'll be better able to quickly identify and correct his errors and the next down phase shouldn't last as long. The hope here is that the corrections will be made over the winter and he comes back more like July/August Ian.

Troy Tulowitzki's showing that he's broken through his own sophomore slump with a .329/.389/.549 September. Similarly to JDLR, that progress needs to be locked in for next season. In all, the lineup is shaping up decently as long as Ian can get back aboard.

The Rockies have been using Seth Smith in center field frequently of late, with good results offensively and at least passable results on defense. Dexter Fowler remains a wild card, so it seems that the club is trying Smith as a sort of backup plan. It seems to be showing that the club is seriously considering trading Willy Taveras this winter.