Quick quiz (no cheating)!
- In Ryan Spilborghs' career, he has played in six seasons with the Colorado Rockies. How many of them did he finish as an above replacement level player, according to Baseball Reference?
- What is Spilborghs' WAR in the past two seasons combined, according to Fangraphs?
|2010 - Ryan Spilborghs||134||341||41||95||20||2||10||39||39||83||4||5||.279||.360||.437|
Spilborghs will earn $1.95mil in base salary in 2011 in the final year of a two year contract he signed January 19. Given that contract, it is possible that Spilborghs could be a trade chip midseason should Colorado fall apart before the All-Start Break.
As the roster currently stands, Spilborghs is in line for a comfortable path to a role as the team's fourth outfielder, starting in place of Seth Smith against left-handed pitchers. Even though he hit better vs. RHP in 2010, he has been better vs LHP in his career to the tune of 60 OPS points.
It is possible that Ty Wigginton will act as the "fifth outfielder" on the roster, which would likely boost Spilborghs' innings and plate appearances in 2011. If not, the current in house options are unlikely to usurp Spilborghs' from his fourth outfielder role out of Spring Training. Don't be surprised if Spilborghs gets even more playing time than that though, as he played more innings in the outfield in 2010 than any Rockie except Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez.
While his defense and WAR values indicate Spilborghs should not be given a starter role on a contending team (and perhaps even a platoon role), I have no problem with having Spilly in his role. I doubt any Rockies fans do either, given the prevalance of Spilborghs jerseys at Coors Field. When Spilborghs brings his winning smile and strong bat (111 wRC+ in three of the past four seasons), it's fairly easy to forgive his defensive difficulties. Even HE puts butts in the seats at the home park. Statistics just can't capture what Spilborghs brings to the clubhouse....right?