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Friday Rockpile: Why It's Such A Bummer That Ian Stewart Is Awful

The past 2 days, we've had an ongoing debate over whether Ian Stewart should be the starter at the hot corner, or if he should give way to another player, be that player internal or a trade/free agent. If I had to take a side, I'd probably go with "Start Ian Stewart" - not so much that I'm sold on the bounceback potential, but rather that I trust Stewart's glove. I'm all for having an incredibly strong defensive squad where there is a question on who should play. But I'll go into that on a later date.

Stewart being terrible at 3B is more than just a blow to the Rockies' lineup. Honestly, even if Stewart were up to snuff, it'd be more just consolation that we had some sort of production at 3B better than we did in 2011. No, this dearth of 3B production marks a low point for 3B in Colorado Rockies history.

Since their inception, the Rockies have had strong play from both 3B and RF. Take a look back over the years at Rockies 3B production. 1993 concluded with Charlie Hayes posting a strong .876 OPS. Once Hayes' tenure concluded, Vinny Castilla took the reins, putting up a .892 OPS from 1994-1999. Something about Jeff Cirillo happened over the next few years, and I think somebody mentioned Todd Zeile, and then suddenly Vinny Castilla was back, blasting 35 homers and leading the league in RBI.

After Vinny Castilla headed out again, Garrett Atkins became the man, peaking after 2 years (and a .965 OPS peak from a below-average yet competent 3B is far from a bad peak), but holding the position down long enough for Stewart to arrive.

When Stewart came up, he wore #24. The next season, Stewart changed his number to 9 as a show of admiration to Castilla. It was exciting, knowing there was another strong glove at the hot corner, especially one with the upside that Stewart had.


Then again, in a decade, I might be saying "...something about Ian Stewart, and then Nolan Arenado took the job and never looked back." Yeesh, this guy has a lot riding on him now, doesn't he?

Grand Junction gets Rockies minor league team - The Denver Post
In the event you missed it, the Rockies have moved their Rookie-ball Pioneer League Affiliate from Casper, WY to Grand Junction, CO. I kind of feel bad for Casper, as they seemed to want the team back, and even changed the mascot recently. On the other hand, this will put the Rockies closer to their Utah opponents. I don't think there's any way to put a shine on a road trip to Montana.


Could Sox leave the Springs? | End Zone | Colorado Springs Independent
Furthermore, this raises questions about the Rockies AAA Affiliate, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Security Service Field, home of the Sox, may just be the most hitter-friendly park in all of North American Professional Baseball, thanks to incredibly high altitude (seriously, baseball at 6500 feet?), high winds, a crappy location (high point of the city), and no humidor. The Rockies plan to put a humidor in Security Service Field, but it might not be a fixture like it is in Coors Field, but rather something they could pack up and leave with should the right opportunity arise.


Rox dissatisfied with Sox? | News
There has been some talk of moving to a new park in Colorado Springs, more in the downtown area, but there's a lot that goes into that kind of a relocation. Were the Rockies to make any demands of the Sky Sox, there's always the question of what the parent club is willing to contribute. I can't imagine the answer would be that impressive.


Rockies increase season ticket prices for first time in four years - The Denver Post
Interested in locking up 81 games all for yourself? Be aware that prices are being increased, anywhere form 3% to 8%, despite Dick Monfort acknowledging that the team failed to meet expectations in this season. I don't know what to make of this, unless the good folks in charge of ticketing realize how slow Colorado crowds are to react, especially when baseball is such a great summer activity.