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Monday Rockpile: 3B Options and Why the Rockies Will Stick With What They Have

0-for-third: Rockies face a sinkhole at third-base - The Denver Post

Rox Girl linked this particular article by Troy Renck in Sunday's Rockpile. The Rockies have had next to zero production from the 3B position in the 2011 season. If you believe anything about Fangraphs WAR (fWAR), the Rockies are worst in the league in 3B production at -1.0 fWAR. What's almost worse is the fact that that -1.0 fWAR is accompanied by a +1.2 UZR, suggesting that the bats have been worth ~-1.1 fWAR. Ugly.

Some of the commentary has suggested that the Rockies just need to ride this out for a bit longer and see what Ty Wigginton is bringing to the table before they do anything drastic. I agree. The reason I agree is that there really isn't some sort of 3B panacea out there just waiting to be traded for.

Take a look at other MLB 3B. I don't see a single player on that list who is going to be feasible for the Rockies to acquire. Yes, drastic times call for drastic measures, but there's also the possibility of overreacting to a bad situation and overpaying to try and pull out of it. We've seen David Wright's name pop up, but there's no way he's getting moved right now, given that he's A. the centerpiece of that Mets team and B. The cost, both of his contract and the prospect load, would be incredibly prohibitive. The Red Sox aren't moving Youkilis and it's doubtful that Jed Lowrie would be moved either. Placido Polanco wouldn't be available. Just about everyone else on that list is either in the category of Giant Contract, Playing Over Their Heads, and Wouldn't Be An Upgrade On The Current Options.

The next thought is to look to the minors. FREE CHRIS NELSON AND JOSH FIELDS AND AND AND...

I'm far from against giving these guys a shot, but again, I need to see what Ty Wigginton brings back to the table before I consider calling up someone performing well in AAA Colorado Springs as a "solution". In defense of the mentioned Sky Sox players, Josh Fields IS legitimately crushing the ball (1.159 OPS), Eric Young Jr is above 1.000 OPS, and Matt Macri and Chris Nelson are both in the .850+ OPS range.

Given the aforementioned prohibitive costs both in terms of contract, returns, and the general question marks on the talent actually coming back in a trade, I don't see the Rockies making a 3B trade in the current trade market. 

That all said, if Wigginton doesn't get onto a steady pace quickly, the Rockies would be remiss in not trying to get some of these crushinating AAAA players into the lineup in some fashion.

Off Topic

Rockies’ Helton gets back to beltin’ | All Things Rockies — Colorado Rockies news — Denver Post
Postgame notes from Jim Tracy, all pointing to the one glowing spot in the Rockies' season thus far: Todd Helton. Helton's played positive 1B so far, is a 1.0 fWAR player, and is the best batter on the team in 2011. Helton's posting a .325 AVG, .931 OPS with 6 bombs. Helton and Herrera are the only batters on the team hitting above .280.

Frankly, I'm of the opinion that Jim Tracy needs to move Helton back to the 3 hole and put Gonzalez back in the 5. It was only like 2 games when Gonzalez got that remedial stint behind Tulo, and frankly, he did well in it. Todd Helton "knows" how to hit 3rd better than Gonzalez does. That said, Gonzalez has posted a .897 OPS and 3 homers in May, so there's signs of him coming out of his slumping shell. It's a bit of a conundrum. I figure Helton's high average and high OPS will do well in driving Fowler and Herrera along the basepaths, and maybe it'll just shake things up a bit as far as getting Tulo and Gonzalez back on track.


Tracy adamant: Jimenez’s issues purely mechanical | All Things Rockies — Colorado Rockies news — Denver Post
Jim Armstrong puts up a quick piece regarding Jimenez. It's not mental, it's not physical, it's mechanical. Release points and ball transfer and trusting his fastball again.

I really hope they're right.