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Rock Mining, Week 1: Colorado's infield depth

With only small sample size statistics to chose from, this will be a non-statistical look at Colorado's infield depth.

It has been only three years, but only one of these players is still with the team.
It has been only three years, but only one of these players is still with the team.
Doug Pensinger

Much has been said about how the Rockies keeping six outfielders shows they have lots of depth and some have said that it is a good problem for Walt Weiss to have. Maybe it is a pessimistic view, but I feel that the Rockies are keeping six outfielders because they do not have good enough hitters in their infield depth to keep one of them instead.

The beginning of 2012 seems like a long time ago, but it is the beginning of a series of personnel decisions that have left the Rockies' major league ready depth in shambles. That season saw the Rockies start Marco Scutaro at second base. In the midst of his worst season since being a rookie, Marco found himself traded to the Giants during the upheaval of management and roster shake-up when the season went sour. In return for giving the Giants the missing piece they needed for a World Series win, the Rockies received Charlie Culberson who is the team's only backup infielder this year.

Then, in 2013, the Rockies traded a bullpen mainstay, Matt Reynolds, to try and bolster their infield depth. The problem is they chose to deal with the Diamondbacks and got Ryan Wheeler in return.  Ryan, batting from the left side, would be the logical choice to be the fifth infielder for the Rockies. However, management must have seen what his statistics show, that he is a below average hitter at this point in his career. The good news for the Rockies is Ryan is still just 25 years old, so he may turn into something.

Being that pinch hitting is difficult and something that many managers prefer to have veterans to do, one would think that finding a veteran that doesn't need regular at bats to be successful would have been important for management since that was so clearly missing in 2013 when they went through Reid Brignac, Chris Nelson, and Jonathan Herrera as extra infielders. Instead, they brought in a glove-man in Paul Janish (and didn't keep him in Denver), traded away Herrera, and hoped one of the three or four AAAA players that have been in Colorado Springs would step up. When that didn't happen, Walt Weiss was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

All of the pitchers coming off the disabled list and the Rockies need to keep an extra pitcher because of the bullpen use will likely see the end of six outfielders soon enough.  However, it doesn't fix the underlying problem that the team is short on middle and corner infielders at the major league ready level. Maybe Josh Rutledge will re-find his magical bat from September 2012 or Kyle Parker will start playing first bast in the Springs. Otherwise, the Rockies will be waiting awhile for some of the young players in Modesto to make their way to Colorado.