Admittedly, I can be a bit hard on Dexter Fowler. When it comes to the young outfielder, I’m like one of those terrible fathers that only values their children’s achievements. For a very long time, I’ve been expecting a lot of Dex, as has pretty much everyone that follows this team. Rarely will you find a baseball player with more athleticism and potential. But, he consistently disappoints me and I love him less because of that. However, while Dexter clearly hasn’t fulfilled his promise (unless we trade him for Tommy Milone), that doesn’t mean he should be playing in Colorado Springs.
Even though he was struggling before being demoted, Fowler still provided the team with above replacement level value, particularly in the field. Since he was sent down, the Rockies have made no improvement. In fact, they’ve actually gotten worse. With Charlie Blackmon on the DL and Cargo hurting, the team’s decision to call up Cole Garner over Fowler was questionable at best. At some point, the Rockies must realize that it’s a mistake to forgo Dexter’s defense in favor of players that are are much worse defensively and not any better offensively.
Lately, the Rockies have not been fielding a very good defensive outfield. Seth Smith does a nice job in right, but when a lefty is on the bump and he’s on the bench, things can become problematic. I’m a big fan of Charlie Blackmon’s potential, but he’s still has a long way to go in his development. He was playing semi-adequate defense in left before getting hurt, but he wasn’t even close to Cargo’s left-field defensive production. And, Cargo’s defense in center is several notches below Dexter’s capabilities. Also, centerfield is tough on the body, and, as we just found out, it’s probably not the best place for the Rockies’ superstar outfielder.
For some time, I’ve been thinking Dexter needed to be up with the big club. Now that Charlie Blackmon is out, it’s asinine to leave him in Colorado Springs. Certainly, Dexter is a flawed baseball player, but he still fits in as a piece for this club. Perhaps it won’t always stay that way, but, for now, Dexter is their best option in center.
Currently, despite not playing in the majors since the beginning of June, Dexter’s WAR is 0.9. Before getting hurt Charlie Blackmon was at -0.6. Ryan Spilborghs is currently sporting a WAR of -0.5. However, even though it’s a proven fact that Dexter provides value, the Rockies want him in Colorado Springs because he strikes-out too much. And we question why this organization repeatedly fails to get the most out of their talent.
Since June 25th, Fowler is hitting well over .400 and most of those hits happened outside the confines of Security Service Field. Last night, he hit his first home run at any level this season. Also, Cargo’s return to the lineup looks like it will be short lived. It’s time to get Dexter back up in the big leagues and leave him in center for the rest of the season. If the Rockies want to improve the position in the off-season, that would be great. However, Dexter needs to be the guy in the short term. Call him up, stick him in the seventh hole, and let him save some runs.
Disagree or have something to add? As always, comments are welcome.
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