Whenever the Rockies face right-handed pitching, they have one of the better outfields in baseball. However, when they face left-handed pitching they become completely inept. Also, they haven’t been up to par defensively so far this year. This has more to do with Dexter’s demotion than anything. At the start of the season, with Dexter in center and Cargo in left, they were fielding one of the better defensive outfields in baseball, but now that Cargo has been moved to center and Dexter is in the Springs, they can’t cover as much of Coors’ expansive lawn. Overall, I’ll give them a C+.
Carlos Gonzalez — B
Cargo has been very solid this year. Unfortunately, the Rockies need him to return to superstar status. That means he will need to produce more against lefties. Last year there was very little difference in his splits against righties and lefties, so there is reason to believe he will have more success in the second half against southpaws. Hopefully, his wrist injury won’t keep him out for long, but anytime a baseball players suffers an injury in that area, you have to worry. There are so many things that can go wrong in the wrist and it’s not something that is easily played through. Also, it’s worth noting that without his atrocious April, he would probably get a B+ or even an A from me.
Dexter Fowler — C
I’ve been very vocal about my desire to see Dexter back in Denver. Before being sent down, he was sporting a .340 OBP, but he wasn’t hitting with power and he struck out too much. Still, his offense was adequate enough to keep him around considering how good he is defensively. The Rockies need to realize that he isn’t a leadoff hitter just because he’s fast. They should bat him close to the bottom of the order and let him save some runs for this pitching staff. The fact is, they’ve been much worse without Dexter.
Seth Smith — B+
Most people are probably going to give Smith an A for his first half. Certainly, he has been a pleasant surprise at the dish and in the field. However, I can’t give that high of a grade to a guy that doesn’t play when a lefty is on the bump. Especially since this producing against left-handers is such a problem for this outfield.
With the Rockies pretty much out of this thing, maybe it’s time to give Smith regular at bats against lefties. Certainly, he’s been unable to produce against southpaws so far in his career, but he also hasn’t had much of an opportunity. Why not see if he can figure a few things out in the second half? Then the Rockies will know for sure whether or not they will need a platoon in right next season.
Ryan Spilborghs — D
Simply put, Spilly has been a problem this year. As I’ve already mentioned, the Rockies outfield has struggled against left-handed pitching and their right-handed hitting outfield platoon option is a big reason why that’s the case. He has given the Rockies absolutely nothing this year, with the exception of Spill the Beans. In fact, Spill the Beans is the only reason I didn’t give him an F.
Charlie Blackmon — C
Blackmon is a tremendous prospect, but he was probably called up before he was ready. As you would expect of someone in his position, he has struggled. He hasn’t been able to get on base or hit with power and the defensive adjustments to Coors are taking some time too. Still, he showed enough to at least give him a C. When he comes off the DL, the Rockies should keep him in Colorado Springs until it’s time for September call ups. His confidence was suffering a bit before he was injured. He needs some time in the minors to get that back.
Cole Garner — Incomplete
Garner has eight at-bats and probably shouldn’t be with the club in the first place. I don’t see how anyone can argue that he provides the Rockies with more value than Dexter Fowler.
Ty Wigginton & EY Jr. — F
If Tracy plays either one of these guys in the outfield again this season, I am going to absolutely lose it.
Tell me what you think.