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Monday, June 01, 2009
There’s gold in them thar hills!Posted by Paul Singman at 9:43pm
The Rockies outfield situation is a true logjam right now. While logjams can cause frustration for fantasy owners who see their players drop into time-shares, logjams are also great places to look for hidden talent.
Right now the Rockies are going predominantly with the lineup of Brad Hawpe in right, rookie Dexter Fowler in center, and Ryan Spilborghs and Seth Smith splitting the duties in left. That is merely their predominant lineup. Some nights Spilly will slide over to center and a player not even mentioned yet, Matt Murton, will get the start in left. And then there is center fielder Carlos Gonzalez who is raking to the tune of .333/.421/.598 in Triple-A. That makes a potential six players for three positions.
Right now Hawpe is the only definite everyday starter as he is having himself a very nice season, batting .348 with seven home runs and 39 RBI thus far. With a relatively cheap contract and the Rockies slow start however, Hawpe is most likely going to be traded sometime before the trading deadline.
Fowler is having a decent season in the majors; not good but not bad either for a rookie. I do not see him getting sent down to Triple-A and the Rockies probably want him playing everyday, so his playing time seems fairly secure to me.
The other three players—Spilborghs, Smith, and Murton—are all involved a crapshoot as to who will end up getting the most playing time the rest of the way. Right now Murton (who was mashing Triple-A pitching before getting called-up, albeit as a 26 year old) is the odd man-out, although that can change at any moment's notice.
Despite Gonzalez' success in Triple-A, he most likely will remain there until September when he could be a late call up. The Rockies want to see increased maturity and sustained success from him before potentially rushing him to the majors as the A's did last year.
Although murky now, by mid-summer the Rockies outfield situation should be somewhat resolved. My advice is simply to remain aware of what is going on in the Rockies outfield and the player I'd be looking to jump on at the first sign of increased playing time is Matt Murton because 1) he is not owned in most leagues and 2) has the skills to put up solid numbers if given the playing time. Right now you can let him sit in free agency, though.
Paul has been managing fantasy baseball teams for many seasons and writing for THT Fantasy over the past three years. He is currently a student at UPenn welcomes readers' thoughts at his email here or in the comments below.
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