As an ongoing series, I’m breaking down the Spring Training roster, position by poistion. Yesterday I started on first base, but was unable to get past Todd Helton — thus the need for a part two. Aside from the Todd-father, the Rox have four first basemen in camp. Here’s the dish:
Last year, the Rox acquired the Giambino to fill a need off the bench, but they wound up needing him for 35 starts at first. That is a situation the Rockies would like to avoid this season. The Rox need Jason to be a clutch pinch-hitter and a team leader — nothing more. While Giambi is expected to make the team, he is not gauranteed a contract this year. If he struggles in Spring Training, it’s possible that the Rox will move on without him.
If Helton falters this year, Wigginton will be called upon. He can play a variety of positions — though none particularly well. Last year with Baltimore, Ty made 89 starts at first. As I said yesterday, the Rockeis want Wiggy to spell Helton at first, not rotate with him. He is an average defender and a downgrade from Todd.
Jacobs was once a promising player for the Marlins — 30 HRs in 2008 — but poor plate discipline has killed his career. He is an insurance policy for the Rox. However, if Helton were to go down for a significant period of time, the team would probably use a committee to fill the void. Honestly, they would be better off moving Ian to first than relying on Jacobs.
Paulsen is the Rockies’ top first base prospect. The former Clemson Tiger is coming off a solid season with Modesto, hitting .311 with 12 homeruns and 29 doubles. Paulsen won’t make the team this year; there is a better chance of the Monforts lowering beer prices. However, he is a player to keep an eye on. He will be the focus of a prospect spotlight sometime next week.