The Colorado Rockies thumped the Cleveland Indians 18-4 last night as they enter the final week of Cactus League games. Here’s what else is happening with the Rockies and around the NL West.
The Helton issue is a tricky one, because he has been Mr. Rockie for a long time. How he’s treated affects the entire clubhouse, so manager Walt Weiss won’t simply bench Helton without giving Helton a chance this season.
As for inserting Helton late in the game, the Rockies will do that from time to time, but not often. Helton’s back issues won’t allow him to sit on the bench for seven innings and then get inserted into the game. He would get too stiff to be effective.
With the announcement yesterday that Nolan Arenado was remaining in Major League camp and indications from media covering the team that his inclusion on the Opening Day roster is becoming more likely, there has been much consternation among Rockies fans about starting Arenado’s service clock early.
The main issue is that if Arenado accumulates a full year of service time in 2013, he will become a free agent after the 2018 season, rather than the 2019 season.
Here’s where I’m coming from on that: If Arenado’s impending free agency is an issue, whether in 2018 or 2019, it will be because he didn’t pan out, not because he did.
The trend throughout baseball in the last four or five years has been for teams, including the Rockies, to sign their young stars to lucrative extensions before they hit free agency, sometimes even before they hit arbitration.
#Rockies might not find taker for R. Hernandez, who is due $3.2M. Release possible. Torrealba will back up Rosario.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 26, 2013
The Dodgers are still pondering with the idea of adding Yasiel Puig to the opening day roster. I’ve said before that the Dodgers shouldn’t rush Puig along. it’s more important for his development that he gets regular playing time, than adding him to the roster where he has no position to play and would have to sit on the bench. That’s the same thing the Dodgers were saying as well, but now it appears they might be changing their tune. Is Puig’s unbelievable spring wearing the Dodgers down? It’s a possibility.