In a move that made a lot of sense, the Colorado Rockies activated Boone Logan from the disabled list, and in a corresponding move sent Corey Dickerson down to Triple-A Colorado Springs. It was almost a no-brainer move, and it makes sense for a number of reasons.
Corey Dickerson, who is a promising young hitter and had a tremendous end to last year and spring training, might belong on a big league roster, but he doesn’t fit on the Rockies just yet. He’s 24 years old, so he should really be playing every day. He was always likely to move down to AAA at some point, but he somewhat surprisingly made the opening day roster with five other outfielders.
The reason is now kind of obvious: the Rockies’ brass figured that they had a week or two until Logan would be activated from the DL, and wanted to give each of their outfielders a chance to prove their worth on the roster. Charlie Blackmon was always the favorite over Dickerson, and what he has done over the past week, ending with a NL Player of the Week award, has just cemented his lead over the younger and still promising Dickerson. In the end, this is an all-around win for the outfield. Blackmon still knows he has Dickerson right on his heels, but at least now he has that added security of being above him on the depth chart and at least a partial starter.
Any of the at bats Dickerson was taking can now go to Brandon Barnes, who in 11 plate appearances (a very very small sample size) has shown that he is at least an adequate hitter. Meanwhile, Dickerson will have more of a chance to develop with an everyday role in AAA Colorado Springs. There’s no such thing as too much depth in baseball, and, in the likely case that Carlos Gonzalez or any of the other outfielders gets injured, Dickerson will be the first one up. He got just six plate appearances, which isn’t much, and now he will have more of a chance to get better and help the team later on. I usually don’t believe in the phrase “addition by subtraction”, but giving more regular playing time to the rest of the outfield could be just that.
The addition of Boone Logan is much needed. Logan is the eighth reliever the team has on the roster, which is somewhat unorthodox but probably necessary on this team, especially since the starting rotation has been, well, shaky. The Rockies have thrown the eighth most relief innings in baseball to this point, and I expect that number to go up even more. Even given all that, I was kind of surprised that neither Chad Bettis or Tommy Kahnle was sent down. I’m actually really happy about that. I love Kahnle, and think he has a future on this team if they just give him a chance. He has great strikeout stuff and has at least shown that he can be a valuable middle-innings reliever.
The Bettis situation is also very interesting. We all remember Bettis’ stint as a starter near the end of last season, and, at least as I remember it, the stint in the rotation didn’t go all that well. This year in spring training, Bettis performed well as a reliever, and it’s also important to note that he closed games in college. But spring training is not the same as the regular season, and Bettis has been hit pretty hard in his first three regular season appearances, giving up two hits per inning and sporting a bloated 12.00 ERA. Of course, it’s just three innings, and Bettis could well turn it around. I think it’s pretty safe to say, though, that he is currently most in danger of any bullpen member, so if something happens (and it could be a variety of things: it could be that the Rockies want to call up another utility infielder, or it could be that they want Franklin Morales in the bullpen), expect him to be the first one sent down. As for Boone Logan, I think he’ll be pretty good. The Rockies certainly expect him to be good, because they rewarded his successful season last year with the New York Yankees with a three year deal, which isn’t always a good thing to give a relief pitcher. Only time will tell how good Logan will be, but I have high hopes, and the Rockies need him to be good if they want to stay in the playoff hunt.
Basically, this was a good move for all parties. The outfield loses a member and now has a more comfortable five, while Charlie Blackmon can now be assured of his spot as a partial starter in centerfield. Meanwhile, no member from the bullpen is demoted, and Boone Logan adds to the suddenly deep-ish relief corps. In the end, the hitting will be fine. To this point, in fact, they have been the best offense in baseball. It all comes down to the pitching, and Boone Logan should be able to help it.