Walt Weiss: ‘Don’t forget about Barnes’
By Hayden Kane
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
I really, sincerely mean it when I ask the following question.
Could Brandon Barnes be the starting center fielder on Opening Day for the Colorado Rockies?
I will be the first to admit that I have been a step behind all spring on the Barnes story line. I thought he was a non-factor when he started to emerge as a player of interest. I thought he was a long-shot to make the roster when he was solidifying his spot on the bench. Now I am at grips with him being a lock for the roster, so I need somebody to tell me if I’m behind once again.
Could this actually happen? When the Rockies take the field against the Miami Marlins on March 31st, could it possibly be Barnes that strides to the plate to face Jose Fernandez to open the new season?
Generally the belief still seems to be that the starter will be Drew Stubbs, but manager Walt Weiss wants to make sure we don’t forget Barnes. Quotes from the Denver Post:
"Don’t forget about Barnes.You want to know about a guy, ask his teammates…You can’t fool them. If it comes off as phony or eyewash, they know. As coaches, we would discover it. This guy is real.”"
It should be noted here that the piece about Barnes from which those quotes come is definitely worth your time.
Maybe Barnes, who is batting .340 this spring, will just be a reserve about whom Weiss is especially excited. But given his rapid ascension from “trade throw-in” to team favorite, can we really discount the possibility that the dark horse will win, that Barnes will start in center field on Opening Day?