Reminder: The Rockies love Brandon Barnes


The Colorado Rockies still have a lot of outfielders, and they still love Brandon Barnes.

Brandon Barnes probably won’t be a big contributor for the Rockies in 2015. He very well might struggle to be better than a replacement level player. He might be considered a “quad A” player, the unfortunate designation given players who fall somewhere between Triple-A and the big leagues.

It won’t matter. It’s too late. The Rockies already love Brandon Barnes.

At times, it’s easy to see the appeal. Why shouldn’t they love a guy like this?

That’s not to mention the fact that he is the designated post-game celebration guy, a crucial aspect of any successful baseball franchise. Whether it be pies in the face, buckets full of sunflower seeds, or the classic cooler of Gatorade, each team needs a guy to dump something on their heroic teammate after a dramatic victory.

Brandon Barnes is that guy (not pictured, but likely involved with what unfolded below).

Aug 17, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies center fielder

Drew Stubbs

(13) is dunked with water during an interview after hitting a walk off home run against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field. The Rockies won 10-9. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Barnes was one of the six, count them, six outfielders on the big league roster at various points last season. One might think that the Rockies have sufficiently addressed their overcrowded outfield by watching Michael Cuddyer leave as a free agent and collecting a compensatory draft pick. I am here to remind you that their affection for Barnes makes things as crowded as ever.

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Of course, there are reasons that the Rockies shouldn’t love Barnes. Yes, he hustles and seems to be a lovely human being, but he slashed an underwhelming .257/.293/.425 last season. He did play less over the course of the second half of the season, but it is still clear that manager Walt Weiss and others in the organization love Barnes.

With a tiny sample of an offensively productive outfielder and a much larger sample of a Nick Punto-esque, relatively punchless version of that same outfielder, I am inclined to think that the real Brandon Barnes is the offensively limited one.

That’s not going to stop the Rockies from giving him playing time. Thankfully, the guy is a legitimately excellent defensive outfielder, which does help.

Right now, the plan for the Rockies’ outfield makes sense in principle. Corey Dickerson is ready for a full slate of playing time in left field. Carlos Gonzalez is the full-time right fielder. Charlie Blackmon and Drew Stubbs form a fine platoon in center field. It’s all good, right?

Oh, well there’s the issue of the team’s plan to play Wilin Rosario in right field. And what if Kyle Parker beats the door down for more at-bats? It gets complicated, but that could all work, right? Maybe, but none of that accounts for the inevitable playing time for Barnes.

You know what’s going to happen as well as I do, kind Rockies fans. You’re going to settle in for a lazy Sunday afternoon this season. You’re going to turn on ROOT Sports and be serenaded by the stylings of Drew Goodman and George Frazier.

“Welcome, Rockies fans. It’s a beautiful day here in LoDo as the Rockies try to salvage a game in this weekend series…”

“…leading off and playing left field for the Rockies is Brandon Barnes. Batting second, and playing shortstop is utility man Charlie Culberson…”

When that happens, when you’re frustrated as hell that a guy who maybe should be in the minor leagues is starting and batting lead-off, I’ll be the guy who told you so all the way back in January.

For better or for worse, the Rockies love Brandon Barnes and his replacement level projections for 2015. Whatever plans we might hope for in the outfield, he’s going to be there.

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