Jul 9, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies first baseman Kyle Parker (16) during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
This past off-season the Rockies struck out looking when it came to moving the reigning NL batting champ Justin Morneau. With reoccurring concussion symptoms Morneau has been a non factor this season essentially making any trade involving him impossible.
Now that newly transitioned first basemen Wilin Rosario rediscovering his power stroke, now is the perfect time to trade the Baby Bull. With Toronto, Minnesota and Anaheim all needed DH help the Rockies could cash in on Rosario and Finally “Free Kyle Parker”. A platoon of Parker and Ben Paulsen would give the Rockies flexibility until Morneau’s future becomes clear.
With Justin Morneau’s contract set to expire at the end of the 2015 season (mutual option for 2016), the Rockies were in prime position to move the Big Canadian. With only twenty-seven games logged in 2015 due to concussion like symptoms, the Rockies have resorted to a platoon of Ben Paulsen and Wilin Rosario which has given the Rockies some depth and helped Rosario regain some trade value.
After a down year by Rosario, I wrote a piece for Rockies Zingers on why the team should keep Rosario in his current role, allowing him to reestablish his trade value. My main argument was that even with Rosario’s inadequacy at first base, his bat was simply too valuable to trade away for pennies.
Either keep Rosario until the deadline or hold onto him and let the Rocktober magic take place, al la Scott Hatteberg (another catcher turned first basemen). Now that Rosario has shown he’s not a complete liability at first (not all agree on that point) and has begun to bash again, now is prime time to move Baby Bull.
While I don’t blame newly hired GM Jeff Bridich for not moving Morneau, I will be highly disappointed if the Rockies fail to move Rosario while the iron is hot. Disappointment is an understatement, not because of not cashing in on possible return pieces Rosario could fetch, because I want Kyle Parker to finally be freed!
“I really don’t understand why Ynoa is still on the roster. Especially when Kyle Parker is one phone call to AAABQ away….”
If you didn’t know who Kyle Parker was, you’d think he was held captive in a foreign country with all the “Free Kyle Parker” hash tags. Parker a former first round pick (26th overall) has been stuck in what seems like Triple A purgatory for two seasons now. Last season he was called up in September during a series with the Dodgers only to sit the bench.
Walt Weiss stated that Parker didn’t get at bats to “uphold the structural integrity of the line-up.” Earlier this June, Parker was called up for a game against the Cardinals and had one plate appearance before being called back down to make room for Corey Dickerson.
I spoke Anthony from the Purple Dinosaur Podcast about Parker, here’s his take. Rox Pile: Is Parker just wasting away in AAA, is there anymore development left for or is it simply time for him to make an impact in the bigs? PDP:” It’s not that we think Parker is going to be a star. There’s just no reason to keep a former first round pick in AAA. All he’s done at every level is put up basically the same numbers. He’s to the point where they really need to make a decision on him.” Rox Pile: I agree, I don’t think he’ll set the world on fire but surely he’s a better option off the bench than Ynoa. PDP: “As the roster is now there isn’t a spot for him because Wilin is there. You picked this guy in the first round for a reason, he hasn’t done anything to kill that faith. At worst he comes up, gets consistent at bats and surprises them like Paulsen did.” Rox Pile: Seems silly to block his path with Rosario. Not only can you get value for Rosario, maybe Hoffman from Toronto, but you also add Parker as well. PDP: “Exactly, there’s no reason to keep Rosario when you have guys who can fill his spot perfectly (maybe better). He can play both first base and corner outfield spots as well. He has versatility or, at the very least, as MUCH versatility as Ynoa or Paulsen.”
With Eddie Butler and Tyler Matzek having rough years, the Rockies can’t afford another first round pick to fall by the way side. The only thing that worries me about calling up Parker is his strike-out rate, 71 K in 249 AB. However Parker has shown once given consistent at bats he can adjust and be productive.
With Parker able to play the corner outfield spots as well as first base, this gives Walt Weiss another option late in games off the bench. The Rockies handling of Rosario/Parker could be the start of major changes within the roster. So come on Bridich, give Parker a chance and put the bull in his natural habitat.