Remember the good old days when the only thing Colorado Rockies fans had to complain about was the inept play of Ian Desmond?
From all the drama surrounding the Nolan Arenado trade fiasco, the demand for the firing of general manager Jeff Bridich, and, most recently, a call for the release of reliever Bryan Shaw, it is no wonder why the optimism for a successful season for the Colorado Rockies is running low. With all of these issues stacking up, the attention has been diverted away from the original problem that we all love to complain about: Ian Desmond.
Over the past two seasons writing for Rox Pile, I have written a countless number of articles criticizing Ian Desmond. However, these new problems have caused me to take my eye off the ball. Don’t worry, that neglect ends now.
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Why would I resume my negative view toward Desmond at this time you might ask? It’s because it seems all of the same problems that have plagued him over the course of his three seasons in Colorado have returned in 2020 and a couple more can be added to the list.
We all know about his previous struggles and his failed conversion to first base. In the past three seasons, his numbers are .252/.313/.429 with 49 home runs and 193 RBI to go along with a -3.4 WAR. I realize it is still early in camp but those numbers don’t look to improve as he is off to a slow start, hitting 1-for-12 with a home run in five games.
Much of the criticism Desmond has received has been over his expensive contract. It is that contract that could partially be blamed for the rift between Arenado and the front office.
He is in the fourth season of his five-year, $70 million contract where he will earn $15 million this season and $9 million next. Had Desmond not been taking up so much payroll, maybe the Rockies would have gone out and signed a free agent or two this offseason, satisfying a disgruntled Arenado.
Finally, and once again, Desmond’s presence is taking away valuable playing time from some promising youngsters. The Rockies will look to platoon Desmond, Raimel Tapia, and Sam Hilliard in left field. This will take the bat out of the hands of Tapia, who hit a leadoff homer against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, and the rookie Hilliard, who showed last September that he has a ton of power (seven homers in 77 at-bats).
So now that I am refocused on my priorities, I promise that there will be more Ian Desmond complaining in the months to come.