I have to be honest. When I first heard on December 3rd, 2013, that the Colorado Rockies traded centerfielder, Dexter Fowler, I was extremely upset. I joined thousands that had the exact same reply, only adding on to the built up angst against the owners Monfort, which has festered endlessly over the last decade or more.
I like to compare sports to meteorology: there are many analogies between the two that fit. During summer, areas can get weeks of heat due to a simple concept. If there is no cold front to move the heat, then the air does not get cold enough at night to prevent a hot day the next day.
In comparison, the moves made by the Colorado Rockies management have often been unsuccessful to cultivating a winning team, building up heat. With limited transactions with a positive return of investment, there is no cold front to move away the frustration of the fans. So almost every move just starts from “hot” right away.
Well, the Rockies management might have just finally made a cold front in the spiraling midst of endless summer heat.
Dexter Fowler is a solid player, with flashes of brilliance that kept fans wondering just how long it was going to be before he becomes elite. He has a career .271 batting average and covers a great distance over long strides of his legs, fitting the bill at a spacious Coors Field. His happy-go-lucky attitude really hit home with the fans, giving him more bias to stay against any impending slumps. But sports are a business, and I’m sure the Astros fans will enjoy that attitude now.
In return, the Colorado Rockies received pitcher Jordan Lyles, and outfielder Brandon Barnes: two borderline MLB players judging off of their resume thus far. They may have contributing roles on this Rockies team. They are both young, and can improve.
However, the biggest asset Colorado gained was the freeing up money, the ability to sign a player they believe could help them more. And to fill that void, they signed ex-Twins veteran, first baseman Justin Morneau, to $5 million in 2014 and $6.75 million in 2015, with a $9 million mutual option in 2016, via mlbtraderumors.com.
In five games so far, Morneau is hitting .333 with one RBI. However, his composure at the plate leads me to believe he will stay around .300 this season, and his spot in the line-up dictates his RBI amount to be around seventy, the same prediction the STEAMER and ZIPS projects on fangraphs.com. Justin replaces (future hall of famer?) Todd Helton, who will be the first player in Rockies history to have his number retired. He adds danger to the already lethal line-up.
In the last few days, there has also been an unseen beneficial product of Fowler’s departure that is starting to come into fruition. With the leadoff spot open, and several able candidates, this is the perfect opportunity for a diamond in the rough to appear. Enter Charlie Blackmon, a center fielder with a great amount of talent, and so far a batch of bad luck. He was supposed to contend for a job on the club in 2012, but was set back due to injuries. He finally healed late last year, when he came onto the scene, hitting .309 in the final 82 games, along with some eyebrow raising.
This year, he has only continued the phenomenon, now raising the brow all across the country. In the first fives games, he has hit .542, not too uncommon for April, but he has done it with a patch of brilliance in between. In the first home game in Denver, Blackmon hit a perfect six hits in six at bats against he Arizona Diamonbacks, and followed it up with four for eight in the next two games. Such numbers are unsustainable, but the trend predicts a bright future for Blackmon. It also soothes the scars left behind from the Fowler trade, making Fowler’s leaving easier to accept.
Dexter Fowler was a good player. But like Hydra from the Marvel Universe, you cut off one head (Fowler), and two grow back (Blackmon and Morneau). Colorado’s offense is a force, and should help them stay at least competitive in most games. With this move the Colorado Rockies improved in other ways, now if the Rockies could only get their pitching to work.
Interested in writing for LWOS? We are looking for enthusiastic, talented writers to join our baseball writing team. Visit our “Write for Us” page for very easy details in how you can get started today!
“You like baseball? Get involved! Check out LWOS Partners Bases Loaded EU for fantastic podcasts, news and a growing message board community of baseball fans like you!”