Saturday, September 1, 2012

White still an unknown and Rockies Notes

Alex White still an unknown quantity
Alex White is a pitcher still battling consistency issues. The Rockies and we still don't know whom he is or will become.

Is White, who disappointed Friday, a starter or a reliever? Is he a no. 3, 4 or 5 starter in a rotation,  a long reliever or a back-end of the bullpen guy?

White gave up three runs and three walks in just 3 2/3 innings against the Padres at Coors Field. He allowed a homer as well. His season ERA is 5.58.

In 17 appearances this season, White has performed well just six times and has just five positive-to-plus starts. If you focus on the quality of those starts you could see White as an eventual mid-rotation pitcher. If you look at his overall body of work then you would seriously have to wonder if White is more than a back-end starter or future possible reliever.

His 92 hits allowed in 80 2/3 innings and his very poor 55/39 strikeouts-to-walks rate are negative markers, especially the latter one, that indicate White's stuff, while strangely effective at times, isn't good enough for sustained success as a starter.

He has much work to do in the offseason and the bar gets raised for him to do much more in 2013.

Rockies' Notes

Rookie Josh Rutledge had only one hit but it was an extra-base one (double), which is typical (in a good way). It was his 13th double in 41 games and 24th extra-base hit. He has the makings of a potential star, with better plate defense. He won't always hit .345 but with health, he could become a fan favorite for years.

Wilin Rosario exceeding high expectations
Rookie Wilin Rosario had two hits and that included his 23rd homer. Rosario is now hitting .255.

If you would have told the Rockies (or me) that Rosario would hit .250 or better during his rookie campaign and play as much as he has, I think you would have run with that to the bank, ecstatic. And here's why - Rosario's best tool is his power.

If he makes enough contact to play every day, the power is going to play up and it has, as proved by the amount of home runs.

The Rockies found and developed another power hitter. If his defense ever improves, he's an All-Star caliber player. Even if his defense gets slightly better, his value is grande.

Jhoulys Chacin starts Saturday. He has allowed only two runs in 11 innings since his return from injury. He has a career 3.38 ERA against the Padres in 21 1/3 innings.

Rockies' Prospects Spotlight

Tim Wheeler
Triple-A outfielder Tim Wheeler put up a 5-for-5 night for Colorado Springs. Outstanding indeed. Want to quibble? He had but one extra-base hit, in a season devoid of many of them.

Wheeler is hitting "only" .306 (poor for the Pacific Coast League) but a scalding .439 in his last 10 games.

Low-A catcher Will Swanner has had a quality season with 24 doubles and 16 homers. His batting average has been high for most the year too. However, he has hit but .203 in August. Last night, he and starting pitcher Chris Jensen also allowed four steals.

Low-A shortstop Trevor Story had two more hits, including his 42nd double. He has 66 extra-base hits this season.

David Dahl
David Dahl, (first-round pick, 2012) had two hits, including his seventh homer for Grand Junction. His batting average - a fat .376.

Catcher Tom Murphy, also a 2012 draftee, had two hits, and his sixth homer for short-season Tri-City.

In Murphy and Grand Junction's Wilfredo Rodriguez, the Rockies have two talented young catching prospects that I am optimistic about and currently (status is always fluid) high on.

Reliever Ryan Arrowood, who has excelled for Tri-City, started last night and went five innings, allowing two hits. His season ERA is 2.26.

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