Decoding the Depth Charts: Rockies 2B

I at least in part wrecked two fantasy teams (Tout Wars NL, Rotoman’s Regulars) because of too much love for Marcus Giles. Not that there didn’t used to be a reason for admiration and optimism, but last year he languished for no apparent reason and you have to question his mental conditioning as much as anything. Slumps happen, but you have to stand up to them. Injuries have hurt him in the past, but this seemed different.

When he signed with the  Rockies I assumed he’d be the front runner for the second base job in Colorado, but it is increasingly obvious that he’s not even the second choice there. So I’m giving up. Let’s look at who reigns on the depth charts:

Rotowire.com likes Jeff Baker, Jayson Nix, Clint Barmes, Giles, Omar Quintanilla and, finally, Ian Stewart.

MLB.com goes Nix, Quintanilla, Stewart, Barmes, Giles. Baker is listed as the backup at first and third base.

ESPN.com goes Nix, Baker, Giles, Stewart, Quintanilla.

Sandlotshrink.com picks Nix, Giles, and someone new. Meet Matt Kata.  (They have Stewart as a backup at third base, Baker as a backup in the outfield.)

Rototimes.com comes through again! Giles, Nix, Stewart, Quintanilla, with Baker backing up in the outfield.

USAToday.com sez: Nix, Giles, Quintanilla, with Stewart backing up third base and Baker behind six guys in the outfield.

and finally, the finely tuned baseballHQ.com, which lists players with percentage of playing time. They like Baker (40), Nix (30), Giles (20), Stewart (15), Quintanilla (5) and Barmes (5).

My projections before I started this escapade gave Nix 200 PA, Baker 375, Giles 330, Stewart 125, Quintanilla 100 and Matt Kata 125. Barmes got 335, mostly based on the idea that he’d be traded.

1,000 PA for the other guys is a little too much considering that Stewart will play some third base, Baker will play some first and outfield, Quintanilla or Barmes will see some time at SS and somebody has to play in Colorado Springs. So let’s go through the possibilities…

Jayson Nix had a pretty good year in Colorado Springs last year and he’s a good second baseman. That has to count for something here. I don’t think he’s a major league regular, but he does enough to hold onto a job when there isn’t a better alternative.

Jeff Baker hasn’t much hit righties, which is a problem, and he isn’t really a second baseman, working on the position this past fall in the AFL.  He might make the Rockies but I don’t see him winning this job.

Marcus Giles was a good second baseman once upon a time, and he used to be able to hit for some power, get on base, and run. He isn’t so old that his time should be up. He’s been quiet but effective in spring training.

Stewart, Quintanilla, Barmes and Kata are all backups at this point. There is some hope that Stewart will end up being a major league regular but he’s not there yet.

Who do I like? I think Nix will win the job, will fail to impress with his bat, while Giles–having worked hard on his physical condition and attitude (I don’t know that this is true, but how could he not given how awful he was last year)–will eventually get a shot and win the job for the rest of the year. Except that he’ll then, after I’ve blown all my FAAB on him, wreck his hammy. Bah!

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