Thursday, April 22, 2010

Giambi Spring Plan A Failure?

The Rockies made a conscious decision this Spring Trainng to limit the playing time of Todd Helton and Jason Giambi. Neither man appeared in game until two weeks into ST, and after that the two of them were sharing time with spring sensations Michael Paulk and Brad Eldred.

It seemed like the thing to do at the time. Keep the old guys fresh and healthy. Let the youngster Paulk and the veteran Eldred get some work in, see how they could help the team going forward if needed. I didn't have a problem with that plan at that time.

Now though, as I look at what's taking place on the field, I look back at Spring Training and wonder if maybe Jason Giambi could have used the whole spring to get his game on track.

Now, I'm not going to go as far as saying a few more games in the field would have elevated his defense. One good look at the guy and you call tell that's a lost cause. He has no mobility. His hands are anything but what you'd call soft. I don't think those are things you can teach a guy or hope for him to improve on at his age.

Offensively is a different story. Granted his ABs during the season have also been pretty sparse, too, which isn't helping, but I really think he could have benefitted from 20-25 extra plate appearances in the spring.

His swing just isn't there. His usual impeccable plate discipline is missing. Pitch recognition is a big issue. It's just not pretty right now.

I'm sure all these things will come eventually. The problem with that though is that it'll have to come with more playing time, and with that comes more bad defense. There's not a whole lot more of that we can take around here. He's started three games... by my count his defense alone has played a major part in losing two of those.

We can't afford to be handing away one game a week.

Getting the most out of all 25 men on your roster is the most difficult task a baseball manager has, and how Jim Tracy manages his way around this problem will go a long ways towards solidifying his reputation with me. I wish all the best, because this one sure won't be easy.