Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: Fowler, Rockies hand Alex White his 1st NL victory

Alex White's third start with the Colorado Rockies was another rollercoaster, but at the end of the day I felt encouraged by what I saw, and congratulate him on his first victory in a Rockies uniform.

Rockies 5, Padres 4 (boxscore)

Here are the concerns so far:

1. For the second straight ROAD start, White was greeted by a lead-off home run. White's bread and butter is supposed to be his sinking action, so when the ball is leaving the yard you're rightfully alarmed. But, it's not unusual for sinkerballers to come out early in outing with too much energy, which leads to overthrowing, which leads to less sinking action.

The important thing to note is that as he goes along, the ball doesn't continue to fly out of the yard. So far he's done well in that regard. But obviously there's a ways to go in working through and past early mistakes.

2. Poor command has also been a problem. Again, this is unusual for White, because the scouting reports boast of his ability to pound the strike zone. Why that's not happening is a definite concern until it's cleared up, but my guess is it's simply a combination of nerves and possibly him lacking confidence in his stuff after getting roughed up early in games.

Here are the reasons I'm encouraged:

1. The things that have hurt him so far are considered his strengths. Should that continue for a sustained period of time going beyond this season, that's a problem. But I'm optimistic everything will fall back into place as he gains the confidence and experience at this level.

2. Even through the struggles, he's been able to mix in 2-3 stretches innings of effectiveness. That lends to the evidence that it's only a matter of time before those stretches will expand.

Final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K

Big night for Dexter Fowler. No, make that a HUGE night. Three hits in the game. Two doubles. Two runs scored. A steal! Unbelievable.

Oh, and of course he was picked off second base. But I mean overall he was the game MVP. And honestly, he's been the team MVP on this road trip. Forget him ever becoming a great baserunner. That's not likely to happen, even with the crazy speed. But if he can ever grow into a decent baserunner, he'll be a consistent plus.


Josh Roenicke: Still 0.00.

Huston Street: Shaky. Needed a big defensive play from Kevin Kouzmanoff, but still got a 0 on the board.

Rex Brothers: Also shaky, but pitched around it by striking out the side. He has the potential to be the most exciting/electric reliever we've ever had. In fact, he might already be just that.

Rafael Betancourt: Dealing. Absolutely dealing.

Final thought

The Padres stink and the Rockies have a chance for a rare road sweep.

Also, the Padres stink. Or did I already say that?