When it came down to the 2009 season, the Rockies realized they had a decision to make: Matt Holliday or Garrett Atkins. They didn’t choose Matt Holliday, but they didn’t choose Garrett Atkins either… at least, not yet.
What I had originally thought was the whole reason for the discussions of those trades was because the Rockies didn’t have enough money in their budget to resign both players. Well, now they’ve gotten rid of one, and in return, they received an unstable closing pitcher, an injury prone starting pitcher, and an outfielder who may be sent down to AAA. Now, in my opinion, they could’ve gotten something better for a big name like Matt Holliday. So the Rockies traded away Matt Holliday, but they still haven’t officially chosen Garrett Atkins.
I thought that was the problem that they were facing when it came down to who they wanted to stay… or get rid of… or trade away. Whatever the case, it sounded like the Rockies could only keep one, and from the way they were putting it, they actually wanted to keep one. That’s not the way it sounds so much anymore… but shouldn’t it be?
This may sound repetitive to my previous blog, but I just can’t get over what I keep trying to figure out. It’s something that I keep thinking about and that I have dreams about. Yeah, it is a little sad; fanhood can be sad though.
Todd Helton is recently coming off the DL. In a season of 162 games, he played 83 of them; about half. At this very moment, he’s in a serious rehab training trying to get back into shape. His rehab training is incredibly restrictive, he hasn’t done any weight training yet, just tread mills and bikes. He has plenty of time though, spring training is a little more than four months away. But he does have a lot of work to do, even he will admit that. I’m not a doctor, so everything I know about the surgery that Helton had either came from my making it up, or things that I heard. One of the good things about arthroscopic surgery is that since it’s not very invasive, the recovery time should be faster, but like any surgery, it’s dependent on the person and where the procedure itself took place.
The basic hope is that Todd Helton will be back to his normal self come spring training. He is the epitome of a leader. Like Rod Smith of the Broncos and Joe Sakic of the Avalanche, his leadership skills are reflective both on and off the field. Like I said before, it’s a hope that Helton will be back to normal, the question is, will he be? What would happen if he wasn’t? Well, we’d probably have Ian Stewart at third, Troy Tulowitzki at short, Clint Barmes at second, and… who would be at first? Omar Quintinilla typically is seen at short or second. The problem doesn’t come just defensively, but also offensively. Essentially, what is necessary is a player who can commit in both fielding and batting. Not only that, but by losing a player on the field like Helton, it’s necessary to have a leadership role. That would have been Holliday, but now he no longer exists in the lineup.
I’m pretty much going to have to say it again, but the best leadership role is Garrett Atkins. Of the team last season, he had the most at bats, led the club in RBI’s, comes in second for HR (behind Brad Hawpe), and is ranked third in batting average in the club. He’s a good player. I’ll just sum this up with a question that’s been plaguing my mind: we just got rid of one of our very best players for some injury prone, inconsistent, possibly AAA worthy players; why get rid of our next best?