One thing that's been missing as the Rockies prepare for the opening of Spring Training in a little more than a month is a second baseman with any major league experience at the position. That's changed, as the Rockies apparently have agreed to a deal with Marcus Giles, per the Rocky Mountain News this morning.
The deal is nonguaranteed and won't become official until Giles passes a physical. Still, this deal means that the Rockies will have a real Option B if Jayson Nix isn't ready to be the guy from day one this season. Nix, who led Team USA to a victory in the World Cup in the fall, is a guy that the Rockies have been very patient with after he was a supplemental-round pick in the 2001 draft. After hitting 21 homers for Visalia in 2003, he spent two years at AA and two at AAA, even while the Rockies for much of that time had some very mediocre players manning second. Last season, he batted .292 with 11 homers and 58 RBI at Colorado Springs, and also stole 24 bases.
It's fair to say that I'm basically a dolt when it comes to statistical projections, their meaning, or the likelihood that they'll actually come to pass, but Dan Szymborski's ZiPS projection for the Rockies certainly leaves much to be desired from Nix. A .257 average? A .305 OBP? Nine homers? We could probably get that kind of production from a lot of people, Marcus Giles included. Granted, that same projection system thinks Giles is going to be even worse -- but in the case of Giles, at least he's done it before. After all, in 2003 and 2004, Giles hit over .300, including 21 homers in the former. Except, he's tailed off pretty precipitously in the past two years, and while some of that last year was related to playing in Petco Park (where he hit just .203), he only hit .252 on the road.
On the other hand, he was 10-for-19 at Coors Field. At the very least, making sure that such a performance does not come while he is wearing a Padres uniform is a good thing.