The Coors Effect

March 31, 2010 11:12 AM

Smith makes strong case for himself

With the final spot in the bullpen up for grabs, Greg Smith has quietly made a strong case for himself.  Entering spring training, the odds of Smith moving to the bullpen were slim: in five seasons as a professional, he had made exactly two appearances out of the bullpen, both in rookie ball all the way back in 2005.  The conventional wisdom was that Smith would open the year in Colorado Springs and be ready to go if one of the major league starters were to go down.

But that largely ignored the reality of the situation.  If everybody is healthy, the Rockies' current starting rotation is very good; it isn't as if the Rockies enter the season with a very questionable fifth starter who might end up being so bad that he needs to be demoted.  And, as far as the future goes, Jhoulys Chacin, Esmil Rogers, Samuel Deduno, and Chaz Roe -- likely to be the rest of the Sky Sox rotation -- have considerably more upside than Smith does.

With Street out for probably a month, the bullpen does have some holes, and Tracy should decide this one on talent.  Greg Smith may not have any experience working out of the bullpen, but he's a better pitcher than Joe Beimel, Tim Redding, Justin Speier, and Juan Rincon.  And that, ultimately, should be the deciding factor.  Smith also has the ability to work multiple innings, and he's a lefty -- but not a one-out pitcher like Beimel.  Smith's great spring should have sealed it for him.

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