Results tagged ‘ Ty Wigginton ’
Enjoying time off near the Thanksgiving holiday, but I thought I’d take a few minutes to comment on some news items involving the Rockies:
— Two free agent targets appear headed elsewhere, with outfielder Grady Sizemore reportedly having reached an agreement with the Indians and onetime Rockies infielder Clint Barmes reportedly headed to Pittsburgh to rejoin his old Rox manager, Clint Hurdle.
The Sizemore situation was a race against time. Signing him was somewhat predicated on trading left fielder Seth Smith. The plan to trade Smith was to fill the second base hole or one of the starting pitching holes. Although there have been stories about talks with the Braves about infielder Martin Prado and the Rockies have been debating trying to pry former Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson from the Padres, not much in the way of real negotiation had materialized.
But with all the health reports on Sizemore positive after a postseason knee surgery (he had surgery on the other knee in 2009), teams decided to move quickly. The team that knows him the best, the Indians, figured the price was right and made the move.
The Rockies see Smith as an asset, so it’s not as if they’re dying to trade him. They’d deal him, but not in a trade that they aren’t totally comfortable making. To trade Smith now, the Rockies need a viable alternative in left, whether that player comes in the same trade or the Rockies end up with a left fielder through other means. Or they can just keep Smith.
“We like Seth Smith — he’s a good player for us,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd told me the other day.
Barmes would have made a lot of sense. He played shortstop last year for the Astros, and will do so for the Pirates. If the Rockies could have signed him, he would have offered a high-quality replacement if Troy Tulowitzki were to be injured.
If the Rox don’t find a second baseman, some combination of Jonathan Herrera, Chris Nelson and Eric Young Jr. would have to suffice at second. Both have experience at short, and can move over in case of injury to Tulowitzki.
Since Tulowitzki is a big shortstop who never takes it easy, it would be nice to have someone of Barmes’ ability to plug into the position. It would give manager Jim Tracy peace of mind when he wants to rest Tulowitzki during the season.
It’s a concern, but the Rockies aren’t going to build their offseason strategy around protecting themselves from a longterm injury to Tulowitzki. Replacing him for a few days for a nagging injury is one thing. A long absence is something else.
“If we lost Tulowitzki for a long period of time, we’re in trouble,” O’Dowd said. “I don’t know of many teams that can withstand losing their best player for a long period of time.”
— The Rockies dealt veteran utility man Ty Wigginton to the Phillies on Sunday for a player to be named.
While it’s nice to have a vet to come off the bench, the Rockies might be covered with a younger player. They liked the offensive work of late-season call-up Jordan Pacheco, and Tracy used Pacheco at first base and third base — essentially the same way he used Wigginton.
Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart was healthy enough to be on the roster for Friday afternoon’s opener against the D-backs, but not healthy enough to start.
Ty Wigginton, signed as a free agent during the offseason, gets the start at third, and Jose Lopez, acquired in a trade with the Mariners, will start at second.
There had been talk of infield utility man Jonathan Herrera, who had an outstanding spring, (.371, four triples) getting the nod, possibly ahead of Lopez, but that was not to be. Herrera will be a versatile hitter off the bench.
Here’s the lineup:
Dexter Fowler, CF
Seth Smith, RF
Carlos Gonzalez, LF
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Todd Helton, 1B
Ty Wigginton, 3B
Jose Lopez, 2B
Chris Iannetta, C
Ubaldo Jimenez, P
Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Friday evening his heart is strong and, just as importantly, in good hands.
Tracy collapsed during the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., because of an arrhythmia after a long day and evening with his staff, and was taken to a local hospital for testing. He was released several hours later.
Since then, Tracy went to Denver and has been under the care of a cardiologist, Dr. Barry Molk at the Sky Ridge Medical Center in Aurora, Colo. Not only is the prognosis good so far, but he expects to be healthier.
“Dr. Molk, honest to goodness, his bedside manner is as professional as anybody I’ve ever been around in my life,” Tracy said. “He’s absolutely aware of what took place in Orlando, and I’ve had every test you could possibly think of, and everything is positive.
“I feel really good as it gets closer to Santa Claus. There is a 30-day window and there are a couple of he wants to look at, and he wants to see me again at the end of January. But unless I’m told otherwise, I may push down the clutch and switch to yet another gear. I mean it. There is nothing to slow me down. I don’t have to do things step-by-step. No way. I’m going to keep on plowing forward.”
In addition to making doctor’s visits, Tracy has been busy. He made an appearance at the Rockies’ annual employees Christmas party, attended a luncheon with Greg Feasel, the Rockies’ executive vice president of business operations, and executives of FSN Rocky Mountain, and was at a special event at The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs on Thursday. Tracy also visited with new infield acquisitions Ty Wigginton and Jose Lopez, who made visits to Coors Field.
On Friday, Tracy was headed back to Florida for a happier occasion — the holidays with his family.
There will be a full story on the Rockies’ Web site soon.
Ty Wigginton apparently will fill the Rockies’ right-handed utility role, which includes spelling veteran Todd Helton at first base.
FoxSports.com’s Tracy Ringolsby reported that he has agreed to a two-year deal guaranteeing $7.5 million, which includes a $500,000 buyout on an option for a third year.
Wigginton, 33, batted .248 with 22 home runs and 76 RBIs in a career-high 154 games for the Orioles last season while playing first base, second base, third base and designated hitter. Wigginton also has played 38 games in left field in his career. Wigginton is a .277 career hitter with 143 home runs and 501 RBIs in 1,060 career games
If the deal becomes official, the Rockies will have filled the holes that opened when the team didn’t re-sign Melvin Mora, who signed with the D-backs on Monday, and Jason Giambi, who backed Helton at first base last season but was a left-handed hitter and not an ideal choice when the Rockies faced a difficult left-handed hitter. The Rockies traded with the Mariners for right-handed hitting infielder Jose Lopez last week.
Wigginton has played for the Mets, Rays, Pirates, Astros and Orioles.
The Rockies list of utility possibilities also includes Jorge Cantu and Jeff Francoeur. The team lost out on catcher-first baseman Victor Martinez, who signed with the Tigers, and first baseman-outfielder Lance Berkman, who signed with the Cardinals.