This is not the news Rockies fans wanted to hear.
Nolan Arenado was sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs despite hitting .278 with a .574 slugging percentage, .852 OPS, 4 homers and 12 RBIs in spring training.
It’s not the popular decision, but it was the right decision.
As good as Arenado has been this spring, he still has so much to learn when it comes to plate discipline and playing third base. He can refine his skills at Colorado Springs for the first few months.
There’s no way a hitter should make the jump from Double-A to the majors. It could spoil a player’s development. Once a player’s confidence is affected during a slump, it could take a long time to get it back. There is a reason baseball purists say baseball is a mental game.
The Rockies can’t afford to screw up a prized prospect. They have to develop Arenado to be the star he can be. This is why the Rockies have to get it right in developing their future star.
The Rockies have a plan for Arenado this year. They want him to take 300 at-bats at Colorado Springs before he can advance to the majors. They can’t stray from it just because he had a great spring training.
Spring training numbers are deceptive. As baseball junkies mention, it doesn’t translate to success when the season starts. Arenado has hit well against pitchers that are not good enough to pitch in the majors. It will be a different story when he faces great pitching every night in the majors. That’s why it’s not the right way to break a player to the majors.
There is no question this is also a business decision. The Rockies don’t want to start Arenado’s service time when they don’t have to. This team is not going to be good enough that he would be a difference maker. This is not the right way to operate a franchise from a baseball standpoint and a business standpoint.
This is why it’s the right call for the Rockies to have Arenado start in the minors.
It shouldn’t be surprising the Rockies are not having Arenado on the Opening Day roster.
They never offered a hint he would be there. They did not have much to say about his Spring Training performance. That should say something right there.
Arenado was only playing in spring training, so that the organization could see how he can handle major league hitting and being around major leaguers. They wanted to see how much progress he was making as a hitter.
They like what they saw, but it didn’t mean he was a lock to play on Opening Day.
The Rockies were never going to call him up after not playing at Triple-A.
For Arenado, it should be disappointing. No one wants to play in the minor leagues.
He felt he put in the work to be a good hitter along with being a good fielder.
It’s good Arenado should feel this way. Anyone with high aspirations should be disappointed if they don’t get rewarded for their work.
This setback is a good thing for the prized prospect. This gives him an opportunity to earn his keep for him to go to the majors. He can show the organization that he is willing to work on his hitting and fielding at Colorado Springs, so that he can be called up sooner rather than later.
There’s no rush to call up Arenado now. He will be called up when the Rockies are playing out the season in late July or early August. After all, the Rockies need to get their fans interested at that time, and calling him up is a way to get the fans to pay attention.
The only way Arenado doesn’t get called up if he struggles at Colorado Springs. If that’s the case, his season would be a disappointment.
It’s hard to believe it’s going to happen when Arenado realizes he is about to achieve his dreams of being in the majors. He is not going to blow that opportunity. He understands the situation. That shows his growth as a player.
Arenado is going to play this year. There’s no reason to get worked up about why he is not playing now.
Let the kid progress at his own pace, and let him be called up the right way.
The Rockies deserve criticism when it comes to their baseball decisions, but not having Arenado on the Opening Day roster is not one of them.