Stewart Grabs Another Glove

March 23, 2009 | 4:26 pm | 6  

When spring training began, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said he wanted to allow Ian Stewart a chance to settle in offensively.

As a result, Hurdle said he was going to have Stewart play third base and left field.

Stewart seems to have settled in, and now Stewart’s horizons are expanding. Hurdle told Stewart on Monday to start working out at second base, according to FSN Rocky Mountain announcer Drew Goodman.

Jeff Huson, an FSN analyst who worked Monday’s game with Goodman, said Stewart took ground balls at second and worked on turning double plays during batting practice.

With Garrett Atkins at third base, Stewart’s natural position, and the Rockies loaded with left-handed-hitting outfielders, the idea of Stewart being able to play second would give Hurdle more chances to find playing time for Stewart, who would make the Rockies in a reserve role.

Stewart made his professional debut at second base a year ago when he started 12 games for the Rockies.

6 Comments »

  • David Martin | March 23, 2009 | 5:09 pm

    Tracy,
    Is this another sign that Jeff Baker is on the trading block? It would seem that with both Barmes and Baker, Stewart wouldn’t have much time at 2nd, but if Baker is out of the equation we could see him mixed in there.

  • Marc | March 23, 2009 | 6:22 pm

    I have had the good fortune of being at the last 2 games. Ian looked very good day (in the field and at the plate). I continue to have a hard time with him not playing most days.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | March 23, 2009 | 7:01 pm

    David, bottom line is if Ian is going to make the roster they have to make sure he gets 350-to-500 at-bats. With Smith also being left-handed, getting him time in left field is going to be a creative effort. Even if Todd takes two days a week off, counting off days, that’s about a game and a half a week. Stewart is going to have to have time somewhere. He’s a left-handed bat, Baker isn’t. Barmes hits right-handed. It’s a matter of looking for ways to get Stewart in the lineup. He has too much power and potential to keep on the roster and not play.

  • Paul | March 23, 2009 | 7:39 pm

    Tracy – I have to wonder whether the Rockies will have to make a move to clear at bats for Stewart at one of the three positions – LF, 3B or 2B. Of the other players at those positions (Smith, Gonzales, Murton, Atkins, Baker, Barmes, Quintanilla), which has the best potential market? I hear rumblings about Baker and the Yankees. If they were to make a move with one of these players, what kind of value do you think they could get in return?

  • Tracy Ringolsby | March 23, 2009 | 8:25 pm

    Obviously Atkins is the guy with the biggest value. I don’t see the Rockies in a hurry to move him nor Barmes. Baker’s name is popping up with Houston as well as the Yankees. We’ll see how time plays out. Quintanilla is pretty set, I would think, because of the defense he can play up the middle. Barmes will be the primary second baseman, and an offensive plus. Smith, Murton and Gonzalez have options remaining. There is no need to move any of those three.

  • Rudy Gamble | March 24, 2009 | 6:11 am

    Hey Tracy -
    Thanks for the update! I was wondering if/when Stewart would get some playing time at 2B. Speaking of trades, is there any thought to moving Hawpe? I’ve seen stats that rank him last among OFs in fielding below guys like Dunn and Abreu (http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=of&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=6&season=2008&month=0).

    Keep on blogging-
    Rudy