Questions for spring: Can Smith play every day?
After releasingin August last season, the Colorado Rockies gave a chance to play the outfield on a regular basis and prove he was an everyday outfielder. Smith picked a terrible time for a slump, hitting .189 with three home runs and seven RBI from Aug. 18 through the end of the season. Yet the Rockies didn’t add an outfielder in the offseason, electing instead to rely on the players they already knew.
Smith enters spring training perparing to be at no worst part of a platoon withand perhaps . The Rockies will give Smith a chance to win the everyday job, but whether he can hit left-handers on a regular basis remains to be seen. In his career he is just a .190 hitter against lefties, but he held is own in 2009 when he hit .259 with a .368 on-base percentage in limited at-bats against lefties.
Earlier this offseason, Smith admitted that he struggled with his audition last year, trying to hit home runs to prove he deserved the full-time job rather than taking his normal approach at the plate. This spring, he is expected to be the starter from day one and is working with new hitting coach Carney Lansford to get his approach more in line with the slog of an everyday job rather than the boom-or-bust approach he sometimes used as a pinch-hitter. Whether it works or not should be on display in the box scores.