Saturday, September 17, 2011

Should the Colorado Rockies be worried about Alex White?

The Colorado Rockies made a bold, if not crazy move, trading Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians on July 30th.

The move sent the first true ace that the Rockies had ever raised through their farm system less than a year after he won 19 games for them. If nothing else, the move had many loyal Rockies fans wondering if their team was headed in the wrong direction.

Trading Jimenez seemed crazy. However, with his struggles early in the season, many felt that if the Rockies could get a steal of a deal, it might be worth it. However, a move would require an impact big league ready player.

The trade the ensured sent shock waves through Rockies nation. Jimenez was dealt to the Indians for their 2009 and 2010 first round draft picks. Drew Pomeranz, their 2010 pick, was the prized possession. However, White was viewed as a perfect fit for Coors Field with a heavy sinker ball.

Since his acquisition, White has shown talent. There is no question as to why he was a top prospect. However, the results haven't been very pretty.

Early on, it was very easy to blame the lack of success on White getting his feet wet in the big leagues. White showed poise and confidence, something that many rookies struggle with for the first few months. His early struggles were easily forgivable.

The issue now is that the results aren't getting any better. On Friday night, White gave up his 11th home run in just 22-1/3 innings with the Rockies. This would be alarming for any pitcher, but one touted as a great sinker ball pitcher raises immediate concerns.

White's struggles put that much more pressure onto Pomeranz. To give up a pitcher of Jimenez's skill, and even more, a pitcher who represented so much to the Rockies, required immediate Major League talent. In his early start, Pomeranz looked ready. However, White has shown that he is going to need more seasoning. He is going to require time before he becomes an average pitcher, let alone a dominant one.

The hope for the Rockies is that White will gain valuable experience from this September cup of coffee in the big leagues. It can show him what he needs to do to be successful at this level.

The fear is that he won't pan out, and the Rockies will be in a boat that sees them only having Pomeranz work out, and having a wild card pitcher, rather than knowing what they had in Jimenez.

The Rockies need Alex White to be dominant if they want to compete in the National League West race in 2012.

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