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Denver Post columnist: Bench Todd Helton

May 24, 2010, 10:58 AM EDT

He’s not Griffey or Jeter, but to Rockies fans Todd Helton is close in terms of importance and stature. Which is why I was rather shocked to see this today from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post:

Rather than pick up a piece of lumber
from the bat rack, Todd Helton should grab some pine on the bench. Is it baseball blasphemy to suggest the Rockies should sit down the
best player in franchise history?

At age 36, he’s not Beltin’ Helton anymore.

Of course, Kiszla suggests that it should be the 39 year-old Jason Giambi who should take Helton’s job, so he ain’t exactly thinking long term here.

Helton is getting base at a more-than-healthy .393 clip. The problem is his power, which is non-existent.  It would be one thing if the Rockies had some monster first base prospect hanging around, but they don’t. They have Jason Giambi who, however useful he has been off the bench, is not going to help anyone starting at first base every day. Putting Giambi in that role does not solve any problems. It just angers the fans and the guy the Rockies are paying $16 million a year to be the franchise.

Maybe Helton shouldn’t be hitting in the middle of the order anymore, but he’s not going to the bench. Nor should he.

  1. Matt - May 24, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Mark Kiszla is the biggest hack in Colorado print media. The man knows nothing about any sport (outside of Broncos football) and publishes at least an article a week about how the Rockies are doomed. Doomed!
    It’s too bad you linked to this article, Craig, most of us in Denver avoid giving him web traffic as a matter of principle.

  2. Anthony - May 24, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Matt said it all there. Kiszla makes his money by intentionally taking controversial viewpoints (though not in such a hack-ey way like Woody Paige) just in order to drum up vitriol amongst the fan base. He’s been writing this same article for years now.
    Never mind that Helton’s supposedly slipping defense still ranks him fifth in baseball and third in the National League in UZR.

  3. Joey B - May 24, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    More nonsense from someone who thinks the ability to string together a couple of words makes them a BB expert. In a couple of weeks, he can be sharing the doghouse with the guys that had written off Papi, Dice, Bay, and every other major leaguer that had a slump. Just like with Papi, you weigh current year v previous year, and then weigh the alternatives agains the expected output. With a 23/28 K/W ratio this year, I’m not really seeing any reaon to think it is anything but a s/t slump, and I’m not seeing any reasonable alternative to someone that should have roughly an .850 OPS.

  4. Mike G. - May 24, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    I can agree with the argument to sit Helton based on his performance, but agree with Joey B that I don’t see any reasonable alternatives either.

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