Sunday, September 03, 2006

Rockies Clint Barmes Must Win Job Next Spring

Not bad enough that his season average has sunk to the .230s, Colorado's Clint Barmes' freefall has become so serious that he has only a half dozen hits in his last 100 atbats. For now, the one-time Rockies shortstop of the future has been usurped by rising prospect Troy Tulowitzki, 21, whose recent hot streak for the AA Tulsa Drillers enabled him to reach 13 homers while flirting with a .300 batting average in little more than 400 atbats before being called up. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle had tried almost everything to break Barmes out of his slump -- dropping him in the lineup, extra time off, more work in the batting cage, moving him to second -- all to no avail. Barmes must now pull himself together during winter ball and play himself back onto the team next spring or face demotion to Colorado Springs in '07. Tulowitzki has been compared to a young Bobby Crosby, only he's ahead of where Crosby was when Crosby was Tulowitzki's age. Tulowitzki's power should enable him to approach the 30-homer plateau once he fills out as a big leaguer.