NLDS Coverage: Rockies Should Bench Hawpe

Despite a rough first game yesterday, the Rockies have a chance to beat the Phillies. However, if they want to give themselves the best chance to win today, they have to put their best team on the field. And their best team does not include Brad Hawpe today.

Hawpe is not an outfielder. The Rockies keep running him out there because they lack the DH option, but sticking a hammer in the oven doesn’t make it a pie. Hawpe’s UZR totals the last three years – -23.5, -37.2, -20.2. With three seasons of data, Hawpe has ran up a staggering total of -80 runs. He’s an abomination in the field.

His bat makes up for some of the defensive problems against right-handers. Against lefties, though? Not even close. His career mark against southpaws is .242/.321/.429. He strikes out in 30% of his plate appearances against LHPs and his walk rate plummets as well.

The combination of atrocious defense and average-at-best offense makes Hawpe a huge liability against southpaws. Yet, in game one, he was out there costing the Rockies runs despite Cliff Lee starting for Philadelphia. The Phillies throw Cole Hamels today, and if Jim Tracy wants to give his team the best chance at winning, Hawpe should begin the day on the bench waiting for a chance to pinch hit.

They have options. Ryan Spilborghs hits lefties and can play defense. Seth Smith hits everyone and can play defense.

Brad Hawpe is a below replacement level player against lefties. You can’t start those guys in a playoff series. If the Rockies want to maximize their chance of winning, Hawpe should take a seat.

We hoped you liked reading NLDS Coverage: Rockies Should Bench Hawpe by Dave Cameron!

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shhh. the phils will take any advantage possible


Here’s to hoping that Tracy plays Hawpe tonight, Hawpe goes 0-for-4, Tracy decides that Hawpe can’t handle the pressure, and Spilborghs starts against Blanton.