Friday, December 27, 2013

Drew Stubbs getting vote of confidence from new teammate Troy Tulowitzki

Former Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs will wear his third different uniform in as many seasons when he suits up for the Rockies in Colorado next season.

Drafted by the Reds in 2006, Stubbs parted ways with the franchise who groomed him last winter in the 3-team trade that brought Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati. After spending this most recent season with the Indians, Stubbs is now the newest member of the Rockies after being traded yet again.

Despite batting just .233/.305/.360 with 10 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 146 games played in 2013, the Rockies are optimistic Stubbs can elevate his game to where it was in 2010, when he smashed 22 home runs, swiped 30 bags, drove in 77 runs, and sported a .255 average.

Although some view Stubbs as the team's fourth outfielder, others see the speedster taking on the starting role in center field, and perhaps even handling the leadoff duties. One of those supporters in favor of this idea include new teammate and All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

"I have high hopes for Drew," said Tulowitzki, who befriended Stubbs when they were teammates on USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team in 2004. "For me, he's got to come to our team and try to be the starting center fielder. That's my opinion.

"I know they have talked about CarGo being our center fielder, but for me, I think we are a better team if Drew can grab that position and run with it. That way, we can leave Carlos in left."

As it stands now, the Rockies are planning to plug Carlos Gonzalez in center field and let Stubbs battle it out for the starting job in left. While there is no denying Stubbs' worth on defense, his offensive numbers have been atrocious over the last few years, especially as it pertains to the on-base and average departments. Stubbs could very well break out and have a bounceback season at Coors Field in 2014, but it's tough to fairly say he could cut the mustard as a dependable leadoff hitter due to his propensity for striking out and inability to reach base as much as desired. With that being said, I'm rooting for him to succeed with his new squad.

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