Colorado Rockies History: Jason Jennings or Clint Barmes?
About a month ago, we released our all-time Colorado Rockies 25-man roster. Trust us, it wasn’t easy to whittle the list down to 25 names. We knew we would be leaving some players off and opening ourselves up to debate about who belonged and who should stay in the dugout. You can see the 25 players we picked on our roster by clicking here.
Earlier this week, our sister site at Call to the Pen released its version of the all-time Colorado Rockies 25-man roster. OK, fine. Looks like it’s time we compare notes and see where the differences lie in the two rosters. You can see their version by clicking here.
In all, our two rosters shared 21 of the 25 names. We only differed on four selections. This is the third of four articles that will let you decide which player is more deserving to be on the all-time 25-man roster.
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In our first article, we looked behind the plate. Both Call to the Pen and Rox Pile tabbed Chris Iannetta as a catcher who belonged on the 25-man roster. However, after that, we differed. We took Jeff Reed while Call to the Pen selected Wilin Rosario. You can read our different reasonings by clicking here.
For our second article, we headed to the mound to debate another difference of opinion. We took reliever Bruce Ruffin while Call to the Pen selected starter Jason Hammel. Two completely different pitchers who come with completely different credentials. Who would you take? Read our thoughts here.
Today, we look at one of the ultimate decisions every manager must make … do you carry another pitcher on your roster or make sure you have depth at every position? When Call to the Pen made their 25-man roster, they added pitcher Jason Jennings. When we did our selections, we made sure there was a backup at every position so we tabbed Clint Barmes for the roster behind Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop.
So what do you think? Does a pitcher deserve a slot over another position player? Was Jennings more valuable during his time with the Rockies than Barmes? We break down the arguments on the following pages.
Call to the Pen’s Pick: Jason Jennings
In his six years in Colorado, Jennings posted a 58-56 mark with a 4.74 ERA. In 2001, he gave a sneak peek of his potential by going 4-1 with a 4.58 ERA in just seven starts. The next season, he followed that up with his best season in Denver, logging a 16-8 record and 4.52 ERA. It earned him National League Rookie of the Year honors as he totaled 150 points in the voting, easily outdistancing Montreal’s Brad Wilkerson, who finished second with 57 points.
How good was Jennings during the early part of his Colorado career? He won 20 of his first 29 starts. That’s a tough feat to duplicate, whether you’re pitching at altitude or not.
Jennings jumped into Colorado lore quickly in his career, pitching a complete game and hitting a home run in his MLB debut, a 10-0 Rockies win over the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. Throwing a complete game shutout and hitting a homer also gave him a place in baseball history as he was the first pitcher to do both of those in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
He’s fourth all-time on Colorado’s win chart with 58 and he’s also fourth in innings pitched with 941.0. His 622 strikeouts are good enough for fifth on Colorado’s all-time pitching charts.
Our Pick: Clint Barmes
The always professional and classy Clint Barmes almost didn’t make our list of the Top 5 shortstops in Colorado history. Why you ask? Because he almost qualified for our list at second base rather than shortstop. In his eight seasons in Colorado, Barmes appeared at second base in 306 games while manning the shortstop position in 333 contests.
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But whether he was playing shortstop or second base or even third base or in the outfield as he did during his days with the Rockies, Barmes played a role in some of Colorado’s greatest teams, including the 2007 and 2009 playoff squads.
Barmes had a much bigger role in 2009, hitting .245 with a career-high 23 homers and 76 RBI. He did, however, go ice cold in the NLDS against the Phillies, posting an 0-for-14 mark at the plate.
The Rockies drafted Barmes in the 10th round of the 2000 draft. He would make his debut just three years later in September of the 2003 campaign. Offensively speaking, Clint never hit for a high average (.254 in eight years in Denver) but did bring some pop to the middle infield. Barmes ranks second all-time among Colorado shortstops with 61 career home runs. The high home run total isn’t due to just more playing time either as Barmes ranks second in isolated power at .150.
He can also be regarded as the greatest base runner of the Rockies shortstops as he far and away leads the category in BsR with a score of 15.1.
So who would you take on your roster, Barmes or Jennings? Let us know in the comments box below.