If there is any question about who should start at the hot corner for the Colorado Rockies, please direct them to Nolan Arenado posthaste.
Chris Nelson didn’t have a bad season last year at third base; his season was actually a breakout, as he played 111 games and turned in a .301 average, nine homers and 58 RBIs. That isn’t too shabby considering the third baseman was having a hell of a time finding a place on the bench the years before 2012.
But while the Rockies have some thinking to do, I don’t believe any thinking is necessary: Put Nolan Arenado on the roster and start him. For once, there is actually legitimate competition at third base. Before, it was Ian Stewart or whomever was the next “best” infielder. Now, it is Nelson or Arenado.
All signs indicate Nolan Arenado has a legitimate shot at starting, but the front office has been wary to bring him up “too quickly,” citing earlier that Arenado lacks some maturity, especially after not making the 40-man roster last season out of spring training.
What did they expect? He is their top prospect, a young player hungry for his shot and he has shown he can rake with his bat. In Cactus League play this year, he has swatted four home runs, 10 RBIs and he’s hitting .400. Its only preseason baseball, but he isn’t doing it by accident in his 17 at-bats.
Nelson could very likely get the veteran nod despite carrying a .250 average and only two RBIs. One can only hope the front office sees it’s time to abandon the Nelson investment and that Arenado is a better complement when inserted along with Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki in the middle of the order.
The time for Nolan Arenado is now, not August or when Nelson is injured. Start that boy!