Rockies Release Casey Blake

The Colorado Rockies announced this afternoon that the club has unconditionally released third basemen Casey Blake. The release comes after the 37-year-old hit a porous 3-for-20 with seven strike outs and struggled to stay on the field this spring. Blake hit .249/.327/.397 with 21 home runs and 188 strike outs over the past two years. 

This could be the end of Blake's career as the Rockies had given him a real chance so long as he stay upright and on the field, which he failed to do missing time with an ailing back this spring. If this is quits for Blake, he made the most of a career that saw him with just 125 plate appearances before age 29. Blake went on to be a useful regular with the Indians and the Dodgers for the better part of a decade, which is more than most guys can say. 

By releasing Blake today and not after Opening Day the club saves $1.509 million. The plan is to move forward with either Jordan Pacheco, Chris Nelson, or both before Nolan Arenado is ready hopefully sometime in June after a hot start at Double-A Tulsa. Neither Pacheco or Nelson have the power for a corner position or the glove for third base, though Pacheco does have a solid throwing arm.

Losing out on any chance of a healthy Blake this early is a blow to the Rockies chances, but it also could serve as motivation for Arenado with only service time standing in his way. If you haven't read between the lines already, allow me to spell it out: Dan O'Dowd won't care so much about service time if on May 5 the Rockies are a couple games out, Arenado is crushing it, and the Nelson/Pacheco platoon isn't working out. This is the same guy who worked out extensions with Ubaldo Jimenez, Troy Tulowitzki, and Carlos Gonzalez; he isn't going to allow a potential offensive wasteland at third base to fester past that date and that goes double if Arenado is crushing it at Double-A. It would be silly for a man in O'Dowd's position to prioritize a service time issue, provided the club is in the race and Arenado's development isn't being rushed.  

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