The Colorado Springs Sky Sox have won only one game during the first five games of their 2007 season, though they did win their last time out. The Sky Sox have had to battle the elements during the first part of the season, and that has meant an inconsistent schedule for the pitching, and the batters losing some timing. However, it is a long season, and once the weather turns, and the team is playing everyday, this should be a team that challenges for the Pacific Coast League title.
Ryan Spilborghs has been swinging a hot stick to open the 2007 campaign, as he makes his case to be promoted to the Colorado Rockies. Spilborghs is batting .368 in his five appearances, and already has two home runs. Top prospect Ian Stewart is batting .316 as the team's third baseman, and has not committed an error this season. Joe Koshansky has displayed the power that made him one of the more feared bats in the Texas League in 2006, with two home runs through his first five games. He has also doubled and walked twice. Jayson Nix has also been solid at the plate in 2007, boasting a .375 batting average to go along with three runs scored.
Matt Herges has been solid out of the Sky Sox bullpen, as he has allowed only one hit in his three appearances. Herges has yet to allow a run over his 4.2 innings of work, and has struck out six. Some other members of the bullpen have been stepping up as well, as Josh Newman, Zach McClellan, Mike Gallo, and Denny Bautista all have 0.00 earned run averages. Combined, these four pitchers have held the opposition scoreless in 8.2 innings of relief. During that time, they have struck out eight batters, while allowing five hits.
The Sky Sox have not been getting any production out of their catching tandem, as Alvin Colina and Edwin Bellorin are batting .176 and .250 respectively. Alexis Gomez has also struggled since clearing waivers, batting only .143 through his first four games. Omar Quintanilla, Cory Sullivan, and Seth Smith are also players who the Sky Sox need to get production from, though they are all batting below .200 in 2007. All three of these prospects are capable of putting up huge numbers this season, and all three could be in Colorado at some point.
The starting pitching for the Sky Sox has been ineffective thus far this season, mostly due to the harsh weather conditions. The only starter who has pitched decently is Bob Keppel, who allowed three earned runs in his 5.2 innings of work. Of the other starters, the second lowest earned run average is 6.23, and Ubaldo Jimenez was absolutely torched in his first outing of the season. Jimenez allowed 11 runs, nine earned, in only 2.2 innings of work. The team's earned run average is 6.40, and that is something that needs to change if they are going to make any noise this season.
What We Know
Jimenez is definitely better than he showed in his first start, and he will be dominant once he settles in. Brian Lawrence will be with the Rockies very soon, so the Sky Sox are going to have to find a way to plug the hole that will be left when he gets recalled. Spilborghs can flat out hit, and he probably should be with the Rockies right now. Koshansky has hit for power at every level, so he will most likely hit 20-plus home runs for the Sky Sox this year, unless he is promoted. This is a team that has a lot of talent, but it is only going to go as far as the pitching will take them.