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News » News analysis: Hawpe's loss impacts Rockies

News analysis: Hawpe's loss impacts Rockies

News analysis: Hawpe's loss impacts Rockies
The Colorado Rockies have seen their fair share of tough times during the early portion of the 2008 season, and the loss of outfielder Brad Hawpe (hamstring) was just another blow.

Hawpe had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, May 24, because of a strained right hamstring. He has been working his way back and is expected to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Colorado Springs Monday, June 2. The team is currently running low on outfielders with injuries to outfielders Matt Holliday (hamstring) and Ryan Spilborghs (wrist), so the return of Hawpe would be a welcome sight to the Rockies and their fans, but he has yet to be a consistent fantasy player this season to make owners as happy.

Hawpe has not put up the big numbers that the owners who drafted him would want to see. He is batting .231 with seven doubles, a triple, three home runs and 17 RBI in 42 games. He has struggled both on the road and at home this season, hitting .226 at Coors Field and .235 on the road. Prior to going on the 15-day disabled list, he was mired in a 3-for-28 slump and only hit .218 in May.

The 28-year-old outfielder had a fine season in 2007. He finished the year with a .291 average, 29 home runs and 116 RBI. Hawpe did come out of the gate slowly last season as well, hitting .256 with only one home run and 10 RBI during the month of April, but he followed that up with two straight months, hitting better than .300 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI in that span. He was also solid during their run to the World Series, hitting .282 with one triple, one home run and four RBI during the playoffs.

When he is healthy and in the starting lineup, Hawpe usually hits sixth in the batting order, so when he returns he likely will receive RBI opportunities with Holliday, first baseman Todd Helton and third baseman Garrett Atkins in front of him in the lineup. The returns of Hawpe and Holliday will try and jump start the Rockies' return to the .500 mark. The Rockies currently rank in the bottom third of the league in runs, home runs, RBI and batting average.

Fantasy baseball outlook

With a full complement of players in the starting lineup, there is no reason to believe that Hawpe could not do at least a partial turnaround and start producing for fantasy owners. He has several things going his way. The first big plus for him is the ballpark he plays in. Coors Field has been known as a hitters' park since it was open, and Hawpe gets to play there half of the time. He hit .308 with 19 home runs and 67 RBI in the thin air in Denver last season. Another plus is the batting order he is a part of with the Rockies. Despite the struggles they have gone through this season, this lineup was successful in 2007. It ranked fifth in the league in batting average (.280) and runs (860), fourth in hits (1,591) and 13th in home runs (171).

Even if fantasy owners are weary of Hawpe's poor performance, they should probably at least wait a few weeks to see if he produces after coming off the disabled list before making a roster move. Don't drop him unless you're in the shallowest formats. In the interim, players such as Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce (.591-2-6), San Francisco Giants outfielder Randy Winn (.292-4-19) and Oakland A's outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (.364-0-2) could be worth a flier.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: June 3, 2008

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