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Iannetta set for return to Rockies

5/25/2010

Well, our (latest) long national nightmare is over:

    Catcher Chris Iannetta will rejoin the Rockies today after a month-long stint at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

    As general manager Dan O'Dowd indicated Monday, Iannetta did everything the team asked after his demotion.

    Iannetta hit .349, including five home runs and 21 RBIs, in 63 at-bats for the Sky Sox, regaining his timing offensively.

    "He has addressed his swing mechanics, shown a great attitude and done everything we have asked," O'Dowd said.

    Miguel Olivo is the Rockies starter, but Iannetta will be expected to get more playing time than when he was sent down.

Well, at least the Free Chris Iannetta Brigade can stand down ... but in a few weeks, its members might re-form as the Popular Front to Play Chris Ianetta, because as long as there's a team with Chris Iannetta behind Miguel Olivo on the depth chart, somewhere Empiricists will be wailing.

Granted, Oliva's having a great couple of months. Entering this season, though, he sported a .278 career on-base percentage (and last year it was .292). How likely is he to maintain today's .283/.346/.540 line? And even if you want to argue that Olivo, almost 32, has somehow learned the strike zone at this late date, that's still begging the question because it's foolish in the long term to carry two righty-hitting catchers who are good enough to play regularly.

The Rockies have a crying deficiency at second base, a deficiency that Kaz Matsui, for all his talents, isn't likely to address with any real adequacivity. Now, I should note that there aren't exactly a bunch of surplus second basemen sitting around, waiting to be traded. But the Rockies are likely to be fighting for their postseason lives in September, and fighting with Chris Iannetta (mostly) on the bench would be a good way to lose.