It's official: Dexter Fowler has been optioned to AAA, and he is no longer on the 15-day disabled list or on a rehab assignment. Dexter's career arc is very similar to Ian Stewart's. They both took over their starting jobs in 2009, and put in two seasons of more or less league-average play. They both got off to slow starts in 2011 and found themselves back at Colorado Springs.
Dexter is a year younger than Stewart; he's 25 and Ian is 26. Major league players tend to peak around the age of 27. The Rockies have two guys who have held their own in the majors the past two years and should be just entering their primes, and they're both at AAA.
I made the case for Ian Stewart being better than the man who replaced him, Ty Wigginton. It is even more obvious to me that Dexter Fowler is better than his replacement, Charlie Blackmon. There has never been a season in their lives, prior to 2011, that Blackmon was close to Fowler as a baseball player. Last year, Charlie Blackmon hit .297 at AA with 11 homers, which tied for fourth on the team. Honestly, after that performance, the guy should have been considered no prospect. The sum and substance of the evidence that Charlie Blackmon is a quality major leaguer consists of the past two weeks.
I guarantee you this: By the end of the month, Charlie Blackmon's 2011 OBP and slugging percentage, despite his famous hot start, will be lower than Dexter Fowler's 2011 OBP and slugging percentage, despite his famous slump.
It's hard enough to win a pennant in the major leagues. It's almost impossible to win a pennant when you're not putting your best team on the field.