Leading up to the start of the 2011 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 30 teams . Today’s preview features the Colorado Rockies. Stay tuned as Diamond Hoggers previews every team division by division until the start of the regular season.
Last year we told you about Carlos Gonzalez before he was CarGo. We told you the Rockies would finish 2nd or 3rd in the NL West, and they did that by going 83-79.
And now we’re telling you that this is going to be the most exciting version of the Rockies since the Blake Street Bombers were in action.
Better player? Tulo or CarGo?
I’m going to say when healthy, Tulo is the better player and capable of scarier production. He’s got a chance to put up Alex Rodriguez late 90’s power numbers if he stays healthy. He loves to hit in that park and he had a final six weeks of the season that Rockies fans won’t soon forget.
Gonzalez is probably moving into the top 15 territory in terms the best players in the game, but give me Tulo over CarGo by a hair. Not bad if you can run both of these guys out 3 and 4 in your lineup though. And in that ballpark? Good luck opposing pitchers.
The Supporting Cast
How about the back end of the bullpen? Starting with closer Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle and newcomer Matt Lindstrom, this group should be looked at as a strength.
I’m not high on their rotation after Ubaldo, but Aaron Cook should be looked at as a solid guy who is returning from injury. Jorge De la Rosa has never really impressed me. Jhoulys Chacin doesn’t excite me. I think this is the one area I look at with concern on the Rockies.
I like their infield and I think Jose Lopez is going to be a good offensive player for them at second base. Ian Stewart and new addition Ty Wigginton will put up solid but not spectacular numbers. Their production won’t hurt anything.
This is the year we find out what kinds of pro ballplayers that Chris Ianetta and Dexter Fowler are. Don’t forget about the ageless Todd Helton, Jason Giambi, and Eric Young Jr. who will also have to contribute for these guys to be good.
The Final Verdict
The Rockies have enough excitement around them to really make some things happen this summer out in Colorado. I love the extensions they signed Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to this off-season. Between them and Ubaldo Jimenez, it’s one of the better cores in all of baseball. This is a team I wouldn’t change the channel on if they were on television and I think that the star power falls just short of a playoff berth. They’re in need of a big time #2, and they’re ready to contend and make a serious run.
They finish 2nd in the NL West in 2011 but by 2012 they’re ready to go toe to toe with the Cincinnati Reds to decides who represents the National League in the World Series for a few years straight.