Barring something unforeseen taking place, the Colorado Rockies won’t get a ton of posts on this blog this season. Please enjoy this one.
The reason I don’t think the Rockies are due for a lot of run-time is because they have a pitching staff with flies circling it, and a lineup that is in dire need of another true threat.
The Rockies have a double edged sword in the way of a ballpark. They can dress a few Joe Random’s up and generate decent stats if the guy has an ounce of talent with the bat. But Coors Field; with all it’s beauty, does no favors to help an organization build a pitching staff. I’m of the belief that talented arms enter the Rockies rotation each year and slowly have their confidence chipped away because of the home park they make roughly half their starts in. I know the Rockies have had a few good runs, but it’s hard to ever sustain consistency without anything solid in the starting staff each year.
I guess at least Walt Weiss is the manager. Anyone remember how much Peter Gammons used to wash Walt Weiss’ balls on the old school Baseball Tonight? He loved the guy. He used to waste air-time to tell us Walt Weiss had cabbage stew for lunch and then went 2 for 4, like that somehow correlated to Walt Weiss’ ‘huge’ offensive output. I don’t know, he has to be better then Jim Tracy. Tracy was a nice guy I’m told from several friends that have spent time with the man and I always tried to have his back on a count of that. It’s just that, most baseball people thought he was a horrible manager.
I’ve always liked the toolsy Dexter Fowler, but the reality is he’s truly a different player when you look at his home/road splits. In 2012, Fowler hit .332 at Coors Field and .262 on the road. He OPS’d at a .984 clip in Colorado and just .720 away from his home park. I’m telling you, it got to the point where I sat the guy in fantasy baseball if the Rockies weren’t at home and it was halfway sound strategy.
Here’s something else crazy I’ll throw out there: I think Josh Rutledge could out-produce Troy Tulowitzki this season. Rutledge gives way at the shortstop position with Tulo returning from injury, but I think big things are in store for this kid. ZiPS likes the guy more than Bill James and any time that happens (which is rare), something funky is in store.
Tulowitzki is made of glass. To quote a great friend of mine, his injury history reads like a Tolstoy novel. If he can stay healthy for 140 or 150 games, you’re going to see the nice numbers return. There’s a chance he’s plagued by something of angst and his numbers reflect that. I could see the Rockies’ cornerstone putting up a .270/20/70 line pretty easily.
Carlos Gonzalez will continue to be what he has been as a player which is near elite. He’ll miss a handful of games and put up dashing stats. I would like to see what CarGo would do in his prime on a better team and a little less offense-happy home environment. I suppose that will happy but only when he’s past his prime.
Michael Cuddyer is such a solid fantasy player. He’s eligible for like every spot and if you can dress him up as a second baseman on your team you’re in good shape. I don’t think Cuddyer has the year that he had either of the last two. He’ll drop off a tad and start to show his age as a player. He added a lot of miles playing in Minnesota.
Hopefully Todd Helton talks himself out of the urge to go buy more lottery tickets after he’s had a six pack. Hopefully he doesn’t, actually. Helton is a baseball delicacy, one of the greatest offensive marvels of his era. You’re running out of time to watch Todd Helton play, so if he’s on television some boring afternoon I want you to tune in and watch him hit. He’s a career .320 hitter coming off a .238 season. I know he’s not going out like that.
I really don’t like this pitching staff. I mean, some people who read this preview post might think I’m being especially dense and short in analysis on the Rockies starting rotation and such. I’m telling you right now–they’re not going to do well.
I liked Rex Brothers’ stats (I actually like his stuff a bit) until I saw that the crazy bastard walks almost five hitters per nine. Thus is why Rex Brothers only gets to throw in sixth innings. I bet Rex Brothers gets turned on by asphyxiation and other ways of living dangerously. Anyways, back to the starting staff.
This will be the year we find out if the Coors Field effect has destroyed the promising futures of Drew Pomeranz and Jhoulys Chacin. I actually think that Juan Nicasio has a chance to be a solid pitcher. Rafael Betancourt was really good last season. Josh Roenicke will get a nibble if he falters, and Roenicke knows how to pitch.
Jorge de la Rosa as your ace? Are you kidding me? Jeff Francis possibly back as your fifth starter? What the fuck are these guys doing? They just can’t quit Jeff Francis. Maybe Francis is the masochist and not Rex Brothers. I don’t know. This pitching staff is shit.
Mevs’ Projected Record:
79-83, 4th place in the NL West
The storylines are in place to make this an interesting season for Rockies fans. I’ll root for Walt Weiss because Peter Gammons used to like to talk about what soup he enjoyed. I’ll root for Rex Brothers because he is a Chris Angel version of Rick Vaughn. I’ll root for Josh Rutledge to outperform Tulo because it will make me look smart. I’ll root for Jeff Francis to get traded somewhere else (it will be Kansas City or Pittsburgh) only to end back up in the Rocky Mountains getting his tits lit by August again.
This is going to be tremendous.