Baseball Preview: Colorado Rockies
Last year’s record and finish are in parenthesis with projected improvement/decline indicated by plus or minus.
Colorado Rockies (76-86, T-4th in NL West)3 games
Get Crunked: LF Matt Holliday and 3B Garrett Atkins have emerged as some of the premier sluggers at their positions, posting some serious power and average numbers last year, and they’re just 26 and 27 years old respectively.Â Brian Fuentes is an All-Star closer, and Jeff Francis could be the best starter the franchise has ever had, which I realize isÂ on par with being the skinniest person at the fat-farm.
Party Foul: The squad is pretty weak up-the-middle.Â Â None of theÂ potential catchers (Chris Ianetta, Javy Lopez, Yorvit Torrealba) are impressive,Â rookie SS Troy Tulowitzki mayÂ have been brought up ahead of schedule (just over 500 minor league at-bats), 2B Kaz Matsui leaves a lot to be desired offensively, and CF Willy Taveras doesn’t get on-base enough for a speedy lead-off man.Â Â Â
What’d my GM do: The most notable move was trading Jason Jennings to Houston for CF Willy Taveras and SP Jason Hirsh.Â O’Dowd took a few gambles on the starting rotation by signing Brian Lawrence who missed all of last year with an injury, and trading for Rodrigo Lopez whoÂ lost a major league worst 18 games last yearÂ (but was an All-Star in ’04).Â He also signed C Javy Lopez to a cheap one year deal which could pay dividends if Javy can still slug.Â Oh yeah, he also just brought in Steve Finley.Â
Lay it on me Straight: It’s not like the Rockies are a bad club, not to say that they’re a good one either, but they just didn’t make enough moves to keep up with the rest of the division.Â The pitching is a problem like always, although it’s better than past years, but the offense isn’t as good as it used to be, which evens things out.Â
So where my boys gonna finish right now: Last in the NL West, but they’ll be within striking range of 4th place.Â Other people are more optimistic about the season.
Can we be better than that: Probably not. IÂ don’tÂ think there’s a whole lot that’s going to change where the Rockies finish this year.Â