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The Colorado Rockies brass were a busy bunch in the 2013 winter, heading into the 2014 year. They have picked up several solid players for the upcoming campaign.
I simply hate that this club plays in the NL West with the Dodgers and Giants.
Coors Field provides so many weird anomalies because of the climate on the players.
Pitchers have a tough time with the air, while the hitters have superhuman efforts in Denver, and tend to struggle abroad.
Walt Weiss comes back for a 2nd year to manage the club, trying to improve on the 74 victory mark of 2013.
He should be skippering a team with the best offense in the NL.
The biggest question will be who will hit 1st? With Michael Cuddyer (RF) hitting 2nd, Carlos Gonzalez (LF) hitting 3rd, Troy Tulowitzki (SS) batting cleanup, followed by Justin Morneau (1B), Wilin Rosario (C) and Nolan Arenado (3B) batting between 2 and 7, so that leaves the 2B and CF slot.
If Stubbs makes it into any lineup, he simply doesn’t have the OBP to hit 1st.
Dickerson has hit at every level – including bouncing 23 base hits of the extra bag variety during the 2013 season (13 – 2B, 5 – 3B and 5 HRs) in just 194 AB.
The 2010 Rockies Draft Pick also features a Minor League OBP of .379, and what is good, is his Strikeout rate isn’t horrible.
Yes he K’d 41 times in 213 Plate Appearance for the big team last year, but he may be able to cut the down with his 2nd time through the league.
Out of the 2nd slot will be NL reigning Batting Champion Michael Cuddyer.
The RF hit a career high of .331 during 2013, however I am thinking a slight regression may come in 2014.
If he could maintain an average around .300, with an OBP in the .360’s, then it should pave the way for CARGO and TULO.
If Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki played a full year each right now, it could be assumed both would hit north of .300, with 30+ HRs and 100+ RBI – with OPS’s and Gold Glove defense.
Projected 3 Slashes for both. Gonzalez .305/.370/.555, Tulowitzki – .310/.400/.525. I am not going to put up power totals, as I sort of said it already up above.
Justin Morneau should have a comeback year at .290/.340/.475 – with 27 HRs and 95 RBI.
Wilin Rosario may hit 30+ HRs, have a high Batting Average and also an OPS of above .800.
Nolan Arenado will win a Gold Glove, club 55+ XBH, reach nearly 20 HRs, and improve on his 2013 slash of .267/.301/.405.
This team is totally dangerous through that part of the lineup.
Guys in the 8th slot like Drew Stubbs, or the team’s 2B are the only real players that may be less than ideal.
The Pitching Staff has been bolstered by several new additions.
It is important to note the Chacin and Bullpen arm Logan are on the Disabled List to start the year.
De La Rosa is the best chucker on the starting staff by far. He went 16 – 6, with a nice 3.49 ERA.
The man knows how to pitch in Coors Field, and is a veteran of 6 seasons with Colorado – and is a Free Agent after this upcoming season.
Chatwood was an awesome steal job from the Angels for Chris Iannetta in return.
In his 1st full season, he went 8 – 5, with a 3.15 ERA. The Right Hander held down a 3.50 ERA in 11 Game Starts at Coors, while he served up a 2.72 ERA on the road.
To start the year, Chatwood is questionable for his 1st start the year, nursing a strained left hamstring.
Brett Anderson was once hailed a can’t miss prospect in baseball. Suffering through many injuries has slowed down his development.
He should significantly help the rotation this season. Anderson has a 3.81 ERA for his 450.2 IP worth of experience thus far.
Oakland did give some cash, but Anderson makes only $8 MIL in 2014 anyway. He does have a $12 MIL Team Option for 2015 too.
This kind of deal is a nice way to compliment a lower salaried team with an additional arm without being locked down long-term.
The departed team picked up some salary, and the exchange was a liveable contract, that would not cripple you should it not work.
If Anderson works out, the team should have no problem absorbing that 2015 Option.
This also provides insurance against Jorge De La Rosa fleeing for Free Agency after this year.
Pomeranz had not worked out in his time, so it was a nice deal for both clubs.
Juan Nicasio lugged 157.2 IP out of the 5th Starters slot last year. While his ERA was not that great at 5.14, this is to be expected from whomever is at the back end of Colorado’s rotation.
LaTroy Hawkins at age 41, will start his 20th MLB season as the club’s projected Closer. This guy is an ultimate professional and will not be overwhelmed by throwing in Denver.
Hawkins has appeared in 172 games over the last 3 years, and has had his best stretch of throwing in his career.
In 2013 alone, he pitched his most innings since 2004, with 70.2 frames tossed. He was the Mets lock down arm at the end of the year with 13 Saves and 2.93 ERA.
Rex Brothers will be the primary setup guy for Hawkins, and could seamlessly be the go to guy later in the year.
The 26 Year Old should have been an ALL – Star selection with his 1st half numbers (0.91 ERA in 39.2 IP.)
Brothers will be with fellow LHP Boone Logan in the Relief Core through this year.
Paying $16.5 MIL/over 3 years for any Reliever not your Closer or setup guy is strangely odd for the franchise, having said that Logan is a workhorse.
He also will be starting the year on the DL with left elbow inflammation.
Logan has appeared in 256 Games covering the 2010 – 2013 years, and has been quite effective with a 3.38 ERA and a 19 – 7 record.
Keep in mind his numbers hailed from the AL East..actually good comparisons to Coors Field.
The Rox must have good production from these guys considering they will be working lots.
When all is said and done, it should be a normal year in Colorado, if you call it either an under .500 season, or near a post season berth.
I, for one, think they will improve on 74 victories. Maybe an 80 – 83 win campaign should be in the cards.
If Tulo and Cargo stay healthy, they should play meaningful games into September.
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