Saturday, March 19, 2005

 

2005 Season Preview: Colorado Rockies

*sigh* The last 2005 season preview. I think the Rockies could come in fourth or fifth place in the NL West, but it all depends on their lineup. Their lineup is actually pretty bad at the moment, only because it is waiting for some kids to develop. Once that happens, the Rockies hope it will be more formidable and they will be able to contend...we'll see. Forgive me if I'm in a rush; I'm trying to eat Capn' Crunch, dress for work at 8, and write about the Rockies all at once.

Todd Greene, C: .282/.325./.508. My rule for backup catcher signings: Are they more helpful than Mike Matheny? If so, then you can’t complain unless they are overpaid. Green is making $750,000 so it’s all good.

Jamey Wright, SP: 4.12 ERA looks sparkling for Colorado, even in 14 starts. Until I see he has 45 walks to 41 strikeouts. A 0.91 K/BB ratio…wicked awesome. Wright seems to hover around the 1.00 K/BB ratio mark in his career, and goes back and forth between seasons where he gets away with it and does not. At least he is only making $550,000. Good move by the Rockies not overpaying for what appeared to be success.

Dustan Mohr, OF: I read an article that said Mohr had some interesting platoon splits, where he actually hit better on the road than at home. He apparently has been like that before, so it should be interesting to see how good he is in Colorado compared to how he is on the road. If he is anything like last year than kudos to the Rockies for this move (if he continues to hit on the road anyways).

Desi Relaford, IF: WHOO! -10.8 VORP = almost $1,000,000! Its like the NBA out there. Of course Relaford will probably hit in Coors…and not on the road. His Kaufman bandbox numbers (2002-2003) work a lot better than his Kaufman as a pitcher’s park numbers do.


1) Aaron Miles
2) J.D. Closser
3) Todd Helton
4) Preston Wilson
5) Matt Holliday
6) Dustan Mohr
7) Garrett Atkins
8) Clint Barmes

Looks from the limited major league action of Closser and Atkins that the Rockies could be very happy with a few of their young position players this year. Helton will deliver as always, and Preston Wilson, al though extremely overrated, will deliver value (just not on the dollar). Matt Holliday and Dustan Mohr represent the problem with this club's thinking. Rather than sign top of the line hitters to perform at great heights (I couldn't help myself, sorry) they sign middle of the road guys to hit real well at Coors and play on the road at a lower level (which is their norm). Filling your lineup with these people does you know good (see Vinny Castilla and Jeromy Burnitz), where the Andres Galarraga, Ellis Burks, and Larry Walker's of the world help. Its just recognizing the difference between signing B players and making them A's half the time, or signing A or A- players and turning them into A+'s. This team needs well over 1,000 runs to win a division, and I mean 100-200 more. This is not a lineup that will do it, featuring Matt Holliday in the 5 hole. This team needs Todd Helton and an Adam Dunn and a another on-base machine. Maybe they should build themselves with the Three True Outcome players...hey if it worked, Rob Deer wannabes everywhere would always have a place to work. All I know is the current idea does not work.

1) Jason Jennings
2) Joe Kennedy
3) Shawn Chacon
4) Jeff Francis
5) Jamey Wright

It is obvious by now that only some pitchers can adapt to the effects of Coors and remain somewhat effective. Jason Jennings has at time, Joe Kennedy posted the best starter's ERA ever at Coors his first year, and Jamey Wright once did, granted with smoke, mirrors, and some other magical stuff. Shawn Chacon had a WHIP around 2.00 last year as a closer, and to be blunt, that shit is scary. Jeff Francis is a great pitching prospect, but I worry about his pitching in Coors. John Sickels has a saying for every Colorado pitching prospect after talking about how good they are, "Too bad they play for Colorado." That isn't a good thing when a bio finishes with that statement. If you have checked out my Rockies rant, you will know what I think they need to do. Sidearm pitchers, sidearm pitchers, and then a few more sidearm pitchers. Steve Reed and Mike Myers succeeded, now bring in Chad Bradford if you can, pull the trigger on a BK Kim deal (please) and find some starters with a sidearm or submarine windup. Natural sinking motion on their pitches, groundballs, c'mon guys! The answer is staring you right in the face!

Chin-hui Tsao is the closer for now, as all of Rockies fandom apparently doesn't have faith in his ability to stay healthy. This bullpen lost the best pitcher it ever had (again) in Steve Reed. Not good. Tim Harrikala had a spectacular Colorado first half, and died down in the second, but his production is gone. Scott Dohman did good enough last year, but I don't see anyone else who contributed last year around. Or anyone who might contribute this time around. This is horrible, because the Rockies need, and I stress need, a strong, not solid, bullpen to win games. Starters get knocked out early so often that Colorado needs to have a bullpen capable of not only carrying the load, but also of holding onto leads this offense might create. For the first time I can think of, the rotation might be the strongest part of this team. Sadly it is not at a point where that is a good thing. Yes, I know things looked good with Hampton and Neagle and even the late Darryl Kile (one of my favorites, saddened greatly by his fate) but people did not know what they know now, so I'm being realistic. The lineup is too weak, the bullpen depth is nonexistent, and the rotation isn't strong enough. This is a fourth place team at best, and that depends somewhat on how much Arizona scuffles. Well, at least they didn't sign Russ Ortiz. Kudos for that.

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