clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2014 NL West Preview: Colorado Rockies

We start our four day series of previewing the NL West rivals of the Diamondbacks today with the Rockies. Padres will be tomorrow, Giants Thursday, and Dodgers Friday.

Searching SBN's photo archive for "Troy Tulowitzki strike out" reveals a lot of this
Searching SBN's photo archive for "Troy Tulowitzki strike out" reveals a lot of this
Justin Edmonds

Relevant Facts

2013 Record: 74-88 (5th in NL West)

2013 Pythag Record: 76-86

Manager: Walt Weiss

General Manager: Dan O'Dowd

Notable Offseason Acquisitions: Brett Anderson (Trade Athletics), Justin Morneau (F.A. Pirates), LaTroy Hawkins (F.A. Mets), Boone Logan (F.A. Yankees), Drew Stubbs (Trade Indians), Jordan Lyles (Trade Astros)

Notable Offseason Losses: Todd Helton, Dexter Fowler, Drew Pomeranz

Former Diamondbacks On Some Roster In Organization: Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, and Jorge de la Rosa kind of count? Ryan Wheeler

Probable Lineup

Corey Dickerson - CF
Nolan Arenado - 3B
Carlos Gonzalez - LF
Troy Tulowitzki - SS
Michael Cuddyer - RF
Justin Morneau - 1B
Wilin Rosario - C
DJ Lemahieu - 2B

Probable Rotation

Jorge de la Rosa - LHP
Brett Anderson - LHP
Tyler Chatwood - RHP
Jordan Lyles - RHP
Juan Nicasio - RHP

Bullpen Pieces

LaTroy Hawkins - RHP
Rex Brothers - LHP
Matt Belisle - RHP
Boone Logan - LHP
Wilton Lopez - RHP
Christian Fredrich - LHP
Nick Masset -RHP


Josh Rutledge - 2B
Drew Stubbs - OF
Michael McKenry - C
Ryan Wheeler - 3B/1B
Brandon Barnes - OF

Notable Injured Players

Jhoulys Chacin - RHP (Right Shoulder Inflamation)


Dan O'Dowd is Rasputin.

There are three general managers who have been at that position with their current team longer than O'Dowd has been with the Rockies. They are Brian Sabean (two World Series titles), Billy Beane (Multiple playoff appearances, played by Brad Pitt in a movie), and Brian Cashman (four World Series titles, two other American League titles.) O'Dowd boasts two Playoff appearances (though one of them was a World Series appearance, less said about that year the better), and more losing seasons than not. And yet, he's still here.

The Rockies, from all objective analysis, are the favorites to bring up the rear in the NL West this season, repeating their performance, which would clinch a three-peat in that regard for them. How has it come to this? After all, they have two of the best players in MLB at their respective positions in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

The simple answer is this, as it has been for all Colorado Rockies teams since the beginning of time: Pitching, or lack thereof, and not being able to hit away from home. While the 2013 Rockies were first in the NL in team OPS (.741), if you just look at Away OPS, they fall all the way to 12th (.672). On the other side, they were last in the NL, and 28th in MLB in Pitching Staff ERA (The Twins and Astros should feel kind of bad about that).

Obviously, playing at Coors Fields is going to have its inherit advantages/disadvantages hitting/pitching wise. It has the 1-2 punch of both being in a thin air environment in Denver, making the ball travel further and leading to more home runs, and having a deep and cavernous center field, leading to more doubles and triples. Obviously, Colorado hitters are going to get theirs when at home.

However, the two aforementioned faces of the franchise, have run into a bit of injury trouble as of late. CarGo (beep beep) played in only 110 games last season, and Tulo in 126. Them missing any significant amount of time again would put a dent in having any sort of success this season.

The pitching staff is intriguing, but I would still probably rate it as the weakest in the division, and not just factoring in the "playing at Coors" thing. There are a pair of prospects in the system that have good upside in Jon Gray and Eddie Butler, but they could be a little ways away from contributing, and might not be huge factors in this season.

Then we come back to O'Dowd. The two biggest moves of the offseason were these:

1. Dexter Fowler to the Astros for Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes

2. Signing Justin Morneau.

Second one first: The Rockies just had an aging, past his prime, had a stellar career but it was time to move on First Baseman retire in Todd Helton. To fill that void, they signed Morneau, who fits every adjective in that first sentence.

And finally, the Fowler trade is proof that KT isn't the only GM in the division who is perceived to not get good value for players traded away. The natives in Rockies land were not pleased.

The Rockies seem to lack a building direction, and O'Dowd's time may be short in Denver. But then again, he's lasted this long, what's another 15 seasons?

Dinger likes watching you sleep.


SBNation Blog: Purple Row

ZiPS Projections

Pectoa Projected Standings (Has them 5th in the NL West)