Colorado Rockies Predictions
The Colorado Rockies continued their recent downward spiral in 2012 with a 64-98 campaign. It’s hard to believe this team won 92 games in 2009 as they have really been trending the wrong way since. They won 83 games in ’10 and 73 in ’11 before setting a franchise record with 98 losses last year. New manager Walt Weiss takes over for Jim Tracy, who surprisingly resigned and walked away from $1.4 million.
Weiss will be charged with trying to turn around an organization that is loaded with promise throughout the lineup, but one that continues to have pitching woes. The Rockies’ 5.22 ERA last year was the worst in the majors. Their starters went 29-68 with an MLB-high 5.81 ERA last season, including 17-33 with a 6.70 ERA at hitter-friendly Coors Field. They should have better health in their rotation in 2013, but depth is a concern.
Dexter Fowler (CF) – Coming off a breakout 2012 campaign in which he hit .300 with 13 homers, 53 RBIs, 72 runs and 12 steals. Fowler needs to continue to progress and get on base at a high rate.
Josh Rutledge (2B) – The third-round pick from 2010 showed some decent power in his first season in the big leagues last year. Rutledge hit .274 with eight homers and 37 RBIs in just 277 at-bats.
Carlos Gonzalez (CF) – One of the most underrated outfielders in the game, Gonzalez just continues to go under the radar in Colorado. He hit .330 with 17 homers before the All-Star break, but just .261 with five homers after it.
Troy Tulowitzki (SS) – Was on a nine-game hitting streak while going 14-for-36 (.389) with four homers when his season ended on May 30th last year. Tulo is the best shortstop in the business when healthy.
Todd Helton (1B) – The veteran played in a career-low 69 games last year due to a hip problem that required season-ending surgery. He returns for his 17th big league season and will turn 40 in August.
Michael Cuddyer (RF) – Was having a career year with 16 homers and 58 RBIs in just 358 at-bats before having his season cut short due to an oblique strain. The Rockies will welcome a healthy Cuddyer back to the lineup.
Wilin Rosario (C) – His .530 slugging percentage last year was the highest by a rookie catcher since Mike Piazza’s .561 mark in 1993 which stands as an MLB record. Rosario hit .270 with 28 homers and 71 RBIs in just 396 at-bats.
Chris Nelson (3B) – Had a .881 OPS in 180 at-bats after the All-Star break compared to a .733 OPS in 165 at-bats before it. Nelson’s strong finish has him in position to win the opening day third base job.
Jhoulys Chacin (RHP) – Came off the DL in August and finished 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA over his final nine starts. Chacin is the clear Ace of this staff and needs to prove he can go a full season.
Jorge De La Rosa (LHP) – Had a slow comeback from Tommy John surgery in June of 2011. De La Rosa didn’t make his first start for Colorado last year until late September, finishing 0-2 with a 9.28 ERA in three starts.
Juan Nicasio (RHP) – Struck out 54 over 59 innings before suffering an injury to his kneecap in 2012. Nicasio returns healthy this season after making just 11 starts last year.
Drew Pomeranz (LHP) – Went 1-6 with a 6.02 ERA over 15 starts last year. Pomeranz threw four or fewer innings in 10 of those 15 outings.
Jeff Francis (LHP) – Went 3-2 with a 4.97 ERA over his first 10 starts before closing 3-5 with a 6.06 ERA over his final 14. Francis’ best years are clearly behind him.
Rafael Betancourt (RHP) – Saved 31 games in his first season as closer for the Rockies, which was the fourth-highest total in franchise history. Betancourt did blow seven saves, but he finished with with a solid 2.81 ERA and 57 strikeouts over 57.2 innings.
4th Place NL West & OVER 71.5 Wins – The Rockies can’t possibly have as bad of luck in the health department as they did a year ago. Their top three starters heading into 2013 all made 14 starts or fewer last year, so if even two of the three can manage to make it a full season, this team will be much-improved. Colorado also only received 47 games out of their best player, Troy Tulowitzki. A healthy return by Tulo, and this is going to be a much more explosive lineup. Cuddyer returns healthy, and Fowler, Rutledge and Rosario all had very productive seasons a year ago. This is still one of the worst rotations in the league, but I look for the Rockies to be much improved and to finish with 72-plus wins in 2013.
|2013 Colorado Rockies Odds|
|Total Regular Season Wins||O71.5 (-115)|