The trade last season of Ubalbo Jiminez could have signified the beginning of a rebuilding phase in Colorado. But, the team has seemed to retool itself well for this season. Offensively, they added Michael Cuddyer from the Twins, Casey Blake from the Dodgers, Marco Scutaro from the Red Sox and Ramon Hernandez from the Reds to give the lineup a different look. They are hoping new pitching acquisitions Jeremy Guthrie, Guillermo Moscoso, Tyler Chatwood, Josh Outman and even Jamie Moyer can blend in with their young starting pitchers. They may need one or two of them to pitch in relief, as the relief core is kind of thin.
CF Dexter Fowler needs to cut down on the strikeouts (130 in 2011) and get on base more, utilizing his speed. Scutaro (.299, 7, 54) should thrive in Coors Field and without the Boston media. Carlos Gonzalez (.295, 26, 92), Troy Tulowitzki (.302, 30, 105) and Cuddyer (.284, 20, 70) should give them a middle of the order to be wrecking with. Veteran Todd Helton (.302, 14, 69), Blake and Hernandez (.282, 12, 36) round out the batting order for the Rockies. Blake played in just 68 games for the Dodgers last season after hitting .248, 17, 64 for them in 2010. Tyler Colvin comes over from the Cubs in a trade for Ian Stewart. Both of whom had 2011 seasons to forget. Jason Giambi continues to be a threat off the bench. Charlie Blackmon, Eric Young, Jr and top catching prospect Wilin Rosario lead a strong bench.
The starting pitching staff is deep, if not strong. Jeremy Guthrie (9-17, 4.33) leads the staff followed by top pitching prospects Drew Pomeranz and Alex White. They made just 4 and 7 starts last season, respectively, but will have a huge impact on the rotation. Jhoulys Chacin (11-14, 3.62) has the number four spot. The last spot will go down to Guillermo Moscoso (8-10, 3.38), Josh Outman (3-5, 3.70), both of whom were acquired in the Seth Smith trade with Oakland, and Tyler Chatwood (6-11, 4.75) and 49 year old Jamie Moyer, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery. Both Outman and Chatwood could relieve, as bullpen is tight.
With Street and Lindstrom gone, Rafael Betancourt (2-0, 3.00 in 68 games) is the closer with Matt Belisle (10-4, 3.25 in 74 games) is the primary set-up man. Esmil Rogers, who was a starter last season, will have a role in the pen and LHP Matt Reynolds (1-2, 4.09 in 73 games) is their best option from the left side. In addition in using some starters as relievers, they may flip a starter or two to get some bullpen help.
I think the Rockies will surprise some people. I am not sold on Jim Tracy as the manager, but they should be able to score enough runs to compete in the NL West. Three NLW teams are better than them, at this point, but they should be in the race. Vegas gives them an 81 for the O/U. I say over, but slightly at 83-79, fourth place in the NL West. If Pomeranz and White have big rookie seasons, this team could be the Arizona Diamondbacks of last season and take the division. I just don't think the rotation is deep enough at this point.