2014 MLB Preview and Rankings: #24 Colorado Rockies

Published: Mar 11, 2014 21:21pm EDT
By Michael Owen, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Mar 11, 2014 @ 09:21pm EDT

 

Spring training games have already begun and Opening Day is still a few weeks away, but the rite of passage that comes every Spring and finally getting to see actual ballgames going on in Florida and Arizona is enough to get any fan going.

There is still a lot of work to be done for some teams, position battles, last minute signings and so on. While one of the best things about Spring Training is that when it starts, anything can happen and every team has a chance.  Unfortunately for many teams those hopes can be shattered and lost by May.

As we begin playing ball, we have a pretty good idea of where each team stands and while each season is unpredictable, things can change at the drop of an Ace lefties torn rotator cuff.  

Over the next few weeks we'll give you a preseason ranking and analysis of each team daily.  feel free to disagree and voice your opinion

So with with all that being said, here we go:

#24 Colorado Rockies

The 2013 Colorado Rockies finished the season with a 10 game improvement over the 2012 season when they finished with a 74-88 record, good for a second straight last place finish in the increasingly difficult National League West.

The Rockies to me are one of the more difficult teams to read.  Are they a team that believes they can win now, as shown by their roster moves, or are they a team trying to rebuild? It's hard to say whether this is a team headed in the right direction because, well frankly, they don't have one.

In the offseason the Rox went out and made some decent additions by picking up Brett Anderson, LaTroy Hawkins, Boone Logan, Justin Morneau, Drew Stubbs, Brandon Barnes and Franklin Morales. Nice pickups, but you have to wonder whether or not those are improvements over the losses of Dexter Fowler, Todd Helton (retired), Josh Outman, Rafael Betancourt, Drew Pomeranz, Jeff Francis and Jonathan Herrera.

Signs really point to a no and really come off as lateral moves.

Offensively, as usual, the Rockies have a lot going for them. Led by Carlos Gonzales and Troy Tulowitzki this offense has a big stroke to them.  The addition of Drew Stubbs should fit in just fine as well.  Throw in one of the best young hitting catchers in baseball 
(although a defensive liability) Wilin Rosario, cagy veteran Mike Cuddyer and if Morneau has another decent season left in the bag, this is potentially one of the strongest lineups in baseball.  That said, it can all come unglued for them really quick if the trend of health issues continue for this squad, specifically Tulo and CarGo.

Another strength of this team is their bullpen.  LaTroy Hawkins has returned and is expected to be the closer for 2014 before handing the reigns over to Rex Brothers in 2015. Brothers, who is possibly the best left handed reliever this side of Ardolis Chapman, who is slated to be the lefty set up man out of the pen, likely will factor in for some save opportunities as well, while they begin their seasoning of him.

Now, for the bad.  I mean, really bad.  The Rockies rotation comes off as pretty makeshift. On paper they may seem to have the ability to be decent, however every single one of the penciled in rotation has a history of injury problems.  At the top of the rotation Jhoulys Chacin may not be ready to start the season, Jorge De La Rosa has experienced some arm issues early in Spring Training and while Brett Anderson has been sharp so far, it will be hard for the Rox to count on him with his injury history as well. The back end of the rotation finishes it out with Tyler Chatwood and Franklin Morales, who both missed time last year with arm issues. 

If the rotation stays healthy, Colorado could challenge deep into summer, however if the injury bug hits, it could get ugly and fast.

I predict the latter.  If the Rockies suffer another last place finish, or at least don't challenge, it will be time for them to pull the trigger on a rebuild. The worst thing that could happen though is to finish at or around .500, solidifying their lack of direction. 

2014 is a make or break year for the Rockies.  Clearly the 5th best team in the NL West, the upcoming off season could be an interesting one in Denver.

Prediction 74-88

                                                 ***PREVIOUS RANKINGS***

 

30. Houston Astros  62-100

 

 

 

29. Miami Marlins 64-98

 

 

 

28. Chicago White Sox 66-96

 

 

 

27. Minnesota Twins 67-95

26. Chicago Cubs  70-92

25. Toronto Blue Jays 71-91


 

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