This is the 3rd of a 30 part series previewing this years MLB season
Last year the Rockies went on a tear to end the season winnning 21 of 22 before being swept in the World Series by the Boston Red Sox. To get into the playoffs they won a one game playoff against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. The Rockies however lost some critical part of their team last year in 2B Kaz Matsui, UT man Jamey Carroll, and 2 solid RP in Latroy Hawkins and Denny Bautista. To fill those wholes however the Rockies brought in 2B Marcus Giles, P Luis Vizcaino, and P Jose Capellan.
The Rotation:(Last years statistics)
1.Jeff Francis-L- 17-9, 4.22 ERA, 215.1 IP, 165 K's
2.Aaron Cook-R- 8-7, 4.12 ERA, 166 IP, 61 K's
3.Ubaldo Jimenez-R- 4-4, 4.28 ERA, 82 IP, 68 K's
4.Franklin Morales-L- 3-2, 3.43 ERA, 39.1 IP, 26 K's
5.Jason Hirsh-R- 5-7, 4.81 ERA, 112.1 IP, 75 K's
The Rockies rotation is very young. Jeff Francis is a good pitcher but is not a #1. Aaron Cook has learned to do the impossible, pitch effectfively at Coors Field. Ubaldo Jimenez has a ton of potential. He has a 100 MPH fastball. A sharp breaking slider. A nasty curve and a developing change. Look for a solid year from him. Morales pitched alright last year as a rookie but the question with him is if he will be effective through a whole year. Jason Hirsh was decent last year but got hurt mid-season. It will be interesting to see if he can bounce back this year.
LR-Kip Wells-R- 34 G, 162.2 IP, 7-17, 5.70 ERA
LR-Jose Capellan-R- 17 G, 26 IP, 0-3, 5.54 ERA
MR-Ryan Speier-R- 20 G, 18 IP, 3-1, 4.00 ERA
MR-Taylor Bucholz-R- 41 G, 93.2 IP, 6-5, 4.23 ERA
MR-Luis Vizcaino-R- 77 G, 75.1 IP, 8-2, 4.30 ERA
SU-Brian Fuentes-L- 64 G, 61.1 IP, 3-5, 3.08 ERA, 20 S
CP-Manny Corpas-R- 78 G, 78 IP, 4-2, 2.08 ERA, 19 S
Manny Corpas took over the closer's role mid season when Brian Fuentes sturggled. With Fuentes now moving to the 8th inning role and the signing of Luis Vizcaino that gives the Rockies a very good late innings trio. Bucholz and Speier should be the other middle relievers and Capellan and Kip Wells a starter a year ago for the Cardinals should be the spot starter.
1.CF Willy Taveras- .320 BA, 2 HR, 24 RBI, 64 R, .367 OBP
2.SS Troy Tulowitzki- .291 BA, 24 HR, 99 RBI, 104 R, .359 OBP
3.1B Todd Helton- .320 BA, 17 HR, 91 RBI, 86 R, .434 OBP
4.LF Matt Holliday- .340 BA, 36 HR, 137 RBI, 120 R, .405 OBP
5.3B Garrett Atkins- .301 BA, 25 HR, 111 RBI, 83 R, .367 OBP
6.RF Brad Hawpe- .291 BA, 29 HR, 116 RBI, 80 R, .387 OBP
7.2B Marcus Giles- .229 BA, 4 HR, 39 RBI, 52 R, .304 OBP
8.C Yorvit Torrealba- .255, 8 HR, 47 RBI, 47 R, .323 OBP
9. Pitcher's spot
The Rockies have one of the best lineups in the NL with the #2 through 6 hitters all having more than 17 HR and all hit over .300. Evn if these guys din't play at Coors they would have good #'s but still that Rocky Mountain Air sure helps that little white ball fly.
Projected finish in the NL West- 3rd
Projected Record- 87-75
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