Coming off of a World Series appearance in 2007, the Rockies stumbled out of the gate and suffered injuries to key players such as 2007 sensation Troy Tulowitzki. Only 4 of their opening day starters played more than 130 games. Todd Helton only appeared in 83 while Tulo only played 101. They finished 3rd in the NL West with a record of 74-88. Another factor in their decline was pitching. They finished 15th in the NL in team ERA at 4.77. Jeff Francis struggled the entire year finishing with an ERA of 5.01 and only throwing 143.1 IP and ending up with an ERA+ of 92. Only 2 starters had an ERA+ of over 100(Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jiminez). Brian Fuentes had to be relieved of his closer duties in favor of Manny Corpas but their bullpen was not a weak spot. Taylor Buchholz and Jason Grilli were bright spots and established themselves as building blocks for the future.
At the plate, Matt Holliday maintained his level of success. His .321/.409/.538 line lead the team in all 3 categories. Holliday and Brad Hawpe tied for the team lead in HRs with 25 and Garret Atkins had a team-high 99 RBIs. Catcher Chris Iannetta, a Team USA selection for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, established himself as the catcher of the future. In his first full big league season behind the plate, Ianetta put up a .264/.390/.505 line while hitting 18 HRs and an 127 OPS+ in 104 games.
OF Matt Holliday(OAK)
P Brian Fuentes(LAA)
CF Wily Tavares(CIN)
RP Luis Vizcaino(CHC)
P Matt Herges(CLE)
P Livan Hernandez(NYM)
P Huston Street(1-year, $4.5 million)
P Greg Smith(1 year deal)
OF Carlos Gonzalez(1-year, $403,000)
P Alan Embree(1-year, $2.25 million plus 2010 option)
P Jason Marquis(3 years, $21 million)
OF Matt Murton(1-year, $430,000)
Jorge De La Rosa
Greg Smith/Franklin Morales
Prospects to Watch
P Frankin Morales
CF Dexter Fowler
P Jhoulys Chacin
P Jeff Francis(arthroscopic shoulder surgery;out for the season)
--Troy Tulowitzki will return to his 2007 form and be the emotional leader on and off the field.
--Todd Helton and his remaining contract will be traded to make room for Joe Koshanksy.
--Garret Atkins will be traded at the deadline.
--Carlos Gonzalez will be the everyday CF by the All-Star Break with Dexter Fowler seeing time as a September callup.
--20-year-old Jhoulys Chacin will be in the bullpen by June. His 98 MPH fastball and devastating circle change are too good to keep in the minors for very long.
Can the offense to sustain losing Matt Holliday from their lineup? I think with a healthy Tulowitzki and more of Ian Stewart and Chris Iannetta that the offense will have enough to compete in the NL West. The big question is whether the starting pitching can rebound and have a better year without Jeff Francis anchoring the rotation. Ubaldo Jiminez looks to be a star in the making. Jason Marquis is a good veteran presence in the rotation. Can Jorge De La Rosa establish himself? Huston Street and Manny Corpas form a good 1-2 punch at the back of the bullpen. Taylor Buchholz and Jason Grilli have to continue their success from last season as well. Clint Hurdle is also in the last year of his contract. I say they will win around 80 games.
Up in the Rockies
Edited by RedOctober3829, 21 March 2009 - 09:13 AM.