Monday, January 30, 2012

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Rockies Organization Catches Its Breath. Prepare for Scottsdale.

It’s getting to that time of year. The SuperBowl is around the corner and us baseball fanatics enter a period known by many as the “dark ages”: the time between the end of the football season and the start of spring training. Nothing on TV but college basketball and the occasional hockey or NBA basketball game. These, however, are not baseball. So start watching those highlights from last year (though there were few) and get stoked, because Rockies’ nation is in for a crazy 2012 ride.

This has been arguably the most hectic offseason in Rockies’ history. Players have been signed and traded even before putting on a jersey (Slowey). The front office actually pursued veteran talent to accompany rising stars. GM Dan O’Dowd and his stats geeks have put before us a rag-tag group of champions that they believe will give us a shot at the title. Let’s see who we’ve signed.

The biggest signing was that of ex-Twin, Michael Cuddyer. The outfielder batted .284 with 20 homers and 70 RBI in 2011, and that was in pitcher-friendly, Target Field in Minneapolis. Coors Field will give a nice boost to his offensive production. The Rockies dealt him a 3 year, $33.5 million deal on the table and he gave his agent a big “Oh hell ya!”. Seth Smith couldn’t hit lefties enough to stay on the team, so the Rox gave him the finger and sent him to Oakland for pitchers Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso. The rest will hopefully be history. Cuddy is projected to bat fifth behind Cargo-witzki and play right field.

The Rockies lackluster offensive production from second base was improved through trading pitcher Clayton Mortensen for Red Sox’ Marco Scutaro. Marco is a career .270 hitter, but more importantly has a .338 OBP, which will be great for batting second in the lineup. At 36, he’s no stud at second defensively, but his offense should be solid enough to keep him there. That and the $6 million, one year deal.

Two more old guys were brought on to help the Rockies youth filled team. Former Dodger, Casey Blake, signed a one-year and will play third until rookie sensation, Nolan Arenado, preps for the big show via deep hits of Lodo Magic ’til his eyes bleed. The other veteran is 49 year old, Jamie Moyer, who just won’t die. You may know Moyer from N64 games such as Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball ’97. You think Helton is old, Moyer’s got 10 years on him. He is here to teach our young studs like Nicasio, Pomeranz and White a thing or two about playing some hardball.

So amongst the chaos of the offseason, let’s see the projected lineup and pitching staff as the Rockies head to Scottsdale, AZ: 1. Dexter Fowler CF 2. Marco Scutaro 2B 3. Carlos Gonzalez LF 4. Troy Tulowitzki SS 5/6. Michael Cuddyer RF 6/5. Todd Helton 1B    7. Ramon Hernandez C 8. Casey Blake 3b

Be stoked for: Cuddyer, Scutaro, Nolan Arenado call up.

Rotation Candidates: Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa (late May), Juan Nicasio, Drew Pomeranz, Jason Hammel, Jamie Moyer, Guillermo Moscoso, Tyler Chatwood, Alex White.

Be stoked for: Chacin, Nicasio, Pomeranz.

Bullpen Notables: Closer Rafael Betancourt, Rex Brothers, Matt Belisle, Matt Lindstrom, Zach Putnam, Josh Outman, Matt Reynolds. Be stoked for: Brothers, Putnam, Reynolds.

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