The Rockies have had back-to-back disappointing seasons and seem to be putting off the inevitable rebuild. They improved a bit last season, gaining about ten more wins but they still only posted a 74-88 record. The Rockies finished last in the NL West division and seem to be a destined bottom dweller again this year. They signed Justin Morneau which is a low-cost, high upside move to replace the retired Todd Helton at first base. Brett Anderson and Drew Stubbs are a part of the Rockies now while Dexter Fowler and Rafael Betancourt have departed.
Justin Morneau comes in at first base and he is actually projected for a better year than Helton's final seasons. Morneau was a solid pick-up for the Rockies especially with his .364 career average at Coors Field. Nolan Arenado returns for his sophomore campaign after winning the Gold Glove. It was the first time a rookie won the Gold Glove since 1957. He's great on defense but his offensive skills are still questionable. He hit for a .267 average with ten home runs but the Rockies would like to see him develop further in 2014. Second base is in flux but DJ LeMahieu is penciled in as the Opening Day starter after putting up over 400 plate appearances last year. If LeMahieu falters, Josh Rutledge will be waiting in the wings. Troy Tulowitzki is the Rockies shortstop and he has been hampered by injuries by the past couple of seasons. Tulowitzki's health will be key to determine how well the Rockies do this season.
Carlos Gonzalez is the other big bat in the Rockies lineup and he was sidelined last year with a finger injury. Gonzalez could put together his most impressive season to date if he can stay healthy. He had 26 home runs despite missing two-thirds of the Rockies last 71 games. Corey Dickersen is slated to start in center field but he will probably has his playing time cut in half by Drew Stubbs. Michael Cuddyer will start in right field after winning the batting title last year. Cuddyer is due to regress in 2014.
Wilin Rosario is one of the most impressive hitting catchers in the game and should contribute nicely to Colorado's cause especially at the hitter-friendly Coors Field.
The Rockies rotation is filled with question marks and they'll start the year at a disadvantage with Jhouyls Chacin being injured. Colorado's staff pitched above their expectation in 2013 and could be in trouble moving forward. The only addition they made was the often injured Brett Anderson who has looked good in spring training. Jorge de la Rosa is currently the number one starter and he threw over 127 innings last season for a 4.3 WAR. Tyler Chatwood had a breakout season, going 8-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 20 starts. Jordan Lyles and Juan Nicasio fill out the back-end but neither of them are anything to write home about. The Rockies do have some pitching depth in the minors with Eddie Butler and Jon Gray each being top pitching prospects in the league.
Colorado had the worst bullpen in the NL during the 2013 season. They made some major moves to try to improve their pen starting with the signing of 41-year old LaTroy Hawkins. It's likely that Hawkins will be pushed out of the closer role for Rex Brothers or even Chad Bettis down the road. Colorado sports some nice depth in their bullpen now with Matt Belisle, Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan. Rob Scahill and Juan Nicasio are both able to pitch long innings when needed. The Rockies bullpen will be improved in 2014.
Colorado didn't do enough over the offseason to put themselves in a place where they can contend in the NL West or the NL Wild Card standings. The Rockies probably need to sell the farm and start over instead of flirting with fifth place in the NL West. Their rotation is their biggest weakness as they don't have five starts who can compete in their division with the improved Diamondbacks, Padres, Giants, and Dodgers. The Rockies should trade Gonzalez and Tulowizki and start to move forward.
Projected Record: 75-89
Odds to Win World Series: +8000