TMS MLB Preview 2009: Colorado Rockies

March 30, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

SO LONG: Matt Holiday, Brian Fuentes, Luis Vizcaino, Willy Taveras, Corey Sullivan

WELCOME: Thunder Matt Murton, Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Marquis, Greg Smith, Huston Street, Alan Embree,

1. Ryan Spilborghs CF
2. Todd Helton 1B
3. Troy Tulowitzki SS
4. Garrett Atkins 3B
5. Brad Hawpe RF
6. Clint Barmes 2B
7. Chris Iannetta C
8. Seth Smith/Carlos Gonzalez LF

Starting Rotation: Aaron Cook, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Marquis, Greg Smith, Jorge de la Rosa
Setup: Taylor Buchholz
Closer: Huston Street/Manny Corpas

In 2007, the Rockies were God's team. Apparently, the faithful from Coors Field angered their Lord and Saviour. After being swept out of the World Series, the Rockies took a nose dive to 3rd place in the NL West in 2008. Injuries to Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki derailed the offense and inconsistent pitching doomed the Rockies to a 74-88 finish. The NL West remains a very winnable division, but the Rockies are going to have to overcome the departure of Matt Holiday and get some good outings from their rotation if they're going to dethrone the Dodgers. Troy Tulowitzki needs to return to his 2007 form and Brad Hawpe needs to step up his game if this team is to succeed. They have a lot of young talent waiting in the wings, so it's not inconceivable that Helton or Atkins get dealt before the deadline. Prospect Ian Stewart needs a place to play and his bat impressed last season, so look for him to take over the hot corner sometime in '09. If the Rockies get back in the Big Man's graces, they've got a shot at the NL Wild Card, but I don't think they're going to beat the Gov's Dodgers without some pretty impressive bead juggling.

Mr. Sexy Time: Ubaldo Jimenez - He needs to work on his consistency, but Jimenez is one of the best young arms in the game. He posted 172 Ks in 198 innings pitched in 2008, with an ERA of 3.99. Not too shabby for Coors Field. He only surrendered 11 home runs, which is another stat you've gotta love. If his performance in the WBC is any indication, the Rockies were smart to lock this kid up. Plus how cool sounding is a battery of Ubaldo Jimenez and Yorvit Torrealba?

Recycled Backend: Cook and Jimenez are a solid one-two punch, but with Jeff Francis hitting the surgeon's table that's pretty much all they've got. Their other rotation choices all seem to be other teams' discarded reclamation projects such as Jorge De La Rosa (Brewers, Royals), Jason Marquis (Cubs), and Glendon Rusch (Cubs, Padres). Even the humidor is not going help this collection of stiffs.  Much preferable would be seeing the Rockies give Franklin Morales a chance to redeem himself and testing out Greg Smith, netted in the Holiday deal.

Meet The Ginger Jesus: Thunder Matt Murton - Matt Murton has come to the mountains to free the Rockie faithful from mediocrity in 2009. First he has to win a roster spot, but that shouldn't be a problem for the Red-Headed Wonder. Mr. Murton and his strong Christian values should be right at home in the Mile High City. If Thunder gets some regular playing time, look for the Trophy Room to be a busy place this season.

Purple Row
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