Thursday, February 9, 2012

Colorado Rockies- The Purple Mountain Tragedies

What has happened?  The Colorado Rockies are home to two of the game's brightest young stars, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, yet have fallen from the NL West grace, and fallen hard.  The Rockies finished fourth in the NL West for the 2011 season, a miserable 21 games behind the first place D-backs.  All season long the Rockies lacked a certain excitement and energy that slugger "CarGo" had in recent seasons provided.  At times, skipper Jim Tracy looked absolutely helpless, as his club slid downhill as the season progressed.  After trading away Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians for a handful of minor league-rs, the pitching staff posted an agonizing 22-32 record during the months of August and September.  So what viable options are there for the Rockies?
Rockies skipper, Jim Tracy.

Well unfortunately, the one they approached was not one of them.

During the off season, every other team in the NL West re-energized their clubs with new stars and/or contracts to help pursue success in 2012.  The division winning D-backs took major strides in improving their rotation, acquiring young and talented hurler Trevor Cahill from the Athletics, as well as resigning Joe Saunders.  The Dodgers, though in the midst of financial turmoil, were successful in signing NL MVP runner up Matt Kemp, to an 8 year $160 million deal.  The SF Giants resigned 2 time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, and will benefit hugely from the return of the NL ROY Buster Posey, as he missed the majority of the 2011 season with injury.  The Padres lost ace Mat Latos, but acquired young slugger Yonder Alonso to the lineup, who is sure to add some pop to desolate Petco Park.

So that leaves the Rockies...

With all their division opponents adding off season talent, predominantly young, why were Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd and the front office staff so persistent on getting older?  The Rockies made 5 major off season acquisitions, 4 position players and 1 pitcher:  Michael Cuddyer (age 32), Marco Scutaro (36), Ramon Hernandez (35), Casey Blake (38), and Jeremy Guthrie who is 32 years of age.  To claim this group of guys as the ultimate Geritol Gang of the off season would be putting it nicely.

 It is no secret that the Rockies have coveted utility man Michael Cuddyer for a long time, and not having many strong IF positions locked down this move made sense.  Of course, the Rockies don't have but 1 OF position that looks secure, maybe 2 if they will leave Dexter Fowler alone.  I like the Scutaro move as well, this will improve defense up the middle significantly.  But the other three.... OK maybe I can see Guthrie, if he can find some run support.

Let me put it to you this way.  The Rockies projected infield will have a combined age of 174 years.  Dream up a way to prove that statistic a positive one, and they'll have to make a whole pitcher of purple kool-aid for you out in Colorado.

Good luck, skipper.

*Projected NL West Finish: 5th place

1 comment:

  1. Very good article. I really liked the point of the accumulated age that the Rockies have added in just a few off season moves. I think the Rockies are an interesting team because they look like a group that was only a few moves away from major contention, but then they make moves like the Seth Smith trade and really get nothing in return besides a couple of AAAA starters. I do think, however, that Chaucin, Tulo, and CarGo might be enough to push them past the Padres and out of the NL West basement.