The Colorado Rockies seem like a difficult team to project, or at least they do to those of us who would like to think that there is a scenario in which they can reach the playoffs.
For many, though, the Rockies are simply a last place team. And if their best case scenario is a .500 record and a finish in the middle of the division, well, then they aren’t so tough to figure out because that places them among a number of teams who are only OK and probably bad.
But that’s not fun, and obviously for our purposes here we would like to think that the upside of a team with Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and a nice trio of starting pitchers is enough that we can reasonably think of the Rockies having everything click and making a run to the playoffs.
Best Case Scenario: The Colorado Rockies win 89 games, good enough for their first ever NL West title.
- Injuries lampoon the Los Angeles Dodgers, both in the lineup and in the starting rotation: we’re not into cheering for or predicting injuries here, but we can acknowledge that the Dodgers have health concerns with their most important players.
- San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks underachieve
- San Diego Padres defer breakthrough season for one more year
- Justin Morneau hits left-handed pitching: at least enough that the Rockies can have the stability they desire at the first base position, and certainly enough that he puts up adequate power numbers for the year
- Healthy starting rotation: Tyler Chatwood and Jhoulys Chacin return from injury and stay in the rotation while Brett Anderson is able to throw 180+ innings. Combined with Jorge De La Rosa, the team has a playoff-worthy rotation.
- Nolan Arenado‘s offense breaks through
- Dominant Rex Brothers
- Eddie Butler‘s arrival: sooner than later, with the kind of instant impact rarely seen from Colorado pitching prospects
- Some dude plays center field well: although it might end up being a Drew Stubbs/Corey Dickerson platoon
- Wilton Lopez bounces back, Boone Logan pays off
- Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez stay healthy
Worst Case Scenario: The Colorado Rockies struggle through another injury-plagued, poorly pitched last place season
Troy Tulowitzki and/or Carlos Gonzalez do not stay healthy: at least not together, and the Tulo trade rumors heat up again and actually have substance
- Bad health in the rotation
- The Dodgers are dominant: win 98 games
- The Giants bounce back: snag the second Wild Card
- The Padres live up to their billing as a dark horse team: end up with 85 wins
- Tyler Chatwood regression
- Too many Drew Stubbs at-bats against right-handed pitchers
- Too many Justin Morneau at-bats against left-handed pitchers: the Rockies need to take a cue from a team like the A’s and make platoons part of their identity. They might not, and it might be part of the reason they are bad.
- Corey Dickerson not used enough: either sits on the bench too much or is left to mash Triple-A pitching so that he has a chance to “play everyday”
- Wilin Rosario somehow gets worse behind the plate
- Bullpen falls apart, again
- Nolan Arenado sophomore slump at the plate: ends up with worse numbers than those put during rookie season
- The front office remains in tact for next season
But hey, a sour note is no way to end this, so here’s a Wilin Rosario home run to brighten things up.
Tags: Colorado Rockies