Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Colorado Rockies first baseman right fielder Michael Cuddyer believes that the team is poised to make the playoffs in 2014. Furthermore, he does not see a disappointing 2013 season as any reason to waver in his belief. He actually sees 2013 as a step in the longer process.
I can’t say I agree, but I can say that I hope he’s right. Here’s what Cuddy believes about the state of the Rockies (courtesy of the Denver Post):
"It’s kind of like building a house. You have to build a foundation. We played really well for three months, then injuries happened and it kind of went downhill from there…But the foundation was laid. We weren’t just playing as a team, but we were playing to win and believing we can win. Whether the outside world sees that doesn’t concern us. If healthy, we have the depth and talent to sustain it for six months.”"
Cuddyer knows this team well by now; even he gives the “if healthy” qualifier, a not-so-subtle nod to the fact that Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez simply must stay on the field if the Rockies want to matter or build on this so-called foundation.
The potential problem with the foundation Cuddyer is talking about, especially the improvement in the starting rotation, is that it resulted from unexpected things coming true. Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa had their own checkered injury histories entering the season, yet they both stayed relatively healthy. Tyler Chatwood emerged in a way nobody could have predicted.
Can we call that a foundation? Perhaps, but you can also envision those positives from last season flipping into negatives just one year later. Hopefully Cuddyer is right that the Rockies built on the solid aspects of 2013 with their activity this off-season, but it might take a few more unexpected developments for this team to realize Cuddy’s playoff aspirations.