It’s one of the annual traditions here at C70 At The Bat, our trip around the majors in blog form. Since 2009, I’ve been asking bloggers from other teams about what’s going to happen with their squad in the coming season. It’s always fun to see what the opposition is thinking and how optimistic some of their most devoted and intelligent fans are. This year, the Pepper series is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 16, coming soon for PC. Preorder this outstanding baseball simulation today!
66-96, fourth in the NL West
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the Rockies. Maybe because they were part of the first expansion class in my baseball lifetime. Maybe because I always appreciated the purple uniforms, unique in baseball. Maybe because we’ve seen the Rockies send the Cards Larry Walker and Matt Holliday. Whatever the reason, I’m usually at least casually rooting for Colorado in situations where there’s no other rooting interest.
That said, it’s been tough for those that regularly follow the team lately. You have to go back to 2010 to find them finishing the season above .500 and 2009 to see them in the playoffs. Offensive exploits in the Mile High City don’t quite fill that void, I wouldn’t think. To talk about the chances the Rockies can turn things around this season, we’ve got The Ghost of Marv Throneberry. Not his actual ghost, as he never played for the Rockies and probably wouldn’t be that helpful here (though apparently he does have a Colorado baseball connection). No, this GMT is one of the stable of writers over at Purple Row, the Colorado entry into the SB Nation universe. You can follow him on Twitter @TheGhostofMarv and the blog itself @PurpleRow.
C7o: What are your thoughts on the team’s offseason? Did they do what they needed to do?
PR: The Rockies, in typical fashion, stood pat while their division rivals made big free agent signings this winter. Jeff Bridich, the new, internally promoted General Manager, legitimately believes that this is a playoff team when healthy. Much maligned owner Dick Monfort agrees (though he felt this way each of the last four years as well). The signings of Kyle Kendrick and John Axford have been met with mixed reviews, although the general consensus is that the more arms we have, the better.
PR: If you define a “full season” as being 150+ games I’d say close to zero. There’s just no evidence to suggest that this is even possible based on our current understandings of the laws of physics. The truth is that if they can combine for 270 games I’ll be happy.
C70: Is there a prospect that you are looking forward to getting a look at sometime this year?
PR: This may be an unexciting answer, but I’m dying to see if Jon Gray is the real deal. Rockies fans are incredibly cynical (and with good reason) about pitching prospects, and the anticipation for Gray’s big league debut has been building practically since the day he was drafted.
C70: What player do you expect to make the greatest strides this year?
PR: Corey Dickerson had a breakout season last year, but his defense and baserunning could definitely use some work. If all goes well, this will be the season where he becomes a household name (who am I kidding? he plays for the Rockies) and makes the first of many All-Star rosters.
C7o: What’s your projection of the team’s record and where will they finish in the division?
PR: 72-90, 4th place. I’ve consistently overestimated the amount of wins for this team for about five years straight. There’s a distinct possibility that could be the case this year as well. I hope I’m wrong.
C70: What do you like best about being a Rockies fan?
PR: The mandatory nightly self-flagellation, Dick Monfort’s iPad, Dinger, racing toothbrushes, pitching at altitude, injuries and the Culture of Value.
Oh yeah, we have a nice ballpark too.
My thanks to our specter friend for his thoughts on the Rocky Mountain crew. It may be a tough year at altitude, but perhaps the Rockies can be the next surprise team!