Another major disappointment last year, the Colorado Rockies backed up their 2007 World Series appearance with a 74-88 record in 2008.
What I saw was overachieving down the stretch in 2007 and lots of bandwagoning going on in 2008. Then Rockies’ managements delivers the critical blow to 2009’s season.
Matt Holiday, the centerpiece of the Rockies offense (747 runs last year) was shipped off as the Rox knew they needed to get something rather than risk losing him to free agency after 2009. What they got in return was some young (mostly) unrealized talent.
The Rockies projected opening day starter, Aaron Cook is currently third all-time in wins for the Rockies with 52 and needs just 7 to become the franchise leader (so long as he wins more than Jeff Francis, 51, does). Can you name which two former Rockies have more wins for the franchise.
The Rockies aren’t the Padres or the Mariners. By that I mean they are willing to make moves to get better now, while still preparing for the future. Adding Huston Street and Alan Embree to the bullpen should help overcome the loss of closer Brian Fuentes. The Rox did up their rotation some as well, with innings eater Jason Marquis and youngster Greg Smith. As an overall, the pitching should be slightly improved.
Dealing away Holliday may not cripple the offense, but it’s not like Todd Helton is Benjamin Button. He’s still getting older, while Garret Atkins, Ryan Spilborghs and Clint Barmes are still virtual gambles as impact players. I don’t see any scenario where Carlos Gonzalez and Matt Murton (the two offensive pieces of the Holliday deal) make up the offense they lost.
Jason Jennings pitched for the Rockies from 2001-2006 and accumulated 58 wins; while Pedro Astacio spent 1997-2001 in Colorado racking up 53.
Somebody else will be dealt before the deadline this season. It won’t be Troy Tulowitzki, but don’t be shocked if Atkins is sent packing even after getting an extension, especially if the Rox struggle out of the gates.
The Rockies have NOT improved their team to the point they win more games and get back into contention. Rather they brought in pieces that will keep the team in a virtual stalemate for at least one more season while they hope the economy recovers to afford them an opportunity at bringing in other names for 2010.
4th Place NL WEST, 71-91.