It feels like the Rockies have been in rebuilding mode for a decade. It’s been shorter than a decade, but it has felt slow. It appeared like the rebuild was about to take a leap forward when they traded Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays late last year…but the Rockies didn’t make much noise this offseason.
Carlos Gonzalez is still in Colorado. I’m not quite sure why, but he’s still there. He played in 153 games last season and knocked 40 homers. Teams will clearly unload some prospects for a guy like that, right? I’m not sure why they have waited this long.
Can Colorado’s make-shift bullpen last the entire season?
Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Colorado Rockies.
2015 Win/Loss Record: 68-94
Key Additions: OF Gerardo Parra, RP Jake McGee, 1B Mark Reynolds, RP Chad Qualls, RP Jason Motte & RP Brian Schlitter
Key Losses: C Wilin Rosario, OF Corey Dickerson, RP Rex Brothers, 1B Justin Morneau, RP Christian Friedrich, RP John Axford, SP Kyle Kendrick, RP Rafael Betancourt, RP Tommy Kahnle, RP Brooks Brown & C Michael McKenry
Interleague Schedule: AL East
Projected Starters: Nick Hundley, Ben Paulsen, DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, Jose Reyes, Gerardo Parra, Charlie Blackmon & Carlos Gonzalez
Projected Starting Rotation: Jorge De La Rosa, Chad Bettis, Jordan Lyles, Tyler Chatwood & Jon Gray
Closer: Jake McGee
Fantasy Sleeper: 1B Mark Reynolds – I would categorize Reynolds as a ‘deep sleeper’. He’s had really good power numbers in the past. His average has slowly decreased year after year, but tell me Reynolds hitting in Coors Field isn’t extremely intriguing? I’m not sure where his at-bats will come, since I like Ben Paulsen. The issue with Paulsen is that he has trouble with lefties, so a platoon with Reynolds isn’t ideal (he has trouble with lefties too). Keep an eye on Reynolds and if he’s getting at-bats and hitting homers, pick him up.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: SS Trevor Story – Colorado traded Troy Tulowitzki at the trade deadline last year and acquired Jose Reyes in that trade. Reyes has a domestic violence charge pending, so he could miss some time. Story could earn the starting shortstop spot if Reyes gets a long suspension. Story had some nice pop and above average speed. He should hit double-digit homers and steal about the same amount of bases. He’s someone to keep an eye on.
Team Analysis: The Rockies are in a weird spot. They are clearly trying to rebuild, but they held onto Tulo for probably a year too long. The same could be said about CarGo. They are hoping Gonzalez can stay healthy again and produce in the first-half of the season. They can maximize their return. In my opinion, they should have shopped him this offseason.
The Rockies spent many of their top draft picks over the last few years on pitchers. Drafting pitchers is risky, but even more so for the Rockies. Jon Gray was a ‘can’t miss’ pitcher coming into the draft (the Cubs almost drafted him instead of Kris Bryant) and he has looked horrible at home. The same could be said about Eddie Butler. If those picks were wasted, it will be that much longer for the Rockies to get their roster up to speed.
It’s unfortunate the Rockies are in the NL West because they will get hammered by the Dodgers, Giants and possibly the Diamondbacks this year. These young pitchers are being mauled and let’s hope their confidence doesn’t get shattered while learning on the job.
2015 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 71.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 68-94 (5th in NL West)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.