Rockies owner Dick Monfort told Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla the Rockies can win 90 games. Most Rockies fans have been optimistic about their team’s chances this season. Hope springs eternal.
It’s easy to do a sales pitch on a baseball team when the games have not started. It’s easy to be optimistic when the first pitch of the 2014 season did not start.
Forgive me if I am cynical about the Rockies this season. This is what happens when they are coming off three losing seasons in a row. This is what happens when they are not contending for the playoffs year after year.
It’s hard to dig this Rockies team. Yes, they spent money to improve the team this offseason. They even made a trade to get a quality starter in Brett Anderson. Still, there are too many questions to make me wonder if they are going to have a winning season.
Rockies fans mention if Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are healthy, the Rockies would have a winning record. It’s that theory they are clinging on when it comes to blind faith. That’s the problem. Those two sluggers are always hurt year after year. The Rockies played 96 games without them last season.
When Tulowitzki suffered a broken rib in June, the Rockies fell apart by losing a lot. They never recovered, and they proceeded to have another losing season. He missed 282 games over the last six seasons. This isn’t the Iron Man we are talking about. There’s no way a Rockies fan and the Rockies can bank on him being healthy this year. There’s a reason he was on the trade block this offseason.
Gonzalez is another player that gets hurt often. There’s always something with his fingers year after year where he gets hurt. He can’t be relied on, either.
Rockies fans are giddy about their starting rotation. This is one where they can feel good about. The starting rotation was efficient last year. There were many quality starts. They have three starters who can be counted on to win every fifth day in Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood. With Anderson and the possible callup of Jonathan Gray or Eddie Butler, the rotation should improve.
Still, the Rockies have to hope De La Rosa can be healthy for the second straight year. He has had a hard time being injury-free in his career. Chatwood has to duplicate last season’s success considering last year was his breakout season. Anderson has to be healthy. Again, there are many questions.
The Rockies should be fine with Latroy Hawkins and Rex Brothers, but the rest of the relievers are a question mark. Wilton Lopez, Boone Logan, Matt Belisle, Adam Ottavino and Chad Bettis are guys that are hard to trust. It does not help the team overwork their relievers in an attempt to preserve their starters in having them on a pitch count of 99 and that’s it.
The bullpen has always been the Rockies’ bugaboo, so it’s hard to believe this year will be any different.
Then, there’s Weiss. No one knows how good he is as a manager. He was underwhelming to watch as a manager last year. He seemed like a manager that was lost. He wasn’t the fiery guy folks hope he would be, and he often did not seem to pay attention in the dugout such as when he looked on rather than not prevent Tulowitzki from being tossed in a game against the Braves in August.
Plus, his inability to manage pitching was a question mark. He was throwing relievers after relievers after each out rather than sticking with that guy.
He is learning on the job, but he does not give anyone the impression that he is going to lead the team to excellence.
When looking at so many questions, it’s amazing why Rockies fans are optimistic about this team. It seems this is more of blind faith more than anything else.
It’s easy to get why Monfort is optimistic. It’s his job to be a salesman in promoting his product whether he believes it or not.
For Rockies fans that have watched bad product year after year, it’s stunning they are upbeat. Monfort must be one heck of a salesman to get the fans to buy in. Remember he did not succeed in business by being lucky.
Maybe it’s me being a writer with no rooting interest, but the Rockies have to do more than just hype up their team to have me sold.
Count me in thinking the Rockies will have 74 wins like last year.
Contact or follow Leslie Monteiro at @LightRodWriter