Rockies can't count on Tulowitzki, Gonzalez for bleak-looking 2015 – SI.com
This week, SI.com is previewing all 30 MLB teams, counting down to the No. 1 team in the league. At No. 27: the Colorado Rockies.
2014 Record and Finish: 66–96 (.407), fourth place in NL West (29th overall)
2015 Projected Record and Finish: 69–93 (.426), fourth place in NL West (27th overall)
The Case For
The Rockies have some talent but they need a few things to go their way, namely: Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez must stay healthy; outfielder Corey Dickerson must fulfill high expectations; third baseman Nolan Arenado must continue to mature into a two-way star; first baseman Justin Morneau must prove his 2014 comeback season was not a fluke; and Drew Stubbs and Charlie Blackmon must form a productive platoon in center. If all that happens, Colorado will have a powerful offense to go with an outstanding defensive infield and a defensive upgrade at catcher with Nick Hundley.
The Case Against
Colorado lost 66 games last year and its off-season additions to the 40-man roster were Hundley, a 31-year-old defense-first catcher; Kyle Kendrick, a 30-year-old pitcher with a career 91 ERA+; David Hale, a 27-year-old righty who struck out 4.5 men per nine innings last year; Daniel Descalso, a utility infielder whom the Cardinals non-tendered; John Axford, a former closer who will turn 32 before Opening Day and is on his fifth organization since August 2013; and rookie relievers Jairo Diaz and Jorge Rondon, neither of whom is likely to make the team. The Rockies have won no more than 74 games in any of the last four seasons and, despite switching general managers for just the second time ever, they did nothing substantial this offseason. They are putting all of their eggs in the baskets labeled “Tulo” and “CarGo” and hoping they won’t break.
Even if those two stay healthy—something they haven’t both done in the same season since 2009, when Gonzalez was still a part-time player—Colorado lacks the pitching to be a serious contender. Last year, the Rockies had a staff ERA+ of 88, and both their team ERA (5.05) and fielding independent pitching mark (4.43) were major-league-worsts, and not by a little. Kendrick, Hale and Axford aren’t going to fix that, and Jhoulys Chacin looked so bad this spring that he was released despite being owed $5.5 million this season. And even if top prospect Jon Gray, who has impressed in camp and projects as a future ace, does reach the majors this year, he’ll likely do so … – Click Here To Visit Article Source