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2015 will be a better year for the Colorado Rockies

David Martin Avatar
February 8, 2015
Could the Rockies be good in 2015?

Something that many people don’t know about a Colorado Rockies blogger is that they simply cannot win.

That has nothing to do with the baseball team. It has everything to do with what gets written.

Trust me. Write something about how the Rockies could be good, or how a player is destined for greatness, and the pitchforks come out. Rabid fans looking for blood come calling. The term “shill” is always used when that happens.

The other side is the negative. Write one thing negative about the team and the Positive Polly’s label you a Negative Nancy and remind you of the injuries, the market size, the farm system, and everything else that they can drudge up to show that you are a terrible person and an even worse fan.

One suggestion that always gets thrown out is that a piece is written to attract page views and clicks to the website. Listen, let’s take one step back and think about it. If someone was going to start a blog simply looking for clicks and to make headlines, would they really pick the Colorado Rockies as the team that they wrote about?

I preface this piece with all of that in order to strap in the angry masses for what they are about to hear me say. The Colorado Rockies will be a better team in 2015. In fact, they could even be pretty good.

Make no mistake, every fan of every team is spending the early part of February justifying how if this guy or if that guy does this or that this year that somehow their team will contend. It happens every year and it will never stop. However, for the Rockies they actually could be decent.

Now, don’t start saving money for postseason tickets just yet. There is no talk of representing the National League in the World Series. However, a marked improvement should not only be expected, but it should be demanded.

The majority of the offseason was spent the same way that most offseasons are spent for the Rockies, in silence. However, they have made a couple of moves that should be beneficial to the team.

On Wednesday the Rockies officially announced the signing of Kyle Kendrick. The 30-year-old is certainly no ace, and he isn’t going to get the Rockies over the hump, but it was a very good move, even if they had to overpay for him to be in Colorado.

One year ago, the Rockies were bragging about their depth as they had Franklin Morales, Jordan Lyles and Juan Nicasio all duking it out for the fifth spot in the rotation. The club ended up using somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 starting pitchers, however, it didn’t matter if they only used the first five. They had no chance when two of the three guys fighting for a start every fifth day were Morales and Nicasio. They may have had 15 different guys start games for them, but the last 11 of those men were suspect from the beginning, of course, giving due respect to several young pitchers making their debut before their time.

Kendrick should lock down the fifth position. He isn’t going to be an All-Star, but he could serve as a Aaron Cook-type. He should be a guy who wins half of his decisions and is able to get outs. He won’t dominate anyone, but he also can minimize damage. He is a perfect fifth guy in the rotation.

The Rockies spent so much of their time watching their starting pitching get destroyed. Baseball is so unique in that, despite it being an individual game, momentum plays such a large role. Make no mistake, on days when Morales took the mound, there were plenty of Rockies players knowing they had little to no chance before the umpire put the first ball into play.

Tyler Matzek was also a huge surprise for the Rockies. The former first-round pick struggled his way through the minors, but seemed to relax and take it all in when he finally got the big league call. Maybe the expectations were too great on him out of high school, but it seemed that once he made it to the Coors Field clubhouse that he no longer had to worry about the dubious distinction of being a first-rounder who never saw a big league mound.

Club ace Jorge De La Rosa inked a team-friendly two-year deal right before the 2014 season ended. The confidence that he has exuded on the mound gives no reason to believe that he won’t be able to produce another double-digit win season.

Jhoulys Chacin is the true wild card of the bunch. His 2014 campaign was maddening. When he was on the mound, he seemed disinterested. He often looked like a guy who forgot that he was the scheduled starter that day before being reminded 15 minutes before first pitch that he needed to get loose. His mind looked like he wasn’t in it. Without knowing Chacin that is, of course, pure speculation. However, his season would suggest that either that, or his injury was the reason for his failure.

Throw in a matured Jordan Lyles and Jon Gray and Eddie Butler knocking on the door, along with Christian Bergman, who should he is capable of winning games at the big league level and the Rockies have enough arms to at least bring some confidence to the February fans.

While the changes in the front office don’t seem significant, they shouldn’t be discounted. The poor-me attitude of excuses and blame that were first and foremost in every Dan O’Dowd interview over the past three season had to have taken a toll. The player-blaming attitude of Bill Geivett, along with his constant face in the clubhouse is addition by subtraction.

If Jeff Bridich isn’t the right guy for the job, he hasn’t shown that he is the wrong one. For the better part of three seasons, O’Dowd showed that he was the wrong guy for the job.

A new level of energy and enthusiasm has to be a good thing for this lackluster franchise.

Will the Rockies go to the playoffs in 2015? Simply stated, everything will have to go well. The prospects on the farm, much like in 2007, will have to come up and perform better than their stage of development would suggest that they should perform. The odds are stacked against a true playoff run. Reality suggests that a great season would put them flirting with 81 wins and third place in the National League West.

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