Article Written By: Julian Beck
2013 Record: 74-88 (5th in NL West)
Key Additions: Brett Anderson, LaTroy Hawkins, Boone Logan, Justin Morneau, Drew Stubbs, Brandon Barnes, Franklin Morales
Key Losses: Dexter Fowler, Todd Helton (retired), Josh Outman, Rafael Betancourt (unsigned), Drew Pomeranz, Jeff Francis, Jonathan Herrera
Important players for 2014: Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Morneau, Drew Stubbs, Michael Cuddyer, Willin Rosario, Brett Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa
Not seeing Todd Helton penciled into the lineup at first base for the first time since 1997 will be strange, and the team will be relying even more on Carlos Gonzalez to stay healthy as he moves to center field following the trade of Dexter Fowler. If Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki can stay healthy, the Rockies should have a plus offense, though.
The newest member to play first base for the Rocks will be former MVP Justin Morneau. Morneau is a great left handed hitter that will help protect Cargo and Tulo in the lineup. If there are runners in scoring position, look for Justin to drive them in. He is hoping to have an injury free bounce back year in 2014.
The offense is also carried by young catcher Wilin Rosario, and savvy veteran Michael Cuddyer. Rosario is one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. He has a power bat and is able to drive in big runs, while Cuddyer is a veteran that hits the ball all over the diamond. Cuddyer creates contact and is clutch when a run is needed, batting .331 with 84 RBIs in 2013.
When Cargo and Tulo are both healthy, they create the best 3-4 hitters in all of baseball. Both players are superstars, and thrive well together. Tulowitzki is probably the best all-around shortstop in the MLB. He is a Gold Glove winner out at his position and is able to rock any pitcher that faces him down on the mound. His production at the plate is amazing, with his power, contact rate, RBIs, and plate discipline. While Gonzalez has the total package. His power, contact, speed, defense, and arm strength are one of the best for outfields in the entire league. Cargo is a producing monster and doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon.
While Carlos Gonzalez will be sliding over to center field this season look for Drew Stubbs to anchor one of the corner positions in the outfield. Stubbs has had a very inconsistent career. Many thought his change of scenery to Cleveland will help but it didn’t help as much as he’d like. Maybe playing in the thin air at Coors Field will help with his numbers. He has great power and speed to make him a threat. If he cuts down on his strikeouts and makes better contact he can be a huge factor for this lineup.
Healthy seasons from Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa gave the Colorado Rockies a significantly improved rotation last season. If Brett Anderson can stay healthy, he should make for another plus arm. In the bullpen, LaTroy Hawkins and Boone Logan join Rex Brothers to form what should be a plus late-inning trio.
In 2014, the Colorado Rockies look to play consistent baseball. If their core players in Cargo, Tulo, Rosario, and Cuddyer can stay healthy for most the season, then this offense will have no problem putting runs on the scoreboard in Colorado where the ball flies off the bat. Morneaufor should benefit with runners in scoring position, and the rotation should have a better all around year with Brett Anderson.