"Pass Me My Inhaler": 2007 Colorado Rockies Season Preview

That's right intrepid reader, we're firmly rooted in the NL West. So, climb on the back of my Vespa and hold on tight because we're taking a trip up into the mountains of one of our nation's squarest states Colorado. Woosh!

Welcome to Denver, home of the only team in the league that has a built in excuse for losing. Lucky bastards. Surely you're all aware that I'm talking about the "thin air." Supposedly, two things happen at a mile above sea level, the ball travels farther and breaking balls don't, well break (science time: both due to less air resistance). Now, I've got the solution to the whole problem but we'll get to that in a second. The truth of the matter is that you can't really blame a condition that happens to affect both teams equally as being a disadvantage. Sorry. Now, the argument becomes that they can't get pitchers to come there because the park will hurt their stats. This is ridiculous for two reasons. Anybody who looks around the league sees the good teams developing their own pitching. Unless you have a problem convincing players to move from AAA to the majors, this avoids any problems. Plus, players (and especially slimeball agents) will follow the money. If the Rockies offered Gil Meche $56 million (god knows he deserves it) he would already own a chalet on the slopes.

I guess what I'm saying here is they need to stop complaining and put a competitive team on the field. Of course, if you're not willing to quit crying and are looking for the quick and dirty solution to the whole problem, you've come to the right place. It's oh so simple. You want the air to be a little thicker, put a nice big polluting factory or two next to the stadium. Before you know it, it's going to be like pitching in a sandstorm. That'll put some snap on your slider. Just be sure to hold your breath until you can get back to the oxygen machine in the dugout.

Taking an actual look at the team... well... it's pretty simple. The mountain men have some real studs in the field. Your Matt Hollidays and Garrett Atkinses of the world are going to produce as you'd expect and develop nicely. Plus, they somehow managed not to trade Todd Helton this off-season for whatever reason. So, the lineup is not half bad, minus a few holes that everybody but the Yankees has. But, let's look at the starting pitching. Here's the projected five starters' stats from last year:

Player        ERA    Record
A. Cook 4.23 9-15
J. Francis 4.16 13-11
R. Lopez 5.90 9-18
B.H. Kim 5.57 8-12
T. Buchholz 5.89 6-10
I admit, the top two aren't terrible. But, honestly, if you're a Rockies fan do you want to be cheering for the team trying to resurrect the careers of both Rodrigo Lopez and Bhung-Hyun Kim? Talk about a pitching coach's nightmare. Oh and if you look a little closer at the numbers you'll surely be asking the same question I am: "How the hell did Rodrigo Lopez get 26 starts last year?" No wonder the Orioles were crappy last year. Good luck seeing a resurrection out of him in Colorado.

Prediction: I can see Helton really starting to wear down and missing some games this year. They can't afford to lose any offense so I'm going to say they'll end up even worse than last year and finish at the bottom of the division.


Notorious B.O.B. said...

I like that you said "resurrect" Rodrigo Lopez's career as if to imply he was once good. Maybe Rodrigo can overcome physics and throw biting curveballs in the thin mountain air.

Gage said...

You make a strong point. Poor word choice on my part. Rodrigo Lopez is worthless and always has been. He should be put down.

trout said...

I think they're counting on big things from Taylor Buchholz, if not this year then soon. He's the one they pried off of the Astros for Jason Jennings (arguably the Rockies best pitcher last year)--and one of the guys in the package the White Sox were apparently so close to trading Jon Garland for.

YouTellEmKellen said...

The big steal of the Jennings deal was Jason Hirsh who was the Astros top pitching prospect. Got hit around quite a bit last year in the bigs, but has a been a freak in the minors. Regardless, Coors kills pitchers so it doesn't really matter how good he's been in the minors/majors anyway now does it?