30 Teams in 30 Days - Rockies

The Rockies got rid of Troy Tulowitski last year, who continued his struggles with health. It is expected they will trade Carlos Gonzalez this year. Carlos surprised everyone by being able to play in 153 games. That would leave only Nolan Arenado on the roster with All Star potential. The Rockies are another rebuilding team. A team always in search of pitchers.

Strengths - Nolan Arenado was one of ten players in the major leagues who hit 40 or more homeruns last year. No player in the National League hit more than his 42 homeruns. His 130 RBIs was tops in the major leagues. There are those who feel Arenado should be traded along with Gonzalez to bring in a bucket load of prospects, but it would be hard to find a player with his skill set. At only 24 years of age he should still have a potent bat if the Rockies ever figure out how to develop a pitching staff to get them to the playoffs. The Rockies were one of two teams to have two players hit 40 or more homeruns. Injuries have usually prevented Carlos Gonzalez from playing enough games to hit more than 40 homeruns. Last year he got off to a slow start then went on a tear with 36 of his 40 homeruns hit after June 6. He also played in 153 games. Myworld would be surprised if he begins the season with the Rockies.

Weaknesses - Nick Hundley is their starting catcher. He was a backup for the Orioles the previous year and lost his starting job with the Padres the year before that. He does carry a decent bat and the thin Colorado air allowed him to hit .301 with 10 homeruns last year. Tom Murphy is their hope for the future but there are still questions on whether he has enough bat to make it as a starter. They have nothing in the minors that is a sure thing. Ben Paulson had a decent year, but he fell far short of the numbers Rockie fans are used to seeing from the position with Todd Helton and Justin Morneau. Another injury from an injury plagued Morneau gave Paulson the opportunity to play last year. He may end up in a platoon with right handed hitting Mark Reynolds. The Rockies always have trouble finding pitching. The 2016 season will see more of the same unless their young pitching staff sees a maturation process that rivals the Mets last year. No returning starting pitcher reached double digits in victories or posted an ERA below 4.00 last year. That could just be the realities of Colorado. The veteran Jorge de la Rosa will occupy the ace position, then the Rockies will turn it to the kids. Jordan Lyles has never reached his potential when he was a top prospect with the Astros and his struggles continue with Colorado. The Rockies hope his stuff will develop in his third season in Colorado. Youngsters Eddie Butler, Jonathan Gray, Chad Bettis and Chris Rusin will fight for the last three spots in the rotation. Even Tyler Chatwood, who missed all of last year could be in the mix. They have depth in their youth but they have yet to earn a spot. The bullpen has no established closer, but they have two veterans in Chad Qualls and Jason Motte who were closers. They also have the young Miguel Castro and Jairo Diaz who have plus fastballs to become closers by mid-season. It will be a position that will be fleshed out during spring training and probably be fluid all season.

Prospects - Jon Gray was the third player taken in the 2013 draft. The Rockies are counting on him to take over the rotation. He has a plus fastball with a nasty slider but seems to find too much barrel of the bat with his pitches. Miguel Castro was acquired in the Troy Tulowitski trade. His high 90s heat should give him an opportunity to be the closer by mid-season. He lacks the secondary pitches to make it as a starter. Brendan Rogers was also the third player taken in a draft, the Rockies selecting him last year. He carries five tool potential and should be ready to play shortstop after Jose Reyes is ready to depart the Rockies (though Jose would prefer to depart for a winning team before the start of the 2016 season). Trevor Story was supposed to be the shortstop of the future, but second base appears to be his future position. He lacks the consistency to play short and will not usurp Arenado from his third base position. Expect Story to make his major league debut in 2016 and with the injury history of Reyes it could be at shortstop. Jeff Hoffman is another player acquired from the Blue Jays for Tulowitski. Tommy John surgery prevented him from pitching the year the Jays made him a first round pick in 2014. The 2015 season was his debut and he showed two quality pitches in a sizzling fastball and hard breaking curve. David Dahl tends to be injury prone, losing his spleen last year after a collision with a teammate. His bat is solid with the speed and range to cover center field. Raimel Tapia is another quality bat in the outfield who has yet to hit less than .300 in his four year minor league career. He has speed, double digit homerun power and an arm that can fit in right field. Forest Wall is a Rob Refsnyder type of second baseman. He will make it with his bat and not his glove at second base. His weak arm restricts him from playing another position and his minimal power makes first base a poor fit. Ryan McMahon brings the team lefthanded power but plays a position occupied by Arenado. He may have to move to first base. His .300 batting average may have been aided by a minor league high .400 average on balls in play. That could also be an indication when he hits the ball he hits the ball hard.

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