The Colorado Rockies went 73-89 in 2011 finishing fourth in the NL West. The season did not go so well and ace Ubaldo Jimenez was dealt in the middle of the season to the Indians for Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Joe Gardner, and Matt McBride. After him being dealt, the rotation really began to fall apart. In the second half, the young Ubaldo-less staff dealt with injuries and inconsistencies. The lineup, other than Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, struggled throughout the season. All of these factors resulted in a disappointing season for the Rockies and had them forgetting the 2011 season and looking towards 2012. Well things are looking pretty good for the team in 2012, especially for their lineup.
This offseason, the Rockies have made some good acquisitions. The biggest name was Michael Cuddyer for 3 years, $31.5M. They also signed free agent catcher Ramon Hernandez after dealing Chris Iannetta to the Angels. They most recently signed third baseman Casey Blake to a 1 year, deal. The addition of these guys will help an already good looking lineup for 2012.
The Rockies lineup is lead by Tulowitzki and Gonzalez who are both capable of putting up MVP like numbers. Having two guys like this is already a great start to the lineup. Here is how I think the entire Rockies 2012 lineup will look:
- Dexter Fowler CF
- Michael Cuddyer LF
- Carlos Gonzalez RF
- Troy Tulowitzki SS
- Todd Helton 1B
- Jonathan Herrera 2B
- Ramon Hernandez C
- Casey Blake 3B
Fowler will be a solid option as the leadoff hitter. He finished the season strong hitting .288/.381/.498 with 5 homeruns and 10 stolen bases. If he is consistent this year I think he could see him hitting around 10 homeruns, 20 stolen bases and a solid triple-slash line. Cuddyer was the big acquisition this offseason and he will really benefit by playing in Coors. He should hit around .270-.280 with an OBP near .350. I think we will see his power numbers increase and he could hit around 25 homeruns. We could very well see Cuddyer playing second base as well and having Seth Smith in left field.
As for the middle of the lineup, it looks great. Gonzalez will post a triple-slash line with 30 homeruns-20 stolen base potential. We all know about Tulo and what he will provide. I think he will defiantly be in the MVP talks this year. We won’t see the 38 year old Helton posting the big time power numbers anymore but he should have a great average and OBP.
It will be interesting to see who plays second base but for now I think Herrera will. He should provide an O.K. average but I’ve read that lots of people look at him as a sleeper for 2012. Hernandez is a good offensive catcher that will post a solid triple-slash line, especially for catchers, and around 10 homeruns. I think the lineup will be rounded out by veteran Casey Blake who should hit around .250 and be able to get on base.
There are also a lot of solid bench pieces as well. Jason Giambi looks to be a lock with a spot on the bench as he will be a good pinch hitting option. Seth Smith could be starting in left field like I mentioned above but I have a feeling he will be dealt before the start of the season. There are some interesting young infielders/outfielders that could all find themselves with a big role off of the bench. The list of potential guys includes Chris Nelson, Eric Young Jr., Charlie Blackmon, and D.J. LeMahieu. Those guys should all provide speed and athleticism off of the bench and will be great backups to give the starters a day off. Another guy we could see on the bench is Jordan Pacheco who would back up at catcher and is capable of playing the corner infield spots. Catching prospect Wilin Rosario could also find himself splitting time with Hernandez at catcher but I think he needs some time at AAA to start the year.
The NL west seems to be up for grabs every year and I think the Rockies lineup will be good enough to keep them in contention for the division title. The pitching rotation still needs to be improved as they are all very young and if that happens, teams will need to watch out for the Rockies in 2012.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Alex White, Carlos Gonzalez, Casey Blake, Charlie Blackmon, Chris Nelson, Colorado Rockies, D.J. LeMahieu, Dexter Fowler, Drew Pomeranz, Eric Young Jr., Jason Giambi, Joe Gardner, Jonathan Herrera, Jordan Pacheco, Matt McBride, Michael Cuddyer, Ramon Hernandez, Seth Smith, Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Ubaldo Jimenez, Wilin Rosario