Rockies spring training 2013 should be, shall we say, intriguing.
That's an apt description, and certainly a charitable one, for a team coming off a 98-loss season. The issues confronting new Rockies manager Walt Weiss are varied and numerous.
Can he count on shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to be healthy, productive and a team leader? How productive can 39-year-old first baseman Todd Helton be in what's likely his final season? Who will play third base, and for how long? And can Wilin Rosario develop into a competent big-league catcher?
Of course, the biggest issue of all is starting pitching. Forced to go with four rookies in the rotation for much of last season, Colorado starters posted a major league-worst 5.81 ERA.
The projected core pitchers of that rotation — lefty Jorge De La Rosa and right-handers Juan Nicasio and Jhoulys Chacin — were supposed to deliver last season. Instead, injuries derailed them. A year later, they are being counted on again.
What optimism there is around the team comes from youthful talent in the field. From outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler, to rookie second baseman Josh Rutledge, to utilityman and .309 hitter Jordan Pacheco, the Rockies' lineup has a chance to be versatile and dangerous. In the field, however, there's much work to do. The Rockies' 122 errors were the most in the majors last season.
Colorado Rockies season preview by position
Denver Post | Feb 10