Spoke to a local Optimists Club last week about the Rockies. It was like The Smiths singing at a 6-year-old's birthday.

Between feeling equal miscast and buzz kill, I was asked why fans should have hope for the Rockies. One reason is obvious: better health of the pitching staff. The other reason? Improved defense.

Whether Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa and Juan Nicasio limiting their co-pays on the disabled list will help is debatable. Participation isn't enough. They need to perform.

Chacin appears the best bet among the group, given his strong finish last season — 2.84 ERA over the final six weeks after returning from the disabled list — and his new mind-settling, two-year contract worth $6.5 million.