Preview of the Colorado Rockies' 25-Man Roster
Jim Tracy has set the 25-man roster, and Houston, I don't think we have a problem...do we? Let's take a brief look at the 25 guys who will be on the 2012 Opening Day roster.
C. Ramon Hernandez
C. Ramon Hernandez
- Hernandez had a dismal spring offensively, but he caught 85 innings and only made one error while throwing out 66% of the base stealers. He'll be solid defensively and undeniably crucial to the young pitching staff, but his age will limit his innings.
C. Wilin Rosario
- Rosario had a very impressive spring, leading the Rockies with four home runs, eight doubles, 43 total bases, and a 1.213 OPS. Rosario is currently ranked as the Rockies' number three prospect in their system, and should establish himself as the Rockies main back-stop this season.
1B. Todd Helton
- Helton returns for his 15th season as the Rockies' opening day first-baseman. Helton crushed the ball this spring, with eight doubles, two home runs, ten runs scored, nine RBI, and an OPS of 1.179. It seems like Helton plans to either duplicate what he did last season, or actually improve on his performance.
1B. Jason Giambi
- Giambi is back as the lovable back-up to the Toddfather. He also enjoyed a nice spring, with an OPS of 1.131 in 26 at-bats. This will likely be his last season, so expect to see him flexing up and swinging for the fences.
2B. Marco Scutaro
- Marco didn't hit too well during spring training, but he did get on-base a lot thanks to drawing 15 walks. If Marco can continue to find his way on base at the top of the order, then he'll have a solid season as the Rockies' everyday second-baseman.
SS. Troy Tulowitzki
- Tulo will enter the 2012 with a chip on his shoulder instead of out of his elbow. Look for Tulo to establish himself as the best player in the league, and hopefully walk away with the hard-ware to prove it. MVP, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove.
INF. Jordan Pacheco
- Pacheco looks to be in line to be the starting third baseman after his strong spring performance. He had a .339/.409/.508 line with 30 total bases in 59 at-bats. His defense is worrisome, but he'll hopefully get better with time and consistency.
INF. Chris Nelson
- If Pacheco doesn't get the starting job at third base, then it's safe to assume that Chris Nelson will be the guy. His bat showed some life this spring and his defense is solid. He'll be a strong fourth infielder for the Rockies in 2012.
- Herrera's been flirting with an everyday gig for the past few seasons, and it looks like he'll continue to only flirt. He had a strong start to spring, but petered out towards the end. He'll be used sparingly in 2012, unless there's a major injury to either Tulo or Scutaro.
- Dexter is at it again. High expectations, but a very poor showing during the spring. His defense will be his major asset again this year, but if he doesn't find his swing within the first couple of weeks of the season, then look for Cargo in center with Tyler Colvin in left. If Dexter does find his swing and has a full season of playing time, then he'll win a Gold Glove and be finally be worthy of praise.
- Expect big things from Cargo this year. He has two On-Base guys hitting in front of him with Tulo, Helton, and Cuddyer hitting behind him. He'll load up on ribbies and runs this year, with a moderate amount of stolen bases. Look for him to continue to flash gold out in left field.
OF. Michael Cuddyer
- Cuddy had an average spring training, with nothing spectacular and nothing to worry about. He'll be a great addition to the lineup, and he's going to wear out the gaps in Coors Field. He'll also be a great player to have as a utility player in case of injury or underproduction.
- Colvin was the biggest surprise during the spring, hitting .373 with a team-leading 18 RBIs. He earned himself a spot on the team as the fourth outfielder, and will add a great left-handed bat off the bench. He's shown some power in his previous seasons with the Cubs, so hopefully he'll be able to utilize the Rockies' hitter friendly ballpark and not fall back into his 2011 struggles.
- EY2 has found himself back on the roster as a "super-utility" player, but mostly as a pinch-runner. He's the only player on the team that has a legitimate chance at 30 stolen bases, with pretty much all of the steals coming as a pinch-runner. He'll struggle to find playing time as the Rockies' fifth outfielder and third backup infielder.
- Guthrie will be the Rockies' opening day starter and looks to have his fourth straight season of 200+ innings pitched. He'll have a nice transition from the American League East to the National League West, but don't expect a CY Young performance out of him. Expect more of a .500 pitcher that will eat up innings and be the anchor in their rotation.
- Jamie Moyer, the 49-year-old phenom, finds himself on the roster and as the number two starter in the rotation. It's already been a wonderful feel-good story, but the end might come sooner rather than later with the return of Jorge de la Rosa predicted for June. Moyer will be effective at times, but his age will eventually show. Expect a strong start, but a steady decline as the season progresses.
- Talk about a come-back story. It hasn't even been a year since Nicasio broke his neck, but he's already back and pitching well. He had a decent spring showing, and is expected to pick up where he left of last season before his unfortunate injury. He'll battle Pomeranz for the team leader in strikeouts.
P. Jhoulys Chacin
- Chacin has gone from predicted number one starter to the fourth spot in the rotation. He had a pitiful spring, and the Rockies must feel like it's more of a trend than a fluke, or maybe they're hoping for his Coors Field success to continue come April 9. Hopefully he can start strong like last season, but be able to finish it out this time around.
P. Rafael Betancourt
- Betancourt will attempt his first season as an everyday closer at the age of 36 (37 at the end of April). He knows how to get outs and pitch effectively, and he'll rack up well over 30 saves by season's end. The only thing that's worrisome is the extremely long 9th innings he'll be inevitably be orchestrating.
P. Rex Brothers
- Brothers has a lively arm and he's ready to unleash it on the league this year. He had 13.1 SO/9 last season and he followed that up with an impressive spring training this year. He'll be a reliable lefty out of the pen in 2012, but expect him to be closing games out by 2013. The next Billy Wagner anyone?
P. Matt Reynolds
- Reynolds is another lefty in the pen that can strike batters out, but he also struggles with keeping them off the base paths. He didn't have as an effective season as Rockies' fans and personnel hoped for last season, but look for him to take a stride forward in his sophomore season. He'll have close to 9 SO/9 with a WHIP around 1.2 and an ERA around 3.75.
- Belisle had decent season in 2011 and he should have another effective season in 2012. He's a reliable righty that should be able to hold teams in the 7th and 8th innings of games. He will look to decrease his Inherited Scored Percentage for the fourth consecutive season in a row (53%-27%).
P. Tyler Chatwood
- Chatwood had a dreadful spring training that will hopefully check it's bag at the Opening Day door. He quickly went from starting rotation consideration, to bullpen consideration, to just barely making the roster. He's a ground-ball pitcher that wants to strike batters out. Instead of keeping the ball down, it's been creeping higher into the strike-zone and into the sweet-spot of hitter's bats. He needs to play to his strengths to have any success come Opening Day.
P. Esmil Rogers
- Rogers, once a promising starter, is now in the Rockies' bullpen. The Rockies continue to have faith in Rogers, even after having two back-to-back seasons of horrific pitching. This is a case where things can only get better...right? There doesn't seem to be any improvements from last season, so expect him to be sent down once Josh Outman gets over his bizarre injury (pulled oblique during a bout of vomiting).
P. Josh Roenicke
- Roenicke had a stellar spring training and earned himself a spot in the bullpen. He out-pitched Rogers and Chatwood and is now in a battle with them to stay on the Roster once Outman and Drew Pomeranz return. If he extends his spring training into the regular season, then he should have no problem. He'll pitch effectively and will prove himself as a solid right-handed option for the Rockies' bullpen.
Notable Players Who are Actually on the 25-Man Roster:
26. Drew Pomeranz
- Pomeranz will start the season in Triple A, but only to pitch a game to make sure his thumb is healed and ready to go by April 15. He'll slide right into the fifth spot in the rotation and will have a breakout season. He was easily the best starting pitcher this spring for the Rockies, and will make all of the Rockies' fans and players forget about Ubaldo What's-His-Face.
27. Josh Outman
- As stated earlier, Outman the hurler is out due to hurling. There's no timetable for his return, but he'll be sporting his stirrups on the mound soon. Expect him to steal either Chatwood's or Rogers' spot in the bullpen. After his return, expect a solid season out of him and a great fan following.
28. Jorge de la Rosa
- Jorge is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he's expected back in June and is also expected to be plopped right back into the rotation. Barring any setbacks, de la Rosa should be back to form and should be able to get his expected 4+ ERA and 1.5 WHIP with 8 SO/9. His return will give the Rockies a mid-season spark that they might need.