At the beginning of last season the Colorado Rockies were the popular pick to not only win the National League West, but to also represent the NL in the World Series. They had just locked up their two superstars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez to long-term contracts and they had a young group of improving players that were primed to take that next step.
Instead the Rockies fell flat on their face and finished with a 73-89 record. They led the NL West for 38 days before injuries and inconsistent play caught up to them, starting their free fall. Their star pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez, dealt with injuries all through Spring training and into the beginning of the season. He never had a chance to fully heal the thumb on his throwing hand and it showed in his up and down pitching outings, eventually leading to him being traded to the Cleveland Indians. Cargo was injured in the middle of the season and it was left to Tulo to carry the club, which he was unable to do by himself.
Now we come to this season. The Rockies got rid of some of their farm system talent including, Seth Smith, Ian Stewart and Chris Ianetta. All three players couldn’t put it all together in Denver and the organization had to move on. So this offseason they restocked with some veteran talent. They acquired Michael Cuddyer, Casey Blake, Marco Scutaro, and Ramon Hernandez to try and stabilize some of their lackluster positions.
The moves were made to try and change the culture around the Rockies. These additions should help change the mindset to a team-first priority and hopefully add a winning attitude to the clubhouse.
Colorado realized that preseason paper expectations don’t translate to regular season success. They learned this the hard way and have hopefully learned from it going into this season.
It’s always nice to be talked about highly in the preseason and have people expecting big things from the club. However, veteran first basemen Todd Helton is glad nobody’s talking about the Rockies because of what happened last year. He’s just fine with flying under the radar and so are the rest of the rejuvenated Rockies.