Entering the 2012 MLB season managers Robin Ventura and Mike Matheny were called upon to do something that they had never done at any level. Combined, the two tallied up 174 wins to only 151 loses in their inaugural seasons as MLB managers. Furthermore, when Colorado Rockies General Manager Dan O’Dowd hired former Rockie and current High School coach Walt Weiss, the comparisons ran ramped. However, the scenarios are rather different and the Rockies have plenty of decisions to make heading into the 2013 season.
Weiss will take over a club that was 64-98 in 2012 and started 14 different pitchers throughout the season.
While, pitching has never been a strong point for any Rockies team, 2012 was historically abysmal as no starter had an era below 4.43. A team ERA of 5.22 cannot be repeated in 2013 if Weiss wants to be a mainstay in Colorado. However, what exactly is the solution? Christian Friedrich was a first round pick back in 2008, however in 16 starts last season he allowed 14 home runs with a 6.17 ERA. The rotation is a long way from respectable and as long as Coors Field is home of the Rockies the starting pitching free agent pool will always be shallow. O’Dowd has some decisions to make.
The silver lining is of course the Rockies young and explosive offense. A dazzling surprise .300 season from Dexter Fowler combined with the emergence of power hitting catcher Wilin Rosario who slugged 28 home runs last season while driving in 71 are great signs. In addition, Troy Tulowitski only played in 43 games last season. Tulo is seen around the league as a five tool player, who has the career .292 average, two gold gloves and 130 career home runs to back it up. The offense load will increase and as the struggle to find quality starts from the rotation continues, perennial MVP candidates Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitski must continue to produce.
What worries me the most is Walt Weiss’s first MLB contract being a one year deal. The alluded Mike Mattheny and Robin Ventura received two and three year deals respectively. Teams around the league rebuild and retool, however, giving Weiss a one year deal shows a lot of impatience from the front office. If Weiss really is the guy to lead the Rockies to another World Series why not show a little more faith towards the new manager?