By David Miller @DavidMillerRant on March 28, 2014
Early during the 2013 season the Colorado Rockies looked like they were ready to compete in the National League West and even spent time leading the division and being a close second now and then until the Dodgers lifted off. It will substantially more difficult to do the same this year because almost everyone has gotten better. Luckily for the Rockies, they also improved over the offseason.
There are going to be a few different players involved at the third outfield position for the Rockies. It could be a very good platoon spot if Dickerson and his counterparts do their part well. This is not where the bread is buttered for the Rockies but if they get a lot of production from Dickerson or someone else steps up, it could be a big step forward.
What do you do with the 2013 National League batting champion? You place him in front of your best hitters. If Cuddyer can repeat his season from a year ago or even get close, the big swings behind him will always have someone on base to drive over or in.
As with the shortstop batting behind him, health is probably going to be the main issue for CarGo in 2014. He is one of the most consistent hitters in the league when healthy and certainly could be a dark horse for the MVP award. That is only possible if he stays healthy however; something he has not done in recent years.
Take everything that was said about Gonzalez and repeat it right here for Tulo. He potentially the best offensive shortstop in MLB but he also has to stay healthy to make that happen. If these two guys remain healthy in the heart of the order for the Rockies, they will have a good chance to score a lot of runs.
Morneau has more on his plate this year than just rejuvenating his career in Colorado. If he has a terrible year, not only will the Rockies miss out on what good he can do when he is right, also Tulowitzki will not see nearly as many pitches to hit in key situations. Morneau could be a great candidate for a comeback award if he does well however.
You don't hear his name mentioned with the offensively great catchers because he just got started but Rosario could grow into one of the top offensive catchers in the game with a powerful 2014. Obviously you could see him and Morneau the other way around if it looks like he is going to hit the ball really well again this year and Morneau isn't. If they all remain a threat, this will be a touch meat of the order to get through.
Arenado seems like a sure thing on defense but the Rockies want and need him to step it up on offense. If his Spring Training numbers suggest anything at all,he could be ready to take that step. While he probably will not win any offensive awards like he could on defense again in 2014, he certainly would be a huge boost if he picks up his batting numbers.
Not everyone can hit like Robinson Cano and that is the case for LeMahieu. He does a solid job in the field and is very capable of doing more with the bat. Though that is certainly not a guarantee, it remains possible. If he doesn't do great things on offense but is solid on defense, the Rockies will still be in fighting shape.
It isn't exactly shocking to say that whether this team wins a lot of loses a lot will come down to their pitching staff. Being somewhat obvious doesn't make it less true though. De La Rosa is the leader of the charge in Colorado. They need him to be the ace they want him to be every fifth day. Look for another good year from him.
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