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2009 Colorado Rockies Baseball Preview

In 2007, the Colorado Rockies (74- 88) surprised everyone, winning 90 games and taking the National League pennant and then getting swept in the World Series by the Boston Red Sox. Last season, they ended up 10 games out of first. They were weak in hitting and even weaker in pitching. This season the club is trying to rebuild without offensive standout Matt Holliday. That will be a tough task.

The rotation features Aaron Cook (16- 6 W/L, 3.96 ERA, .287 BAA) who uses his powerful 90- 95 mph fastball to induce strikeouts. He also utilizes an off-speed curve to keep batters guessing. Lefty Jeff Francis (4- 10 W/L, 5.01 ERA, .286 BAA), who's coming off a sore shoulder, offers a tailing fastball, a late-breaking curve and an effective change. Ubaldo Jimenez (12- 12 W/L, 3.99 ERA, .245 BAA) throws an exploding fastball that he accompanies with a slider, curve and changeup. He's got a huge upside. Jason Marquis (11- 9 W/L, 4.53 ERA, .267 BAA) is a good back-of-the-rotation starter, while lefty Greg Smith (7- 16 W/L, 4.16 ERA, .243 BAA) leaves little room for error in his finesse pitches. Closer Huston Street () is declining but still competitive.

Clint Barnes (.290 BA, 44 RBI, 11 HR) uses his quick bat to manufacture leadoff hits. Both Todd Helton (.264 BA, 29 RBI, 7 HR) and Troy Tulowitzki (.263 BA, 46 RBI, 8 HR) are hoping to come back from injury shortened seasons that caused their numbers to decline. Brad Hawpe (.283 BA, 85 RBI, 25 HR) and Garrett Atkins (.286 BA, 99 RBI, 21 HR) both show fine power.

At third, Atkins plays below average defense. Todd Helton is sound at the other corner. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki upgrades the infield whenever he walks out on it. He has fine range and an excellent arm. Second baseman Barnes is a skilled player. Catcher Iannetta has fine tools. Carlos Gonzalez in center is a future star, while Hawpe in right and Spilborghs in left are both solid enough.

GM Daniel J. O'Dowd works with a $70 million budget. That means that he has to find up-and-coming players, get rid of high-priced free agents and develop the farm system. He's doing all three quite well. The trade with Oakland that brought Carlos Gonzalez to the Rockies could help seal the future for this team. Manager Clint Hurdle welcomes former manager Jim Tracy as his bench coach. Hurdle connects well with his players but needs to keep them better focused. Tracy could help do just that.

There are some young hitters with fine potential. The rotation is good but the bullpen is sparse. Don't expect the Holliday-less Rockies to immediately make it into the post-season. This team is a work-in-progress. At least one more year is needed to see results.

Read more on the Rockies other NL West division competitors like the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants.

For more info on the Rockies check out the MLB official page for Colorado.

 

2009 Baseball Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season is here and Maddux Sports once again has unveiled their annual preview of this years summer pastime. We go in-depth on all 30 baseball teams as well as our divisional predictions including order of finish. To find your favorite team click on the division links to the right. At anytime you can return to the 2009 baseball preview page.

09 MLB Division Previews


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