Spring Postcard: Rockies have look of an annual contender
The Rockies have depth, youth and talent -- all for the relatively low payroll of $80 million -- and they appear to have no obvious holes. This is a tribute to the fine work of GM
"He's right there, knocking on the door,'' said one competing GM. He will get the Opening Day start as he tries to improve on his 15-12 record and 3.47 ERA and take that next step. Only a hardcore fan could name the entire rotation, but it's one of the better ones in baseball, with
Rosario, a catcher, is a big-time prospect who can do it all. Well, almost all. "The only thing he can't do is run,'' Rockies coach
Mora is the new face who could find himself in many different places around the field. He's playing just about everywhere but catcher this spring, and his versatility enhances this team's incredible depth. He also has something to prove after having to sign a non-guaranteed contract for less than 15 percent his salary in Baltimore ($1.25 million, from $9 million) following a terrible 2009 with the Orioles.
A vocal veteran starter wouldn't hurt, perhaps someone like
The one position battle will likely carry over into the season, as manager
The greatest strength is that there is no obvious weakness. They are deep in the rotation and pen, and around the field, as well. The bench is among the best in baseball, with backup
There is a lot of balance to one of baseball's best-built and most efficient clubs as well -- though if there's one quibble, they are slightly left-handed with Gonzalez, Helton, Smith, Giambi,
Smith can hit. He hit .293 with 15 home runs last year and is good enough to start for most teams. But here, where talented youngsters Gonzalez and
Helton, who turns 37 this year, hit a very typical .325 last year and still seems to have the attention of all the kids in the locker room. Helton, whose lengthy contract was extended at a cut-rate $5 million per year through 2013 this spring, and Giambi provide a nice balance of veteran leadership, with Giambi there for levity, sagacity and clutch hits.
This is a team that finished 74-40 under just-hired manager