Denver, CO. The 2013 Colorado Rockies roster needs some changes for them to improve from the current 2012 lineup. Perhaps some major trades need to be made to shake up the organization from top to bottom. This year is proving that youth is the key to the future for the Rockies. With the emergence of Jordan Pacheco, Wilin Rosario, Tyler Colvin, and Josh Rutledge, the Rockies have a strong core moving forward on the field, but what does that mean for the veterans that Colorado started the season with? Let’s take a look, position by position, on the moves the Rockies need to make.
Jordan Pacheco has shown drastic improvement in his fielding and is showing he is a professional hitter with excellent stats with runners in scoring position. Pacheco lacks power though and can’t be the everyday third baseman going forward. Nolan Arenado is still immature but is the Rockies future at third base and needs to start the season at third next year. The Rockies should look into trading Jordan Pacheco and Chris Nelson for some pitching prospects while they are playing well. Don’t wait until the off-season, strike while the iron is hot.
Shortstop is a lock in most fans minds with Troy Tulowitzki but that logic should be questioned as Tulowitzki can’t seem to avoid injuries. Troy has shown he is the best defensive shortstop in baseball but if he isn’t on the field he is of no use to the team. If Nolan Arenado can’t make the move up to the majors the Rockies should explore the idea of Tulowitzki at third base. That would take care of the lack of power at the hot corner and Josh Rutledge could seamlessly move over to short with Jonathan Herrera a skilled back up.
Second base should be occupied by Jonathan Herrera. Jonathan has proven this year he is a stellar defensive player and has adequate skills at the plate to move runners up either with a slap base hit or a well executed bunt. DJ LeMahieu is a more than capable backup at second and is still very young going along with the rest of the current youth movement. The signing of Marco Scutaro was a bust and the Rockies just need to use current players to fill in at second.
First base will most likely see the departure of Todd Helton. Even if Helton comes back the Rockies can’t afford to have him starting at first. Todd’s health issues continued this season landing him on the DL and eventually requiring surgery on his right hip. At 39 years old Helton could be more of a player coach and be used in a defensive substitute or DH role in 2013. Tyler Colvin has started to show some excellent skills at first and has the power to anchor the other corner spot offensively. The Rockies also have Michael Cuddyer to play at first although he should continue to play in right field for this team to have it’s best players on the field.
Outfield is pretty set in stone. Carlos Gonzalez is an all-star in left field and is looking to secure another gold glove this year. Gonzalez has replaced Troy Tulowitzki as the face of the franchise and is now the Rockies best player hands down. Dexter Fowler continues to show brilliant defensive skills and his speed makes the enormous gaps at Coors Field look smaller than they are. Fowler has had a tremendous season at the plate currently hitting .307 and leads the team in triples. Michael Cuddyer finishes up the outfield in right field, and can be spelled by Tyler Colvin when he needs rest, and Helton gets a spot start at first.
Pitching is the biggest question. The Rockies may look to bring back Jeff Francis. Although Francis has slowed a bit as he gets older he still brings veteran experience to a very young rotation and has been the best pitcher for the Rockies this season, even though that isn’t saying much. Jhoulys Chacin was brilliant in his first start since coming off the DL and it seems his injury is in the past. Look for Chacin the be the “Ace” of the rotation going into 2013. With youngsters Christian Freidrich, Drew Pomeranz, and Tyler Chatwood, there will be some good battles assuming the Rockies go back to a traditional 5 man rotation. If they decide to go with the piggyback strategy one of the younger pitchers might make for good trade bait in the off-season.
Final change to the organization needs to be finally moving on from Dan O’Dowd. Since his own induced reassignment, the Rockies have looked like a different team under the guidance of Bill Gievett. The Rockies need to make Geivett the permanent general manger and cut ties with O’Dowd. He had his chance, now decisions need to be made by someone with a different philosophy.
Denver Sports Chat – Kris Loco