Scottsdale, AZ – The term Todd and the Toddlers from the early 2000s has now in 2012 moved to Todd and the Elders. Not quite as catchy, but much more important. Let’s look at a rundown of some of the veteran leadership now competing in spring training.
- Todd Helton – 1B – 38 years old, 39 in August
- Jamie Moyer – LHP – 49 years old
- Jason Giambi – 1B, PH – 41 years old
- Casey Blake – 3B – 38 years old
- Marco Scutaro – 2B – 36 years old
- Rafael Betancourt – RHP, 36 years old
- Ramon Hernandez – C – 36 years old
- Michael Cuddyer – LF – 33 years old, 34 in March
- Jeremy Guthrie – RHP – 33 years old.
All of the above players are expected to make the 2012 roster but there are some concerns as these veteran players age regarding their health. Moyer has already had his next start pushed out due to leg stiffness. Casey Blake has missed action due to stiffness in his neck, a problem that plagued him with the Dodgers last year. Todd Helton will be limited to 100-110 games this year due to his historically sore back. Marco Scutaro is already struggling in spring training hitting a pedestrian .118 thus far.
There has to be some allowance for the leadership and mentoring all of these players will have on the younger players. Ramon Hernandez will likely start, but will be counted on to mentor 23 year old Wilin Rosario. Jamie Moyer may make the roster and is competing for a starting spot, but look to him to help the likes of Chacin and Nicasio as they establish themselves as stars in the majors.
Bottom line – the Rockies will need stand out performances from the majority of the players to make a run at the NL West title, but the impact they have on the younger players on the roster may have long running influence for years to come.