Denver, CO – As the Colorado Rockies 2012 season grows closer, let’s make some predictions for the upcoming season. We will explore aspects from the pitching rotation to individual performances and expectations.
Expectations of a newer yet younger version of the Blake Street Bombers may be in our future in the upcoming 2012 Colorado Rockies season. With a core in the middle of the lineup featuring Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzales (both considered MVP candidates); the Rockies will look to build around the two stars to create more run support for the questionable pitching staff. The biggest questions revolve around hitting before and after the 3 and 4 positions in the batting order.
The lead off spot in the batting order will be taken by either Dexter Fowler or newcomer Marco Scutaro. Manager Jim Tracy may opt to rotate the two depending on the opposing pitcher. Fowler brings a switch hitting advantage and speed around the bases. Scutaro brings veteran leadership along with excellent contact. With Fowlers speed and Scutaro’s contact ability look for Fowler to lead off and Scutaro taking quality at bats to move Fowler on to second or third. Key here is for Fowler to get on base and cut down on strikeouts. Let Tulo and Cargo do the work of getting the RBI.
Tulowitzki and Gonzales have very high expectations going into the 2012 season. The pressure of the big contract got to both players last year. Nagging injuries and frustration limited both mentally as well at the plate. Although both finished the season with good batting averages and RBI, much more will be expected this year. With the addition of Michael Cuddyer who is expected to hit number 5 in the lineup and the wily veteran Todd Helton hitting in the 6 spot for the first time in his career.
Final prediction from me is a ton of runs from the 1-6 spots in the lineup. The bottom of the lineup could be interesting with Chris Nelson and Jordan Pacheco splitting time at 3rd base and veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez rounding out the 8th spot, there could be some good run production there as well. If 23 year old Wilin Rosario makes the squad as the backup catcher, he automatically adds some big time power at the bottom of the batting order (Rosario is hitting .462 with 3 home runs in spring training).
Bottom line – the offense will be THE KEY to the Rockies success this year. Will we see some version of the Blake Street Bombers? Will Tulo and Cargo battle for the NL MVP? Can Fowler become one of the best leadoff men in baseball? If the Rockies want to win their first NL West title, all of the above must come to fruition.
Next Up – Defense and final prediction in part 4. Could the Rockies have 3 Gold Glove winners in 2012?