Looking toward next year..

as this year is basically running out.  

Things accomplished in 2007:

1. Stayed in race until mid Sept.
2 Added some young arms.

  1. Solidified defense
  2. Began to realize who needs to stay and who needs to go both starters and bench personnel.
  3.  Emerged with a never quit mentality and winning attitude after years of losing is OK.
Things for future pondering:
  1.  Mental toughness increase.  This team needs a Don Baylor/Paul O'Neill/Dusty Baker veteran type former champion in the clubhouse.  This could help when the 1-9 road trips start to happen or the losses to SF on the road.  The Rockies play well against good teams but this season fell out of reach losing 3-4 to the Pirates at home, failing to beat the Giants at better than a 500 clip, etc.
  2.  Center Field Needs a better solution:
Willy has been injury prone, suspect defensively, and unrealible day to day.  That is a problem.  They have been able to fill the gaps with Spilly and Sullivan but I would love to see a guy like Aaron Rowland out there.  A winner, a tough guy, a great defensive player with a big stick.  He would cost $10-12M a year but he is an Edmunds type and relatively young entering his prime.

3. Look for an innings eater somewhere.

Need more innings from the starters.  Need a Pedro Astacio type to eat innings and save the bullpen.  The late season collapse of the pen is simply too many 4-5 innning nights all the time.  Need a low end guy who can give up 3-5 runs and get you to at least the sixth or seventh every night out.  They ran out of pitching seeking the internal organization solutions.  

4.  Welcome to the Monfort O'Dowd Postseason Cheap Report. (Should be the FSN annoucement after the Rockies are eliminated officially from contention).

The interesting que this post season for players that may be looking long term here will be if the Rocks spend money in some fashion. Will it be a Kaz for Stewart, Stewart for Atkins salary dump type offseason or will it be adding some payroll and quality (as described above)to make this team a championship level contender.  I have never respected the Monfort's and most media in this town do not either.  They seem to make every move on the cheap.  Will they show commitment to winning?  

The Matsui resigning is tied to Willy's future, Atkins, Helton, Stewart, all of them.  Maybe Stewart needs a season of spot starting bench work before making this decision.  His at bats lately have been pretty woeful but he has not gotten enough of them.  Not sure if he is  ready to be just handed the 3rd base job after a so so Springs defensive performance and an incumbant who has knocked in 300 runs and hit 290-310 for three years running with 25 plus homers. Helton will now never be moved so this whole Stewart, Kaz, Atkins triangle is something to look forward during the Stove league.  Can Stewart play 2nd?  

Do you trade some offense for pitching?   (Atkins or Hawpe).  Since you are fearful of losing Holliday after next year (big payday coming there), do you trade him ala Jennings to a Red Sox/Yankees for multiple players and pitching help.

5. Catching Position:  

Rocks have some serious production issues.  Iannetta although hitting better upon his return is still a question.  Yorvit wears down after 90-100 games.  Need to come up with a workable platoon next year to keep both sharp and possibly bring in someone who can play there on an emergency basis to give you some options in late innings. We have had many rallies killed by a DP from the eight spot this year.  Then the pitcher leads off the next inning.  

Overall there are not as many holes as in the past.  The big issue this off-season is will the Rocks stay put or try to take the next step.  Time will tell.  The past two years they have done very little in season to upgrade the team (other than dispose of their own garbage).  Where will they go now and from here?

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. But the above FanPost does not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or views of Purple Row's staff (unless, of course, it's written by the staff [and even then, it still might not]).

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