It looks like that even though the Rockies and Diamondbacks will be by themselves on the outskirts of the Cactus League this Spring, they might have another team to play ball with in Tuscon by 2010, as the regional sports authority is seeking to add a Japanese team to the mix. I'm not sure how practical this will wind up being, but it's not a terrible idea to deal with the departure of the White Sox.
A blog entry by Troy Renck says that the Rockies budget may no longer have room to add Tim Redding or Josh Fogg, but that they remain interested in both. Ooh... it's time to insert a table. Since we're all about recruiting winners for the Rockies right now, let's look at how many Win Shares each of the primary bottom of the rotation candidates contributed over the last four seasons, courtesy of the Hardball Times:
|Pitcher||2005 WS||2006 WS||2007 WS||2008 WS||Career WS|
|Jorge De La Rosa||2||1||3||5||10|
While Smith's 2007 season on the whole trumped JDLR's and should be a good reminder to not count him out, Patrick Saunders and I are in the same camp when it comes to expecting to see the latter win the last rotation slot this Spring. Not so, Dan Szymborski:
Marquis isn't as bad as some statheads think, being a useful 4th starter with a decent health record, but not as good as some casual Cubs fans think, Marquis not being all that good, so while he has some use, with Sean Marshall not traded for Jake Peavy and Chad Gaudin hanging around, the team has rotation replacements. With Luis Vizcaino coming in, I suspect Mike Wuertz will be in a different uniform this season. The Rockies now look to have a Francis-Cook-Jimenez-Marquis-Smith rotation, which will be bland and mediocre as the team heads to another season of being a middle-of-the-pack team in a bad division.
I am, of course, a lot more hopeful that the situation is better than Dan paints it to be. The ZiPS projection for Marquis in Colorado has him coming in at a 5.03 ERA. I project our lineup (with Marquis batting) to score 5.3 runs a game, so I think we could expect to clear a .500 record in his starts, that's about as much as we could wish for from the fourth slot in the rotation and a good start to competitiveness in this division.