Sunday Rockpile: Happy Pitchers & Catchers Reporting Day!

What were the right questions to ask in the 2011/2012 off season and did the Rockies ask them? Did they answer them?

Question #1: Why can't you get a second baseman that's competent at the plate?

Rockies Q#1 Answer: Well... we don't know if there's anything necessarily wrong with going into the season with either D.J. LeMahieu or Chris Nelson, they can't be worse than what we had last year.

Q#1 Follow-up: Are you serious? You can't be serious.

Rockies Q#1 Follow-up Answer: Well, it's not like teams are giving away competent 2B's for AAAA pitchers. Wait, hold on we have another call.., Boston, who do we know in Boston?

Question #2: Ian Stewart was a disaster last season, how long do we have to wait until Nolan Arenado's ready?

Rockies Q#2 Answer: Well, Arenado's still young and it takes time for prospects to develop. That's why we're looking to trade for an interim impact player at the position like David Wright, because it might be another couple seasons before the kid is ready. If he was going to be ready to be a meaningful contributor in 2012 we'd look for a more temporary solution there, like Melvin Mora or Casey Blake or something.

Question #3: While the Troy Tulowitzki/Carlos Gonzalez heart of the order were fine in 2011, the Rockies were among the NL's least effective teams when it came to the sixth and seventh slots in the lineup. What are you doing to lengthen the offense this year and take some of the pressure off the two superstars?

Rockies Q#3 Answer: It looks like the free agents we like for that are out of our price range as we'd rather focus the money we have to spend on pitching.

Question #4: So you know of free agent pitchers that would be willing to sign and pitch in Coors Field? '

Rockies Q#4 Answer: Yes, we think we have a chance with Hiroki Kuroda, err... Roy Oswalt, or uh maybe Edwi... Jamie Moyer. Can we go back to question #3? We're going to sign Michael Cuddyer.

Q#3 and Q#4 Follow-up: Wait, Jamie Moyer's dead isn't he, and isn't Cuddyer going to be overpaid?

Rockies Q#3 and Q#4 Follow-up Answer: No, he's alive. And relative to CEO's and union bosses, Cuddyer's pay is just fine.

Question #5: Moyer doesn't seem to be much of an answer to the team's rotation instability, do you have any other solutions?

Rockies Q#5 Answer: We're going to look to trade for a competent veteran starter swing man like Wandy Rodriguez Kevin Slowey to eat innings. Just a sec, I got a text from Dan Duquette I have to return as I think it's the details on our annual GM's Named Dan cruise.

***

Some GM's are born great, some die great, and some have kismet thrust upon them. The Rockies seemed to go into the off-season with a plan that in my opinion was almost certainly not going to work, but come out of it with one that just might. While some prognosticators see a lineup that's old, I see one that's transitioning to a young, competitive core. With the trade for Jeremy Guthrie and the signing of Moyer, the rotation actually bears a similar feel. I don't know what to expect for 2012, as a lot of the team's success will depend on the unpredicatable maturation of inexperienced players, but it should be exciting to watch.

Troy Renck doesn't see the Rockies as winning the division this season, but then again, he didn't have the Diamondbacks on top last year. To answer my initial question to the post, much like the D-backs did prior to 2011, I think the Rockies off-season efforts did, in fact, concentrate on areas of the team that were holding them back. The D-backs did get a couple of their more promising young players to mature for 2011, however, and again that's going to be the primary question facing the Rockies in 2012.

Patrick Saunders goes position by position over the Rockies revamp.

Speaking of the Rockies young players, the Tulsa World Drillers preview isn't entirely sure that Nolan Arenado will be there this season. Obviously neither am I. I think the safest bet is that Arenado won't be there at the end of the season, with everything else in a bit of a gray area.

Jayson Stark's off-season survey has a little bit of good buzz for the Rockies, their trades for Marco Scutaro and Guthrie drew attention, as does the signing of Jamie Moyer.

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