The success of young pitchers like Drew Pomeranz is a key factor in whether the Rockies make some noise in the NL West or not this year.
Spring Training is underway, and I've got a glut of typical spring articles to prove it. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you, it's always great to get more Rockies news. Today, you'll get it in bullet form.
- In his first Spring Training mailbag, Troy Renck answers some fan questions. Or as I should say, is interrogated by fans and gives very diplomatic responses. Renck believes that the next wave of prospects are critical to Colorado's success and I agree. Perhaps the best attribute of Colorado's system right now in my opinion is that the majority of the Rockies' top prospects are quite near to contributing at the major league level, removing a decent amount of uncertainty.
- To illustrate the above point, all four of Colorado's members of the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects List (Drew Pomeranz at 30, Nolan Arenado at 42, Chad Bettis at 86, and Wilin Rosario at 87) might be contributors to the 2012 team and almost certainly will be on the 2013 squad.
- If Colorado's wealth of pitching talent (Pomeranz, Alex White, Tyler Chatwood, Bettis, etc.) turns out well, this team will be set in 2012 and beyond. Great performances at least two of Arenado, Rosario, Tim Wheeler, and Josh Rutledge at the major league level would solidify this lineup at least through CarGo's contract. I'm confident that several of these names will be strong contributors -- unfortunately, at this point it's hard to tell which ones.
- Jim Tracy's indefinite deal was endorsed by Rockies players like Troy Tulowitzki and others. As Andrew 2 pointed out yesterday, this deal doesn't really guarantee anything, but the fact that Colorado's management wants to commit long-term to Tracy at manager is worrisome to me given what I've seen on the field the last two years.
- From an outside point of view, Colorado's organization appears pretty insular, valuing "authentic relationships" and a "culture of value in a world of performance" above things like giving the team the best chance to win baseball games.
- Renck's profile on super utility prospect Jordan Pacheco shows how he's trying to make the team as a back-up catcher (possible, though if he does make the squad he will see time all over the infield).
- Perhaps you'd like to see Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, and Todd Helton take batting practice? Renck's got you covered.
- Joey Nowak of the team site has several nuggets in this article, touching on Colorado's relative bullpen stability, Juan Nicasio's recovery, the clubhouse's reaction to the Jim Tracy deal, and the 50 game PED suspension of Rockies minor leaguer Joseph Torres.
- Nowak has a piece on Jeremy Guthrie and how he's adjusting to the National League--or more specifically, going from the AL East buzzsaw to the NL West.
- The Vegas O/U for Colorado in 2012 has been set at 80.5 wins, the 4th highest total in the division. After my experience the last two years with Colorado O/U bets, I'm staying away, but I will say that I think the number is very achievable for this group.
- Tell me true -- when you saw this article's headline you thought there was a guarantee of NL West glory, didn't you? Alas, I still don't trust the pitching nearly enough this year, though the lineup's depth should make for a vastly improved offense this season. In any case, that's a topic for another article.