I've always thought it somewhat fitting that the Rockies fort their prospect reinforcements around two historic military cities in Tulsa and Colorado Springs, as when help is needed it makes for easy headline copy. At any rate, in 2012, the most powerful regiments aiding the Rockies will be coming from the Fort Sill region, starting today when left hander Drew Pomeranz takes the mound, and a few weeks hence we can expect Nolan Arenado to arrive to rescue us from despair at third. In the links today we have features on both:
Tulsa slugger Nolan Arenado may be the best prospect in Texas League. - This news doesn't come from Tulsa or a Rockies affiliate, but out of Cardinals territory in Springfield. Kary Booher's long expose reveals a lot of interesting tidbits, such as how how Arenado punks guys in Modesto and divulges more than we usually get about the Drillers' clubhouse Kangaroo Court. Through all that, however, you get sense of Arenado's easy going nature despite his intense on field focus.
Pomeranz, meanwhile, is also ascending quickly and likes his learning curve.
Troy Renck writes that Pomeranz is one of a trio of LHP's that can change the Rockies fortunes in coming seasons. Renck seems to be stuck on the Giants model of success of all top shelf pitching talent and no offense as the way for Colorado to succeed, which I find kind of odd. You look at a team like the Cardinals last year that without Adam Wainwright didn't have a true ace, but won a World Series with four above average starters and a solid offense that lacked big sinkholes. The Cardinals' opponents in last year's World Series, the Rangers, had a similar set-up depending on one's view of C.J. Wilson. To me, that type of balanced formula remains the shortest path to success from where the Rockies are right now, given what they have available to them on the farm and in their bank account.
Having said that, I wouldn't mind a Pomeranz and Matzek -twin lefty aces- anchor for the rotation, and certainly wouldn't object if Christian Friedrich's early 2012 turnaround carries through to the majors. I just think that success for Colorado is also achievable with a handful of consistently good pitchers from a group that includes those three, Juan Nicasio, Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa and a couple of others.