Editor's Note: The following post is a part of the 2013 Purple Row Writer Search -- our quest to find some great new contributors to Purple Row
Good morning Rockies fans. We have had a lot of discussion around projections and looking at the Rockies in 2013. These have run from "we have enough to be a .500 club." to "welcome back to the basement." What I have been thinking about is, "What happens in the worst case scenario?"
The reality is the true worst case scenario is that the entire 25 man roster ends up injured for a significant portion of the year and we are calling up players from deep in the minors to field a roster so we can even play. This was easy to come up with, but is unlikely to happen. Further thought and looking historically at what has happened there are a few much more likely worst case scenarios.
Troy Tulowitzki is injured for most/all of the season
This has happened more often than we as fans would want. Tulo is the glue for this team and his production is critical to any level of success including the improvement towards .500 that is the likely best case scenario. The challenge is that he has played more than 140 games 3 times in 6 years. And he has played injured thereby reducing his effectiveness significantly in multiple seasons. Without Tulo, multiple other players see productivity reduced.
If Tulo is injured, Josh Rutledge can step in and prevent us from having to watch Scrappy struggle through the year. While this is still less than ideal, it is an improvement over past years. The reality is, this scenario is going to be a major impact to the team. In a true worst case scenario we would possibly get to see Trevor Story. Were that to happen though, we are discussing 2016 for our next true contention window.
Cargo is closer to a 2 WAR player rather than the complimentary star to Tulo
If Cargo keeps up his tentative approach on defense and takes a hit on offense he moves closer to a Major League average player. While this is likely his floor, it is a situation that would be a major impact to the Rockies chances in 2013.
We are not in contention and if Cargo does struggle we have longer term options in the Minor Leagues that could replace him long term and at a lower cost. Due to his age and skill set even an average year from Cargo likely means he could be traded for value as soon as one of the players coming up are ready for the majors.
This situation is one of the most likely to happen at least early in the year. If The Toddfather cannot play or does succumb to age decline severely enough that he ends up on the bench it is more likely Cuddyer plays first base. The challenge is that Cuddyer could quickly be the "best" option in right field which then leads to Pacheco at first.
Were this to happen we likely get to see Nolan Arenado and Tyler Colvin in the lineup. Long term this could actually be a benefit to the Rockies as they can figure out what they have in these young players and if Colvin is a Coors Field creation. It is even possible that this scenario is an upgrade. At least in the long term.
The Front Office continues to overvalue our existing players
The discussion on this has been done multiple times. The fact is that the front office needs to continue to look for trades like the one for Ubaldo where we are trading away a player before his value drops significantly for players who can help us longer term. In the future ideally this changes to trading prospects to fill in the holes needed to be a contending team. Pitching anyone?
I am unsure of one if this is the case. Possibly that the Monforts look around and realize changes are needed in the behavior of the front office to improve the overall performance of the team. Although it is more likely they would just move pieces around further.
Thank you all for sticking with me. Not a lot of new news out there Some more related links are below:
Fan Graphs discussion of the best Part Time players including Mr. Colvin.
Tyler's ability to get calls in his favor.
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]).