USA TODAY Sports
A couple of articles this morning continue to highlight the aggressive approach that Walt Weiss is preaching to the Rockies both in the lineup and on the mound. The question remains as to what effect this will have on the team's performance come the regular season.
Michael Cuddyer creates corporal punishment t-shirts encouraging the Rockies to be the ones taking opponents to the woodshed rather than vise versa. So the team's t-shirts this year include more swearing, we know that much is different from 2012. What else? Well, that's not easy to say. A change in attitude should probably rank about as high as learning a cutter or being in the best shape of one's life in terms of Springtime homilies that amount to little actual improvement in reality, however we do know that the Rockies underachieved to their talent level in 2012, so maybe a significant team shift in confidence can help them get back to a more correlative level of team achievement.
Speaking of Cuddyer and punishment, his views regarding stiffer penalties for players caught using banned performance enhancing drugs were noted by MLB commissioner Bud Selig in this interview with USA Today. It seems with a bit of a tidal change in that regard that full season suspensions for first time offenders are on their way.
Jhoulys Chacin's outing yesterday did not go well after the right hander struggled with his control early. It's a common theme when he struggles. Chacin now moves on to pitching at the WBC.
As the Cuddyer article above highlights, there apparently has been a bit of a change in the game strategy of the team since Walt Weiss took over, at least the players, such as Cuddyer and closer Rafael Betancourt seem to be indicating as much. It takes a bit of reading between the lines, however, to see a real contrast to Jim Tracy's team, if there is one. From what's said and what we know of the Tracy era, his management style was to have the team prepare in detail on his favored fundamentals and then be ready to respond to whatever situations the games and season called for.
Weiss seems to be calling for a simpler, more direct path to the goal, to essentially be aggressive early and often and force the other team to respond. The ultimate test of success in this will come on the road when the Rockies are facing teams with high quality rotations that can largely keep Colorado from rolling over the lineup. We could see Matt Cain throwing 80 pitches and getting complete game shutouts if the Rockies don't know when it's important to make a pitcher earn their keep. That said, it's not like Tracy's strategy was doing any better against the likes of Cain.