So many fringe players, so few roster spots to hand out to them. Tracy Ringolsby from the RMN shows that the stakes are high this Spring for several players facing a roster crunch come the end of March. In the article, Clint Hurdle and Dan O'Dowd both say that decisions will be made to make the team as competitive as possible, and those decisions could include some difficult cuts or demotions. The problem, of course, of basing one's roster on Spring Training performances is that you can get burned by the limited sample size, so hopefully that's not what the brass intends when they talk about delaying the future to win now.
I can say that if Clint Barmes outplays Troy Tulowitzki, and Iannetta doesn't show up ready to win the starting catcher post, than the season's results aren't going to be a pleasant thing to go through again.
To put it simply, for the Rockies to be competitive, they need to plug the holes from last season and hope new ones don't form. That means shortstop, catcher, center field and the bottom two rotation slots need to come through with more production for us than they did last season, and second base and the slot in the rotation vacated by Jason Jennings can't slide too far. In this division, I figure we can be safe with one weak link on offense, and none in the rotation unless Francis, Cook or Lopez are ready to take their games up a level (our bullpen has to be decent, but I'm confident it can be). Everybody else has to be close enough to average to let our stand-out performers on offense to take us to that next step.
Last season, we had two pitchers who would be okay fifth starters, on most contending teams, but without a true top of the rotation guy, I'm thinking we'll need two fourth starter equivalents in their slots instead. It's definitely possible, but it's also a lot to ask of the group we've assembled.
Position players aren't required to report to camp yet, but many have arrived early anyway. Notably absent are the two starting center field candidates, but every other projected starter (or their primary competition) seems to be in camp already. Also missing are newlywed Ian Stewart, Omar Quintanilla, and a couple of veteran bench scrubs vying for a final roster spot.
Ryan van Bibber at Beyond the Box Score revisits a Larry Walker for the HOF article he posted last year. I think L-Walk's case is probably going to be a victim of the steroid era and Coors Field, which would be unfortunate whether he deserves entry to the Hall or not. Like a court case that may have ended up with the right decision through faulty reasoning, it will sit uncomfortably with me if I'm right in this projection.
Troy Renck answers all of two questions in an oddly truncated "interview" at MLB Trade Rumors.
Weigh the Rockies estimated 8% annual growth in franchise value over the last decade with Charlie Monfort's "We are happy with the way things are going" statement. Monfort knows how to make money. The Rockies are confident enough in this team to raise ticket prices. So I'm guessing that Forbes is off on this one. As with the Atlanta Braves, I'd be willing to guess that they are undershooting the Rockies' value by between 10% and 15%.