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Sunday Morning Rockpile:

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The off season has one out left, and it'll go down with a whimper Thursday night.

Patrick Saunders looks at the four objectives the Rockies have in order to compete for the NL West this season. Here's the first poll of the '08 season, found in the story and on the right sidebar.

Renck would say that the rotation is the key to competing in the NL West this season. The pressure will be on Francis, Cook, and Jimenez to combine for 40 wins, and well it should be with the extensions Francis and Cook have and the talent Jimenez has to build on. Plus, if Morales shows his wares during Spring Training, we're looking at something great in the making. Renck most certainly believes Morales should be in the rotation, as he sees the same attitude Dontrelle Willis had at the same age in Morales.

Also, Renck predicts the Rockies will avoid arbitration hearings with Atkins and Hawpe but not Fuentes (though no mention of any date for hearings).