ROX LIGHT ON WHEELS
The Denver Post's Patrick Saunders went into detail about the Rockies' lack of team speed; more specifically, the fact that they don't have a legitimate stolen base threat other than Scott Podsednik, who isn't a lock to make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. The team sounds confident that they can work around the problem, though. This excerpt from the article provided analysis from a key Rockie:
"We don't have too much speed if you look at it, especially if Pods isn't in there," Tulowitzki said. "So we aren't bringing too much speed to the table. I will try to do my part. We are going to have to pick the right times to run and be successful that way."
This is no secret to Rockies fans, as the losses of Kaz Matsui, Willy Taveras, and even Matt Holliday over the past two seasons have hurt the team's ability to produce with speed (although Willy's non-existent OBP didn't help, either - just ask Dan O'Dowd, who was quoted in the article). Two candidates to make the team out of Spring Training, in Dexter Fowler and Eric Young Jr. (though he's a longshot) have the ability to bring team speed to the table. I know I'll be keeping my fingers crossed, hoping one of those two (or both) has a monster Spring Training and somehow quickly evolves into a solid Major League regular.
STEROIDS AND MANNY (LIKE YOU HAVEN'T HEARD ENOUGH)
Tracy Ringolsby's (more on him in a minute) latest "Rockies 24/7" blog entry clears up the Luis Gonzalez PED situation from last season. Apparently, LuGo was taking medication to control a gout-like problem and said medication contained some type of amphetamine. That's great...
Also, in what hopefully doesn't turn out to be gout in the foot of the Rockies, Garrett Atkins may have provided the following bulletin-board material to the Dodgers regarding Manny Ramirez:
"I don't know that they are the clear favorite, because they lost a lot of guys. They are going to miss (Derek) Lowe and (Brad) Penny"
Either way, I am experiencing a high level of enjoyment seeing the Dodgers suffer. This story perfectly describes their situation with Manny.
FOX SPORTS ISN'T IMPRESSED
In their Spring Training edition of the MLB Power Rankings, FoxSports.com has the Rockies ranked 21st (out of 30 teams), and offers these comments:
The loss of Matt Holliday is a big blow to an offense that did nothing to replace him. Brian Fuentes is gone, too, but the Rox added Huston Street to close. Hard to see how this team got better this offseason.
We all know how the team can get better (Helton and Tulo bouncing back, etc), but this pretty much echos the sentiment of the entire baseball media when it comes to the Rockies. Personally, I like that the team doesn't have high expectations (see: 2007, as opposed to 2008).
GOODBYE, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND HELLO, HEALTHY TODD (HOPEFULLY)
The Cowboy's final Rockies-related piece for the Rocky Mountain News fittingly details the long time face of the franchise and his battle to get back to form. The thing I took most from the article was the manager from a rival NL West club's comment on the Toddfather:
"He's that guy who wears the pitcher down in the late innings," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "You get him 0-2, and next thing you know it's 3-2 and he's fouling off pitches. It's not that you pitch the other guys in the lineup different. It's just he takes a toll on the pitcher."
A healthy Todd means a better ballclub, no question about it. Hopefully, Helton is able to get some spring AB's soon.
As for Ringolsby, we'll still see him covering the Rockies with FSN Rocky Mountain, as well as writing about baseball with FoxSports.com and Baseball America.