Hopefully, no news this offseason will be good news for the Rockies. Colorado's top two NL West rivals last season are making some noise though:
Brian Sabean looks to have completed what he seems to think is enough of an overhaul to his pathetic offensive lineup by signing 1B Aubrey Huff. Kudos at least to Sabean for not cutting the Kung Fu Panda's value down by forcing him to move to first base, but how much does this improve their offense?
Of the eight position defensive positions, five will be manned primarily by new faces in 2010. Out are Randy Winn and Bengie Molina, while Travis Ishikawa, Fred Lewis and Emmanuel Burriss will be on the bench. The probable lineup (personnel likely locked, the order may change):
- Freddy Sanchez, 2B - 32, 9th year
- Edgar Renteria, SS - 34, 15th year
- Pablo Sandoval, 3B - 23, 2nd full season
- Aubrey Huff, 1B - 33, 11th year
- Mark DeRosa, LF - 35, 13th year
- Aaron Rowand , CF - 32, 10th year
- Nate Schierholtz, RF - 25, 4th year (1st as a starter)
- Buster Posey, C - 23, rookie
Using Baseball Musings' Lineup Analysis and CHONE projections...the lineup above would score 4.55 runs per game, a number that would have put them sixth in the NL and 17th in the majors [in 2009].
Production like that could put the Giants over the top, but don't worry just yet. There are two major assumptions in the above method. One - that all eight players would play all 162 games. Therefore, "4.55 runs/game" isn't comparing like data sets. Two - it is all based on projections.
Projections can be fairly reliable for a player who has started for a few seasons and consistently puts up similar numbers, like Brad Hawpe. However, there are two types of players that it can be difficult to nail down: one, young players without enough at-bats to develop a true MLB skill level, and two, aging veterans whose ability could completely vanish.
Look through that lineup. There's two completely unproven hitters and one who, while having a magical career so far, has yet to hit the sophomore season that even Troy Tulowitzki struggled with. The other five are at least 32 and/or in their 10th year, suggesting their best days are behind them. At least one is liable to go all Edgar Renteria on them.
Am I worried about their offense? In a word, not at all.
Yahoo's Tim Brown tweeted yesterday that Dodgers are "working on a way to sign Joel Pineiro." On one hand, Pineiro has only two seasons where he was more valuable than Byung-Hyun Kim was for the Rockies in 2006. Starting pitchers always seem to be overvalued, and following a career season, he will get paid more than he's worth. He'll lose Dave Duncan. But don't forget - the Dodgers have rotation issues, and if they find a way to ink Pineiro, it makes them undeniably better. If he can show 2009 wasn't a fluke, he'll make losing Randy Wolf's production easier to stomach.
Ned Colletti signed a former Rockies' target to be Rafael Furcal's backup. Ken Rosenthal reports that LA signed Nick Green, so together with Jamey Carroll, the Dodger infield bench will have power to burn.
More links after the jump.
Royals Sign Matt Herges: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com
MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com
Francis to tune up for spring training in the Dominican | All Things Rockies (Renck)
The tune up is essentially a head start for Francis going into 2010 so he'll be primed and read when Spring Training opens. This tells me the club feels he's healthy enough that it isn't a risk to have him throw more, not less, than the rest of the rotation before the season starts.
The Rockies signed as a free agent catcher Anthony Aguilera out of San Jose St. That's a low level signing if ever there was one. SPLASH!
McGwire finally admits to steroid use - The Denver Post (Dave Sheinin, Washington Post)
Even baseball's confessed shame shouldn't open Hall of Fame - The Denver Post (Woody Paige)
Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa rescued baseball. But they couldnt save themselves.\
Gossage doesn't think McGwire should enter Hall of Fame - The Denver Post (Renck)
Rich "Goose" Gossage considers Mark McGwire one of his favorite teammates of all time.