So today the Rockies play the Giants, a team I've been pretty much ignoring this Spring despite the fact that they finished just a couple of games behind us last year. Clearly I do so at my peril, as this is a team that has made several significant moves this winter. To recap:
- They recruited a new first baseman, Aubrey Huff, who was so liked by his former team that they felt Garrett Atkins would be an upgrade.
- They won a bidding war between themselves and Omar Minaya for the services of Bengie Molina.
- They signed 35 year old Mark DeRosa, the utility man beloved above all other utility men, as a starting corner outfielder. DeRosa was happy he wasn't the Giants "plan B". The team DeRosa came from, decided for some reason that Matt Holliday was a better fit as "Plan A" at that particular position.
- They re-signed Freddy Sanchez, who probably tore a ligament in the process, that will show up after he gets off the DL for whatever he's on the DL for in the meantime.
- They re-signed Juan Uribe, not so beloved utility man, as a utility man/interim starting second baseman.
- They signed Wellemeyer, another player who couldn't cut it with the Cardinals.
In looking at the moves the Dodgers and Giants have made this winter, I'll paraphrase Verbal Kent in saying that the greatest trick the Rockies ever played was in convincing the rest of the division that they don't exist. It's my assertion that Colorado is bumping the level of contention in the NL West over the next couple of seasons to a few games past 90 wins, but it seems that the Dodgers still feel that 88 to 90 wins is an acceptable plateau to aim for, and the Giants look to be aiming for five or so wins less than that.
Here is today's Rockies lineup, courtesy the Denver Post's All Things Rockies blog, Jason Giambi will be making his Cactus League debut:
CF Carlos Gonzalez
2B Clint Barmes
RF Seth Smith
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Jason Giambi
C Miguel Olivo
LF Melvin Mora
3B Ian Stewart
LHP Jorge De La Rosa