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Tuesday Rockpile: It's all Peaches and Gravy for the Rockies this Spring

I had better explain myself with that headline:

"It's not going to be peaches and gravy all the time." - Brad Miller, Indiana Pacers, 2003

As Spring Training nears its end (there are only four games left, all on TV), it sure looks like nothing but peaches and gravy cream and rosy outlooks.  Whatever can we do with all this positive attention?

Last week, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman heaped several helping of praise on the Rockies.  Yesterday, ESPN's Buster Olney surprised everyone by picking the Rockies to be World Series Champions over the Yankees.  The attention has Rockies fans in a panic, wondering if it is the "kiss of death."  I don't believe in such things, unless it has to do with the Dodgers.

Patrick Saunders from the Post took notice of Olney's prediction, wondering if it is the "kiss of death."  Come on people - Buster Olney isn't that powerful.

A quick perusal through the rest of the Post this morning tells me this:  our team is perfect....

Our offense is stalwart:  Rox offense springing into action - The Denver Post - The Rockies lead MLB in batting average, doubles and triples in Spring Training.  Of course, Mike Paulk and Jonathan Herrera won't be helping us much in 2010, and it remains to be seen if Chris Iannetta, Clint Barmes and Ian Stewart really have made changes, or whether their spring stats are tricking us.

Our defense is strong:  Defense turning dandy at right time - The Denver Post - Dexter Fowler made a nice play Sunday and Ian Stewart looks sparkling (though we are near the top in errors).

We have an MVP-caliber player:   Kiszla: It's time Tulo is NL's best - The Denver Post.  Mark Kiszla says the only way we can win the World Series is if Troy Tulowitzki is the MVP of the NL.   Of course, we won the NL Pennant in 2007 without an MVP.  Those type of statements only work on top-heavy teams, like the Giants.  With the depth Colorado has on its roster, no one has to be Superman.  It confounds me that everyone wants to enshrine him next to John Elway when less than a year ago, many wanted to trade him or send him to AAA.

Even "bullpen contenders" are strong:  Beimel dominates in spring debut, but more work needed - The Denver Post  Jim Tracy is saying Joe Beimel isn't ready to start the season, but he dominated his debut yesterday, retiring all three batters in nine pitches.  An interesting note:

BEIMEL:  "I'd always thrown a slider, and for some reason last year it kind of morphed into a curveball.  I wasn't comfortable throwing it at all last year. So what I worked on this winter was getting back to more of a slider break on it." - via Jim Armstrong

There isn't an article touting our rotation.  We must have poor starters then.  Man, what a juggernaut the Rockies are.  Ah, spring.

Matt Cain on his extension: "I’m more than ecstatic" | Extra Baggs
The Giants signed Matt Cain to a three year extension Sunday, but pay attention to the payouts:

  • $1M signing bonus (paid 2011).  2010 :$4.25M, 2011:$7M, 2012:$15M
  • That's a pretty heavily backloaded contract.  Then consider Barry Zito is due $19million in 2012 and Tim Lincecum will be due a nice fat contract.  They will be paying $50million towards 60% of their rotation.  It's hard to rebuild your offense with those contracts on the books, so don't look for them to land any big name free agents in 2011.  

    Since Brian Sabean passed on improving his offense this off-season, thereby making it nearly impossible to be a championship contender, you really have to wonder if he has any idea what their contention window could be.  It isn't now, and it looks like 2012 would be difficult.  While Dan O'Dowd  recognized our window of contention, Brian Sabean looks like he may be happy to employ Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain without giving them a legitimate shot.


    And for one last link - a LOLMets:  How to Make Contending Difficult: Have Jon Niese as Your Second-Best Starter - Beyond the Box Score
    Satchel Price at Beyond the BoxScore points out that the unassuming Jon Niese is projected to be the Mets best starting pitcher with a 4.23 FIP.   For what it's worth, the fifth starter on Opening Day for the Rockies is projected at 4.24.


    I'll be posting an uninspired preview of the dangerous Padres at noon today.