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Saturday Rockpile: Peaks and Valleys (2010 MLB Predictions love the Rox, Francis to DL)

ESPN predicts the 2010 baseball season - ESPN
All of the four letter network's baseball analysts have their predictions listed here. Four people think the Rockies will win the World Series, another two think they'll make it there and lose, and 27 of the 36 think the Rox will be in the postseason in some capacity.

MLB - Keith Law: My 2010 predictions for playoffs, awards and more - ESPN (Insider)
Keith Law has the Rockies pegged to win the NL West by six games over the Dodgers, but expects them to once again lose to the Phillies in the NLDS.

MLB: Jayson Stark: World Series champion, Idol style - ESPN
More crazy ESPN predictions, as this time Jayson Stark puts his two cents in on the upcoming season. Judging by the American Idol-type format he used for this piece, he has the Rox pegged as the fifth-best team in MLB, and second in the NL behind the Phillies.

BP's projected NL standings: Rox in, L.A. out - The Max Info Blog - ESPN (Insider)
Meanwhile, ESPN's new TMI (The Max Info) blog takes information from PECOTA (via Baseball Prospectus) and predicts the Rockies to take the West with 86 wins - three ahead of the D-Backs. Furthermore, PECOTA projects Troy Tulowitzki to hit .293 with 25 homers, and thinks Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa will be clones of each other, combining for 25 wins and 363 K's. Personally, I don't really care for PECOTA projections - all it seems to do is pick the player's last two or three seasons and average out the numbers - but we'll see how everything pans out.

Could the White Sox win the Series? - MLB News - FOX Sports on MSN
Ken Rosenthal's predictions for the 2010 season include the White Sox winning the World Series. He has Carlos Gonzalez as the NL's Breakout Player, and (gasp) Jeff Francis as the NL's Comeback Player of the Year...

Francis' return derailed, reporting arm pain - The Denver Post
Of course, all of the above predictions (especially Rosenthal's) were likely made before the news broke about Jeff Francis heading to the DL (h/t to WolfMarauder). I am a little bit concerned, as it seems that Francis was starting to find his groove a little bit. However, the more I think about it, Greg Smith (who will be the replacement) is pretty much what Francis has turned into at this point anyway, so does anyone who follows this team closely think that the drop-off between the two will be too noticeable?

More Rockies links after the jump...

Power top to bottom is the idea - The Denver Post
"How much power potential do the Rockies have? They're about to open the season with a 25-homer hitter in the seventh spot in their batting order."

Colorado Rockies Will Have Record Payroll | Inside the Colorado Rockies
The club will have a $85.8MM payroll on Opening Day. Ringolsby also linked a player breakdown and year-by-year totals at the bottom of the article.

Corpas confident he can be relied upon | News
"Reflecting on an up-and-down spring, Rockies reliever Manuel Corpas said Friday that his performance is merely a question of execution and has little to do with his confidence."

Helton continues to enjoy the moment | News
Thomas Harding interviews Todd Helton, who is happy to be a Rockie.