Hiring a new manager is the Rockies number one priority this 2013 offseason. Obviously. It's all we've been able to write about this week. Finding the new skipper is obviously important, as they are going to want to get the new manager acclimated to their new position before they really start making a lot of player moves this offseason.
Tom Runnells Jason Giambi A New Manager, whoever it may be, is officially hired, replacing coaches will be the next step. Carney Lansford (hitting coach) and Rich Dauer (3B coach, defensive coordinator) will need to have their jobs filled, as a start. While the Rockies are pleased with Bo McLaughlin's work as the Rockies' pitching coach after Bob Apodaca stepped down, McLaughlin seems to be more of an organizational guy rather than a MLB pitching coach. Should Mark Wiley be hired as the Pitching Grand Poobah, I'm sure he'll have input on the position.
From there, we move on to players. Part of the problem with trying to target moves that should be made is trying to gauge the current talent, where they are, where their ceiling is, and how likely it is that the ceiling be hit.
C: We've heard about Wilin Rosario's vow to improve his defense during the offseason. As a 23-year-old rookie catcher, Rosario batted .270/.312/.530 with 28 HR. He was also reallyreallybad at blocking balls in the dirt and his handling of the pitching staff was questionable at best. My thought is that the Rockies find anyway to offload Ramon Hernandez and find a way to bring back Yorvit Torrealba.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have a soft spot in my heart/head for Hernandez, and it's more than likely because his 2006 season really helped my fantasy team. But Hernandez is old, broken, and might not be the guy the Rockies need to mentor Rosario any longer. Torrealba has long been known as an excellent receiver, good ball-blocker, and a catcher full of latin fire and fistpumps. Having recently been outrighted by the Brewers, Torrealba would not be expensive, would not mind coming back to Colorado, and while he isn't going to hit much of anything, let's be honest, growth is more important in 2013 than a few offensive spikes that don't extend to a winning season. Now that Hernandez has helped Rosario transition into MLB, let's get Torrealba in here to make him a real MLB catcher.
1B: In the short term, 1B doesn't seem to be much of a problem. Todd Helton will play however many games he's able to until he gets hurt again and swears he isn't finished and gets another surgery. Much as it's a more unreliable use of a roster spot, it's Todd Freaking Helton. After Helton, Michael Cuddyer and Jordan Pacheco may be options to fill in the rest of the time. Cuddyer seemed the obvious choice for Helton's successor, again, at least in the short term, but injury and underperformance has Cuddy a potential trade candidate.
Should Cuddyer not last the offseason in Colorado (and let's be honest, that will be 2 multi-year contracts the Rockies have whiffed on in Ty Wigginton and Cuddyer, so I'm not sure that pride will allow such a trade from Colorado), Tyler Colvin is also a candidate to fill in at 1B when Helton or Pacheco aren't handling the job. I'd prefer to see Colvin spend more time in RF.
When it comes to 1B, any acquisition Colorado makes should be in the form of the "1B of the future". While Colvin is young, and I was both terrified and enthralled by his 2012 performance, a .364 BABIP fueling a .290 AVG has me concerned. Granted, Colvin's the type of player who's going to give you hot streaks and has some downright Slugger power (career .221 ISO, 2010 and 2012 showed ISOs above .240), I get the impression that a more leveled-out Colvin is more of a league-average bat.
It may behoove the Rockies to inquire upon players such as C.J. Cron (Angels), Matt Adams (Cardinals), or perhaps Neftali Soto (Reds). This is of course, assuming that Kyle Parker isn't already the 1B of the future.
2B: Unless Dustin Pedroia is inexplicably available for a song, Josh Rutledge appears to have the position nailed down, purely based on the amount of playing time Colorado gave him after his callup. It is still a very real possibility that Rutledge his a massive sophomore slump and spends some remedial time in AAA, but in that case, the Rockies still have D.J. Lemahieu and Chris Nelson to back up the position.
3B: Nolan Arenado's merely "Alright" season in AA Tulsa points to a situation where, barring a monster Spring Training out of Arenado, we're looking at Chris Nelson at the hot corner for a good chunk of the season. Nelson has finally started showing signs of his upside emerging, which is certainly an asset in play or trade. Still, something underwhelms me with Nelson at 3B. Maybe it's the possibility of a collapse with a weak glove to boot, and we could be seeing LeMahieu playing 3B more often just for the sake of a strong glove at 3B.
Then again, David Wright could be a FA this offseason. Wright, Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki all in the same lineup would be downright disgusting, especially with a supporting cast of Wilin Rosario and Dexter Fowler? Mmmmmm-MMMM that's a hell of a lineup. That would also move Arenado to 1B at some point and everything is coming up Rockies.
Of course, then Washington would trade us Gio Gonzalez for Alex White, Milwaukee Ryan Braun for Charlie Blackmon, 1997 Larry Walker would inexplicably appear, and Jeff Francis would win 17 again.
Alright, there's a strong chance of Andrew Fisher picking the rest of this up for me tomorrow, and I just made myself sad.
So uh, yeah. Baseball and stuff.