FanPost

Who's behind the plate for the Rockies in 2015?

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Colorado's pitching staff needs work on both ends, and putting pitchers in purple pinstripes is at the top of everyone's "to-do" list. A historically tall task, of course, but the stigma surrounding Coors Field won't be the only thing keeping big names off the roster. Pitchers risk an even lower success rate at an already difficult park when the club can't offer them a high caliber battery mate. The biggest decision the Rockies have to make this offseason isn't a few great arms, it's their starting catcher. With the Blue Jays snagging Russell Martin there isn't too hot of a market to make backstop blockbusters, but the Rox do have some options.

When it comes to impact catchers, there's not much available to the Rockies right off hand. It may make sense to look within the NL West in an uncommon intra-division trade with frustrated San Diego. The Padres desperately need bats and the Rockies have offensive depth both on the roster and in the farm system. With rumors circling a number of his players and competitive involvement in the Pablo Sandoval discussions, General Manager A.J. Preller is demonstrating that he's out to make a statement this offseason. Both teams have the pieces, so It's worth a thought.

Veteran Rene Rivera wouldn't be a long term solution to Rockies catching woes, but he's a definite defensive upgrade from Rosario. Among other factors, Rivera's 36 percent caught stealing rate more than doubles Wilin's, who only put out a total of seven would-be base stealers on the season. Rosario's WAR in 2014 was a sad -0.1, while Rivera posted at 3.1. Rivera may not seem like much offensively, but do keep in mind he managed a .252/.319/.432 line with the majority of his plate appearances coming from pitcher-favoring Petco Park. With both clubs in need, Rivera could be worth dealing for.

Outside the division the possibilities look even more grim. Perhaps the Rockies try for Carlos Ruiz again, as they did last season. Ruiz' age and higher price tag make him less than ideal, and a total 2014 Rockies move. A trade with Philadelphia would almost certainly involve Colorado's outfielders.

Even with cutting prospect catching depth by shipping Jackson Williams off to Anaheim, it's never safe to assume the front office will fortify from outside the organization. If the Rockies head into spring training with Wilin Rosario and Michael McKenry contending for the starting role, I don't see the Baby Bull winning this one free and clear. It may not be ideal, but McKenry has given the Rockies enough to consider:

1. He makes the most out of an offseason.

Seriously, this guy took a season ending injury in 2013 and turned it into a break-out .315/.398/.512 year with the opportunities he had in 2014. He's working his swing down to a science and now that his knee has proven healthy, I fully expect him to show up to spring training with more of a defensive edge, too.

2. He handles young pitchers incredibly well.

This is crucial because it's the Rockies we're talking about here. There were a lot of young, inexperienced pitchers making appearances in purple this year, and there will be next year. It's bound to happen; learn from the past. Tyler Matzek in particular paired nicely with McKenry who caught each of Matzek's six wins, including his three hit shutout over San Diego.

3. He carries a big bat.

Michael McKenry was really beginning to heat up toward the end of the season. Starting in only 45 games, McKenry finished the year with nine doubles, eight home runs, and 22 RBIs while drawing 22 walks in less than 200 plate appearances. Obviously Rosario also packs a hot bat, but I would have liked to see more than 13 home runs from a highly capable power hitter who plays half of his games at Coors Field.

Bottom line, Wilin Rosario is not the guy the Rockies need behind the plate next year. It may call for a shake-up, but let's not pretend there's no wiggle room here. Even if the Rox put together a halfway decent pitching staff next season, without moving Rosario it's lipstick on a pig. A catcher that controls the game is going to bring a team to more wins than any one starting pitcher will. With winter meetings just around the corner, Jeff Bridich and company should set their sights on a keystone instead of an accessory.

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. But the above FanPost does not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or views of Purple Row's staff (unless, of course, it's written by the staff [and even then, it still might not]).