DON'T PANIC. ALL IS WELL!
There's no denying that the 2014 season has gotten off to a pretty terrible start for the Rockies. If Colorado loses tomorrow (which is exceedingly possible with Jordan Lyles on the mound), the Rockies will be off to their second 0-3 start in franchise history. As you well know though, that doesn't mean that Colorado is destined for a terrible season. Not that you were really thinking this - after all, there's 160 more games of baseball to be played in the 2014 regular season and half of the sample size we have so far was against one of the top five pitchers in baseball in Jose Fernandez.
The old adage when it comes to major league baseball is that everybody wins 60 games (except you, Astros), everybody loses 60, and it's what you do in the other 42 that define your season. Well, I'd certainly say that Opening Day was in the 60 you lose category, but the game last night was firmly in the 42 that Colorado needs to win as many of this year as they can if they are to contend for the postseason. One might also argue that they need to win as many as possible against the Marlins, one of the worst teams in baseball, and I wouldn't disagree with you there either. It hasn't been a great few days for Rockies fans.
Even so, I remain optimistic about Colorado's 2014 season and I suspect that many of the rest of you are too. Note that optimistic doesn't necessarily mean playoffs - just that the team will be good/interesting enough to keep me invested all year. Here's a few quick reasons why I feel that way:
1. While Colorado's Opening Day roster selections may have been a little confusing, but I believe that the team that will play the majority of the 162 games for the Rockies is not yet on the field. Jhoulys Chacin will come back and be great as he always is, Tyler Chatwood will be a revelation, and who knows - Eddie Butler and/or Jon Gray could stomp everyone in their path on the way to the majors. It's April and I'm going to be optimistic, darn it.
2. Breakouts from young players - looking at you, Nolan Arenado. Butler/Gray fit here too, I suppose. Watching a breakout season happen, especially from a player that came up through the farm system, is one of the most gratifying things for a fan to see. It gives us hope that maybe, just maybe, our player development system can do something right - and then we get another great player to root for and to imagine in a Rockies uniform for the next decade. Arenado has the look of that guy.
3. The prospect of a healthy roster - as has been written ad nauseum, the Rockies are a pretty dangerous (not to mention exciting) team when all of their pieces are healthy. It's pretty easy to forget over the long off-season, but players like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are capable of some pretty amazing things and it's a pleasure to watch them ply their trade for the Rockies.
4. A pitching staff that delivers consistently great performances. Say what you will about Jorge De La Rosa's meltdown in the fifth inning on Monday, but his stuff looked electric in the early innings. Brett Anderson gives the Rockies a ground-ball pitcher who has strikeout stuff and good command. Chacin will be Chacin, Chatwood has a skill set ideally suited to Coors, and Juan Nicasio looked great this spring. That's a darn good starting five, then you add Colorado's improved rotation depth (which we'll see over the next two games with Lyles and Franklin Morales) and a much deeper bullpen to the mix.
What you get is a staff that has the potential to be the best group ever assembled by the Rockies. So far it hasn't worked, but as I've said before, it's a long season and I firmly believe that it will work very well for Colorado this year.
5. Watching live baseball at Coors Field - this admittedly will be the case every year that I live in the great state of Colorado, but I've been going to Rockies games at Coors Field since it opened in 1995 and it hasn't gotten old yet. It's a phenomenal venue for watching baseball and it's been a joy to attend baseball games there over the years, even when (most of the time) the Rockies haven't been great.
So take heart Rockies fans, it's a looooong season and there's plenty to look forward to.