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Revisiting my 79 preseason Rockies predictions

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A lot has changed since the beginning of April.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 25th Purple Row edition (and 130th overall) of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I'm putting this thing together without a baseball game in the background for the first time since March. Let's get into it...

About six months and 162 games ago, I posted my 2nd-to-last Tuesdays With Mitch before bringing the series over here to Purple Row. In that post, I made 79 predictions about what I expected from the Rockies in 2015. Some of them were serious. Some were silly. Some were statistically based. Some were about the Tooth Trot. Some were happy. Some were sad.

And, it turns out... Some where right. Some were wrong.

So, let's venture back early to April, when so much bad baseball had yet to played, and revisit my state of mind on all things Rockies. What good are predictions if you never revisit them?! (Original prediction in normal text. My present-day reaction follows in bold.) Let's go...

  1. The Rockies will begin the season with a 10-0 victory over the Brewers in Milwaukee behind seven shutout innings from Kyle Kendrick and big days at the plate from Corey Dickerson, Nolan Arenado and Troy Tulowitzki. [This one was a joke because I posted these the day AFTER Opening Day. I award myself zero pretend points.]
  2. The Rockies will improve upon last year’s dismal 66-96 season and win at least 68 games. [Well, they went 68-94, so I guess I got this right. Look, I didn't make an official prediction regarding their record, but instead threw out an eight-game range that I thought seemed realistic. A bit of a cop-out, but they barely snuck in there.]
  3. The Rockies will not improve all that much; they’ll win fewer than 76 games. [Definitely got this one right.]
  4. Despite my best efforts, early success from the Rockies will SUCK ME IN and trick me into being optimistic until things fall apart in June. (Or May… Or April.) [Nah. I'm proud to say, I never really did buy in. I guess I shouldn't take too much pride in this since they reached their highest "over .500" mark on April 15 when they were 7-2.]
  5. When the Rockies are at Coors Field, they will hit the crap out of the ball. [Yeah, pretty much. The Rox slashed .302/.352/.489 as a team at home this year.]
  6. When the Rockies are on the road they will hit less of the crap out of the ball. [Certainly! The Rox slashed .228/.277/.375 as a team on the road this year.]
  7. The Rockies’ offense on the road will not be as disgustingly-awful as last year’s, which produced at a .228/.279/.357 output. [Holy crap! 2014: .228/.279/.357, 2015: .228/.277/.375. That's.... eerie.]
  8. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 160 games. [I mean, this was kind of a given.]
  9. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 150 games. [Now, I'm not sure if I meant games AS A ROCKIE.]
  10. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 140 games. [...Troy played in 87 games for the Rox]
  11. Troy Tulowitzki will play in fewer than 130 games. [...And 41 for Toronto.]
  12. Troy Tulowitzki will play in more than 100 games. (He played in 91 last year.) [...Putting him at 128 total! I kinda nailed it! (Also, hope he kills it in the postseason.)]
  13. This will not be enough games to carry the Rockies into playoff contention. [No. No, it was not.]
  14. During the 100-130 games he plays, Troy Tulowitzki will be a top-2 player in the game. [Well... Nah. He wasn't.]
  15. Carlos Gonzalez will play in more than 140 games. (He played in 70 last year.) [He sure did! 153, actually.]
  16. Carlos Gonzalez will vastly improve upon his completely lost 2014 season (-0.7 WAR) and post a WAR around 4. [Vastly improve? Yes. WAR? 2.4 Fangraphs, 3.0 Baseball Reference. Whatever the numbers say, once CarGo flipped the switch in mid-May he was a joy to watch all year long. Love that dude. If/when he gets traded this winter, I will be sad. I will be glad, but I will be sad.]
  17. Carlos Gonzalez will steal at least 20 bases. [Uhhh... No. CarGo didn't even try to steal bases this year. He stole two and was not caught. Wasn't expecting that.]
  18. Nolan Arenado will make his first All Star Game. [Yup.]
  19. Nolan Arenado will hit at least 23 home runs. [Almost twice that amount.]
  20. Nolan Arenado will win his third Gold Glove in his third season. [Matter of time.]
  21. Corey Dickerson will continue to hit and hit and hit and hit. [Yeah, when he wasn't hurt.]
  22. Corey Dickerson will finish with a top-5 National League batting average. [He doesn't qualify, but is hitting .304, which would be 9th if he had enough ABs.]
  23. Justin Morneau will again hit over .330 against right-handed pitching. [Nope. He hit .300 against righties this year in just 142 plate appearances.]
  24. Justin Morneau will have fewer than 120 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. [Well, yeah. He had just 40. But, as we all know, that was due to a lack of playing time more than anything else.]
  25. Injuries, overall, will be less of a story and factor over the course of 2015 than they were in 2014. [Yeah, I suppose. But that has more to do with 2014 than 2015.]
  26. Keith Dugger will still have pristine hair[Oh, yeah.]
  27. Drew Stubbs, a pleasant surprise last year, will see serious regression at the plate. [We're going to consider this a YES.]
  28. Charlie Blackmon will not be good enough against left-handed pitchers to make up for Stubbs’ decline. [Charlie hit .264/.322/.387 against lefties. Not TOO terrible, but it would have been nice be able to platoon him with a productive Stubbs.]
  29. This will be a problem for a team that broke camp with just four outfielders. [Drew Stubbs was a problem. When Corey Dickerson went down, the lack of production from left field was a problem in general.]
  30. Wilin Rosario will struggle defensively at first base. [Yes. Yes he did.]
  31. Wilin Rosario will struggle defensively at catcher. [Didn't even get the chance, thankfully.]
  32. It will become clear that Wilin Rosario really needs to be a DH on an American League team. [Yes, though that has been clear for a long time.]
  33. Nick Hundley’s defense, game calling, pitch receiving, and leadership will help the Rockies’ young pitching staff. [Eh, I dunno. Maybe a little. Hard to say with a staff that bad.]
  34. Jorge De La Rosa will be back in his #1 spot in the rotation before May. [He was.]
  35. Jorge De La Rosa will be the Rockies’ best starting pitcher again. [Yeah. Either DLR or Chad Bettis. Jorge made six more starts and has a slightly better ERA+. Bettis has a very slight edge in WAR (2.6 to 2.5).]
  36. Jorge De La Rosa will not be as good at Coors Field as he was in 2014 (10-2, 3.08 ERA). [Jorge went 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP at home this year. So yeah, not as good.]
  37. Tyler Matzek will turn into a semi-reliable #3 starter, with some gems and disasters sprinkled among mostly decent starts. [No. No. Nooooooooooooo. Well, the disaster part was right I guess.]
  38. Jordan Lyles will get hurt. [Yes. I regret making this prediction.]
  39. Jon Gray will be called up to the Rox in May. [Way off!]
  40. Jon Gray will make serious and positive contributions to help bolster the pitching staff. [Ummm... No I guess I can't say that, since the Rockies were out of the race by the time he was called up.]
  41. After one particularly solid start from Gray, I will become irrationally excited about the future of the Rockies. [...This, however, remained true]
  42. Kyle Kendrick will not get injured. [One short-ish stint on the DL. Mostly healthy. Now let us never speak of Kyle Kendrick and his 6.32 ERA agai--]
  43. Kyle Kendrick will put up numbers similar to (but not quite as solid as) his numbers from last year with the Phillies: 32 starts, 199 innings, 4.61 ERA in a hitter’s park on a bad team. [Moving on...]
  44. The Rockies will take that. [I saaaiiiiid MOVING ON!]
  45. Boone Logan will be less horrible and less injured than last year. [Oh man, this exercise is getting less and less fun. On a more serious note, Logan was better towards the end of the year when he was only assigned a lefty or two per game.]
  46. Boone Logan will still not be worth his big-ass, $5.5 million salary. [No doubt about that one.]
  47. Rex Brothers will be called up in May or June, only to be sent back down a couple weeks later. [Called up in July, sent down after three appearances. Called back up in September.]
  48. Nobody will understand what the hell happened to Rex Brothers. [Accurate; though I'm not quite ready to give up on him completely. His September had some positive signs.]
  49. Adam Ottavino’s slider will be the most fun thing to watch involving a Rockies pitcher. [It was! Though, it was short-lived.]
  50. The oldest player in baseball, LaTroy Hawkins, will somehow be a pretty good closer again at the age of 42. [No. No, that didn't last long.]
  51. When the Rockies are floundering in irrelevance in the late-summer, watching that infield play defense will be reason enough to tune in and watch a ball game. [Yeah, pretty much. Consistently awesome all year.]
  52. Walt Weiss' new commitment to defensive shifts will be a long overdue innovation and make the Rox’ infield defense even better. [I would agree with this.]
  53. Whenever Rafael Ynoa does ANYTHING I will loudly proclaim, "Ynoa it!" [I'm gunna be honest, I thought Ynoa's name was pronounced "Yuh--noah" instead of "Eeee-noah". Get it?! Anyway, I didn't really do this like I thought I would.]
  54. When Justin Morneau scoops a low throw, one of the Root broadcasters will compare him to Todd Helton[Probably, though I actually don't remember a specific instance of this, somehow.]
  55. Ryan Spilborghs will turn out to be the most enjoyable color commentator on Root Sports. [Yep.]
  56. Root Sports will continue to scroll "Toyota Talk" at the bottom of the screen during games. [Kind of! No more texts. Just tweets. And while it's still pretty dumb, the new format is an improvement.]
  57. The person in charge of this decision will not be fired, as he should be. [Nobody needs to be fired.]
  58. George Frazier will talk about Oklahoma during a broadcast. [Ohhhh yeah.]
  59. Jenny Cavnar will continue her excellent work in the studio and at Coors. [Absolutely. Jenny's great.]
  60. People on Twitter will complain about Drew Goodman’s play-by-play even though he’s pretty damn good. [Yeah, pretty much.]
  61. When the Rockies have early success or win a few games or series in a row, about half of the Denver media will prove they have no idea what is going on with the Rockies when they are forced to focus on the local nine for a few days. [Probably more than half, if we're honest.]
  62. The Denver media will be stoked when July rolls around because they can focus on the Broncos’ stretching and jogging around in shorts for a few weeks before playing pretend games for a month. [A tradition unlike any other!]
  63. An employee of the San Francisco Giants will say something stupid about the Rockies. [No. I don't think they did.]
  64. Dick Monfort will say something stupid about the Rockies. [No, sadly. I could have used some easy material this year.]
  65. Jeff Bridich will seriously consider trading Troy Tulowitzki, but the young pitching staff and position playing prospects will show just enough promise to convince Bridich the team can contend in 2016 with its current core. [This was an incorrect prediction. Troy Tulowitzki was traded. Do you remember that happening?]
  66. Jeff Bridich will seriously consider trading Carlos Gonzalez, but the young pitching staff and position player prospects will show just enough promise to convince Bridich that the team can contend in 2016 with its current core. [This might be true. It might not. Unfortunately, I think CarGo has to go this offseason.]
  67. After the year, we still won’t be positive that Jeff Bridich knows what he’s doing, but we’ll all be a little more confident in the guy. [I wouldn't say "confident", necessarily. I would say, "Ask me after I see what happens this winter."]
  68. With Bill Geivett gone, we will begin to see Walt Weiss’ true colors as a manager, though I’m not sure what those are yet. [I suppose we did.]
  69. The $2 bag of peanuts I have been buying from the same guy outside of the home plate entrance for just about 20 years will somehow be slightly smaller than last year. [It was!]
  70. The new metal detectors will make getting in to any remotely popular game any time near the scheduled first pitch an absolute disaster. (Especially on Friday. That’s gunna take hours.) [They sure didn't help things, but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, save Opening Day.]
  71. Some half-drunk 22-year-old will stand in my section at a game and implore the masses to start The Wave. [I actually don't think this ever happened in my section this year.]
  72. I will politely request that this person put a stop to his actions. [Not applicable! This person never interacted with me! Could The Wave be dying?!]
  73. The Tooth Trot will still be a thing. [Sigh.]
  74. Dinger will jump around behind home plate during the 9th inning. [Yes.]
  75. Dinger will continue to be an embarrassment. [Ugh.]
  76. Dinger will conintue to be the worst mascot in sports. [Why?]
  77. The Party Deck will be packed on a nightly basis with people who literally could not tell you what team the Rockies are playing. [Never made it up there, but I'm assumming this is correct.]
  78. Coors Field will continue to be the most beautiful ball park in the country. [Always and forever.]
  79. I will go to Coors Field on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon or an impossibly pleasant Friday night and I’ll sneak into great seats and I’ll sip beer and I’ll crush peanut shells with my sandals and I’ll yell things that confuse children and I’ll get looks from people for clapping loudly and I’ll truly appreciate the most beautiful game on earth and I’ll be completely content with everything in my life, if only for a few hours. [This one was the surest bet of them all.]

So there ya have it. 2015 was a long year for the Rockies. There were a bunch of highs and a whole bunch of lows. I didn't see the Tulo trade coming. I didn't see the emergence of Bettis. I kind of saw Arenado's breakout coming, but he exceeded even my expectations. I correctly predicted the health and resurgence of CarGo as well as the decline and struggles of Drew's Tubbs.

The broadcasters and broadcasts were mostly the same, as was the atmosphere at Coors Filed. (There is good and bad to all of that.)

Despite all the losing, we had some fun this year. Thanks for letting me into this crazy little corner of the internets to talk about the Rockies and laugh at funny things that happen in sports. Speaking of which!

It's time to the weekly departments...

Stud of the week:

I was already planning on rooting for the Blue Jays in the postseason and that was BEFORE I saw the way the celebrated winning the AL East.

First, Munenori Kawasaki:

See also, Josh Donaldson:

Ass of the week:

Look at this sorry fella:

Some other stuff from around the internet:

Let's go back to MLB players getting drunk and celebrating. I love this interview answer.

When you're on a college football team and you win games, you get to have lots of fun. Like this:

Northwestern's win called for the Macarena and hip thrust. (ESPN music/Avicii/Pure Grinding)

A video posted by SportsCenter (@sportscenter) on

This is a large man who plays football.

390-pounder LaQuan McGowan makes one-handed catches look easy. Putting on his jersey... not so much.

A video posted by SportsCenter (@sportscenter) on

Hey let's check in on the Clemson tailgate before they play Notre Dame.

Large belly!

Love the reaction of this British dude after a very angry Ndamukong Suh lumbered past him.


I think Mario Williams made the tackle of the year on Sunday. He just throws this dude on his head!
And finally, this might be the MLB video of the year.


"And no one noticed..." Great work from Steve Berthiaume to properly skewer those girls. I don't understand how one could sit in public and participate in these activities without feeling like a complete buffoon. It's kind of bizarre how much certain people enjoy looking at themselves. But whatever. Get off my lawn!

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for readin'.  Enjoy the postseason! (Give me Keuchel and the Astros tonight and the Pirates over Arrieta somehow tomorrow.). See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos, or other media I should know about. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.