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100 Rockies Predictions for 2016

We're so close.

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 49th Purple Row edition (and 153rd overall) of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we have reached the final Tuesday of the offseason. Let's get into it.

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Last year I had quite a bit of fun putting together a list of "79 Rockies Predictions for 2015". It's one of my favorite posts to date and all offseason I've been looking forward to putting together an updated version. The fine folks at this website are in full 2016-preview mode, so these 100 predictions are my two cents on what I think we're about to see.

I'm using the same format as last year, which means I'm here to provide everything you can expect from the 2016 Rockies, from advanced stats to broadcasts, from obvious inevitables, to the impossible-to-predict. Some of these are educated guesses, some are based off of historical tendencies, and some are just a gut feeling or hunch. In Rockieland, certain things never change and while putting this list together, I realized that a lot of these predictions were basically the same ones I (correctly) made a year ago. I just included them again, because... why not? I hope this doesn't diminish my upstanding reputation.

So dive on in and spend some of the final minutes of this long offseason prognosticating what might be to come over the next six months.

  1. The Rockies will put together a better season than last year, when they lost 94 games.
  2. The Rockies won't improve much; they'll lose at least 84 games.
  3. Okay, fine. I'll make an official prediction for their record:  76-86.
  4. The USA Today prediction of a 62-100 season will seem pretty... weird in six months.
  5. Not committing to a full "rebuild" will be the reason the Rockies fall into flirting with .500 for much of the season.
  6. The "Are they rebuilding or trying to win now?" question will continue to confound the masses... until the trade deadline.
  7. Not having a real answer to this question for most of the season will continue to be the most maddening aspect of being a Rockies fan.
  8. If the Rockies are to (miraculously) contend, the 24 games against the NL West among the first 34 games of the season will be pretty important.
  9. For the... what, fourth? year in a row the Rockies will play some pretty damn good baseball for a while in the season's first couple months.
  10. I'll buy in... Dammit. Despite my best efforts, I'll start to buy in.
  11. Things will fall apart in June (or May, or April) and I'll regret buying in.
  12. The Rockies will not sit through as many rain delays as last year.
  13. The Rockies will get snowed out in May again.
  14. Regardless of the on-field results, the slightest improvement in weather will make for what we should all consider a successful year.
  15. Nolan Arenado will start the All Star Game for the first time.
  16. Nolan Arenado will cement his place among the best/most badass players in baseball.
  17. Nolan Arenado will cement his place among the best/ most badass players on the Colorado sports scene.
  18. Nolan Arenado will hit fewer than 35 home runs.
  19. Nolan Arenado will produce an on-base percentage greater than .340.
  20. Dude is gunna take some walks. Not a lot of walks. But some walks. It'll help things.
  21. Regardless of what he does at the plate, Nolan Arenado's innovative, creative, artistic, jaw-dropping defense will make tuning into each game worthwhile.
  22. Carlos Gonzalez will still have the prettiest left-handed swing in all of baseball.
  23. ...Unless he's chasing a slider low and away and misses by about three feet.
  24. Carlos Gonzalez will go through stretches when it seems like all he does is chase sliders that are low and away and that he misses by about three feet.
  25. Carlos Gonzalez will go through stretches when he is, without a doubt, the best player on Earth.
  26. Carlos Gonzalez will start stealing bases again.
  27. Carlos Gonzalez will steal, like, 15-20 bases.
  28. CarGo will hit a walk-off homer into the second deck and drop his bat like a damn pimp and admire his work for a good five seconds and I will LOSE MY MIND.
  29. Carlos Gonzalez's throwing arm will remain the most underrated aspect of his game.
  30. Carlos Gonzalez WILL get traded in late July.
  31. DJ LeMahieu will not hit .300. (He hit .301 last year.)
  32. DJ LeMahieu's BABIP will come back to earth from the .362 he had last year.
  33. DJ LaMahieu will come up to bat with a runner in scoring position and two outs and he'll shoot a sharp single to the opposite field and I'll say something like, "Damn, I love DJ LaMahieu."
  34. Trevor Story will be the Rockies shortstop on Opening Day.
  35. Fans will be-- and should be-- excited about this.
  36. Trevor Story will have a pretty solid year, but will go through long stretches where he really struggles.
  37. Charlie Blackmon will again steal 40 or more bases.
  38. It will still be easy to root for Charlie Blackmon. He's a likable dude, man!
  39. Gerardo Parra will hit 15-20 homers.
  40. Gerardo Parra's outfield defense will make me not miss Corey Dickerson's outfield defense.
  41. I'll still miss Corey Dickerson.
  42. It's going to take like four full months of seeing Mark Reynolds in a Rockies uniform before I get used to seeing Mark Reynolds in a Rockies uniform.
  43. Mark Reynolds will strikeout at a nearly comical rate.
  44. Mark Reynolds will hit a bunch of homers. Some of them will win games. I'll like it when that happens.
  45. The first base platoon of Ben Paulsen and Mark Reynolds will make for a stomachable, if not desirable, situation at first base.
  46. Ben Paulsen will have fewer than 40 at bats against left handed pitching.
  47. Nick Hundley will not hit .300. (He hit .301 last year.)
  48. I'll laugh whenever the Purple Row account tweets out that damn picture of Nick Hundley.
  49. Jorge De La Rosa will still be pretty darn reliable.
  50. Jorge De La Rosa will win about twelve games.
  51. Jorge De La Rosa will have stretches of dominance.
  52. Jorge De La Rosa will have stretches of remarkably frustrating wildness.
  53. I will be the most excited to watch the Rockies whenever Jon Gray is starting.
  54. Jon Gray will record his first career win in his first 2016 start.
  55. Jon Gray's season ERA will be around 4.00.
  56. Jon Gray will strikeout around nine batters per nine innings.
  57. Jon Gray will be just fine.
  58. Chad Bettis will be the Rockies' best starting pitcher.
  59. Chad Bettis will have an ERA around 3.50.
  60. Tyler Chatwood will be a solid, unspectacular middle of the rotation starter.
  61. Tyler Chatwood will get hurt.
  62. Jordan Lyles willllll........ NOT get hurt due to a freak, non-pitching circumstance.
  63. Jordan Lyles will pitch at least 180 innings.
  64. Tyler Matzek will not make an appearance for the Rockies in 2016.
  65. Some day, some starter is going to be getting shelled, and I will really, really wish Tyler Matzek was still with the team. (All the best to Tyler.)
  66. Jeff Hoffman will make his major league debut in September.
  67. Kyle Freeland will not.
  68. Jason Motte and Chad Qualls will both contribute to making the bullpen better than it was last year by a whole bunch.
  69. Boone Logan will be good against lefties again this year.
  70. Adam Ottavino will return to the 'pen in July.
  71. Adam Ottavino's slider will still be an absolute marvel.
  72. Even though one of them is not on the team anymore, I'll still kinda get Christian Bergman and Christan Friedrich confused more than I'd like to admit.
  73. Jake McGee is going to be a damn baller (and the Rockies' primary closer).
  74. Fans are going to really enjoy watching Jake McGee throw fastballs.
  75. Jake McGee WILL get traded in July.
  76. When Carlos Gonzalez and Jake McGee are traded, we will see Jeff Bridich really commit to something for the first time.
  77. Fans will be a little underwhelmed by the returns the Rockies receive in the Carlos Gonzalez and Jake McGee trades.
  78. Walt Weiss and company will successfully use even more defensive shifts than we saw last year.
  79. Walt Weiss and company will still try to steal too many bases.
  80. People on Twitter will complain about Drew Goodman’s play by play even though he’s pretty damn good.
  81. At some point, I'll briefly miss George Frazier's personality on the Root broadcasts.
  82. I will be surprised by this.
  83. I will not miss George Frazier talking about Oklahoma on the Root broadcasts.
  84. Jenny Cavnar will continue her excellent work in the studio and at Coors.
  85. Ryan Spilborghs will again be the most enjoyable color commentator on Root.
  86. Jeff Huson, while his delivery can be a bit awkward and out of sync, will provide plenty of accurate and on-point analysis.
  87. Listening to Jerry and Jack from my desk at work will get me through a handful of uneventful Thursday afternoons.
  88. Since the Denver Broncos just won a Super Bowl and don't have a quarterback the Denver media will reach a whole new level of ignoring the Rockies.
  89. Seriously, the Rockies could start the season 35-0 and finish 120-42 and nobody in the Denver media would pay any attention to them. (But don't worry, Purple Row has got you covered. That's why we're here.)
  90. 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.
  91. Some half-drunk 22-year-old will stand in my section at a game and implore the masses to start The Wave.
  92. I will politely request that this person put a stop to his actions.
  93. The damn Tooth Trot will still be a thing.
  94. Dinger will jump around behind home plate during the 9th inning.
  95. Yes, Dinger will continue to be an embarrassment.
  96. Yes, Dinger will continue to be the worst mascot in sports.
  97. The Party Deck will be packed on a nightly basis with people who literally-- LITERALLY!-- could not tell you what team the Rockies are playing.
  98. Making fun of people who complain about the Party Deck will remain one of my favorite in-season activities.
  99. Coors Field will continue to be the most beautiful ball park in the country.
  100. I will not be able to drive downtown, park at 20th and Arapahoe under the billboard, walk a few blocks, past the old Adult Video Library, cross the street diagonally to Jackson's, have a couple Coors Lights at the outdoor bar, poke fun at strangers' awful attempts to back their car into tiny parking spots in the adjacent lot, buy a bag of peanuts from That One Guy on the corner, walk through the gates at 20th and Blake, buy a scorecard and a pencil for two bucks, emerge from the gray concrete corridor to watch a sunsplashed first inning or two behind home plate, wander down the third baseline, sneak past a septuagenarian into a mostly-empty section in left field, find some pretty solid seats I didn't necessarily pay for, and settle in to the best stadium in the world to watch the greatest game on Earth-- the game I learned from one person more than any other-- without crying my eyes out every step of the way because I will miss my dad so damn much.

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Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for readin'. See ya next week.