The Rockies have already experienced a kind of depressingly unexpected spring training. Injuries abound and ineffectiveness has many worried. It seemed like an appropriate time to reach out to the Purple Row community and have a little airing of the grievances in the FanPosts. Last week our FanPost Friday prompt was “What is your biggest worry/fear about the Rockies right now?”
Apparently y’all feel pretty good about the upcoming season; we had just three responses to the prompt. One concern that did come up is probably the most common—and completely unpredictable and uncontrollable—concern among baseball teams everywhere: injuries.
Ian Desmond, David Dahl, and Chad Bettis are going to miss Opening Day. Fortunately many of those injuries won’t keep them out long, and Bettis may even return from chemotherapy to pitch later this year (which would be awesome and incredible). But what if the injury tick continues to suck the life out of the Rockies? Arimaris detailed some of the trickle down effects of such a rash of injuries, if we were to lose someone from the top of the rotation:
Losing any one of them for an extended period of time would take the depth we already are having to dip into and almost ensure that we are hoping for another .500 season. If we lose or see lower than expected performance from 2 of the 3, it's going to be a long summer unless a surprise happens.
RoxRock4 and RockiesLifer has a more pointed concern when it comes to the pitching: what if it’s not as good as we all hope? As RockiesLifer pointed out, “We have exactly one pitcher in our rotation with more than a year of Major League experience.” When you put it like that, the increased upside/talent makes you realize that guys like Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, and even Tyler Anderson still carry quite a bit of risk. RockiesLifer:
If youth doesn't serve, we are the same team we have always been. What if Tyler Anderson takes a step back? What if none of our four rookies have success, and we're forced to continue to play two of them at the major league level all year, or even worse, rotate them all through AAA? If the rotation struggles, we are in for yet another season where I'm deluding myself into thinking the Rockies matter.
While the axiom used to be something along the lines of “As Tulo and Cargo go, so go the Rockies,” RockiesLifer makes a good point that it really comes back to the rotation. If this team can’t pitch, they can’t win, same as always. RoxRock4 shares this concern:
However, the ideas of severe regression (which has happened too often in the past), busts (a la Eddie Butler), or just simply young guys who aren't ready yet but brought up too soon to try and patch a falling apart rotation all worry me. It's enough of a swing that I could see the Rockies winning as many as 95 games or losing 90 if the worst happens.
I admit I share this concern. The rotation may be the new face of the franchise, and the talent in this rotation is really criminally underrated and undercovered. But when you put your hopes and dreams on a few elbow ligaments, your dreams can fray and snap without a moment’s notice. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Just ask the Phillies.
In other words, we have every reason to expect that this season will be better than previous seasons. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some existential dread at the thought of it not being so.
There you have it! Thanks again to our FanPosters this week. We’re tantalizingly close to the start of the season now, so that means it’s prediction time. Check out the rules for this week’s prompt about five predictions for the Rockies this season.
Any of the above worries have you bogged down? Is there something else we should be concerned about?