Doctor Christopher’s Take on the Off Season

Great for baseball to be back and back at this site. You ask a great question Orange Rox. Although I was on the season long DL healthwise last year from the website, I am known as rose and purple glasses guy here. So I am an optomist, even this season, so here is my read on the off-season:

  1. This year’s off-season was a poof FA class. Aside from a few good pen arms, the market for which experienced unfathomable inflation which pushed the Rox out of the market, there wasn’t good reason to spend big.
  2. The one exception was and is Lohse. His style and durability seems a fit and if would only cost the team a second, not a first round pick. But do you give 30 mill tona guy closer to 40 than 30? Plus it appears he does not want to come here. Still, that signing would have made a big winter and bring respect nationally and locally to the Rox.
  3. The team was aggressive in the trash heap market. They likely would have won the Pavano auction bjt then he got hurt. They did sign Volstad who was a #3/4 with the Marlins as late as 2010, before the whole dreaded year in Chicago. Marc Wiley sees a lot still there in a guy only 26. They missed on a couple of guys but I think Volstad is still really a major leagueer, as opposed to most trash heap guys.
  4. About the guys you mentioned, there is more there than might appear. The Rox pushed hard to get both McBride and Gardner in the Ubaldo deal after they said no to Kippnis. Gardner has been kept at Tulsa, not COS, which shows they value him as a pitcher. He is a sinker guy, but with more K potential than Cookie was. They put him on the 40 to avoid losing him to Rule 5. Look for him to fill the swing role possibly this year. Weiss wants double play with K potential pitchers. That is Gardner. Of the other names Skahill has a good arm and pitched well in the bigs at the end of the year. Given the return to a 90s focus on the pen, they will use the I-25 shuttle a lot, so those names may help more than we think now.
  5. The team may only have 3 top 100 in the minors, but they do have talent. Guys like Ortega, Parker, Wheeler, and Blackmon who will play in the bigs this year. What surprised me and more importantly the national broadcasters was the lack of trades from their depth. Both Fowler and Cuddy could have gone, but they were not going to give them away (especially Dex who they have been waiting to see break out). Aside from the Royals (a win now move for a guy who wasn’t even a #2, which shows how hard it is to get young established top line pitching ) and the Blue Jays (can they field a minor league team this year?),you saw almost no traded this offseason deals for quality prospects. I still think they will make deals this year, but when people have needs.
  6. If the starting 8 is healthy, this is tge 2nd best starting 8 on paper in the West. The Dodgers look better, but they are older and have big egos. We do need to see Baby Bull improve a lot (he has worked hard so ee shall see), we need to see if Rutledge can stay healthy and make adjustments, and 3b needs to see someone claim it and play good D until Arendo is ready (his drop in the rankings despite still being young shows how “what have you done lately” scouting can be). But they have depth and flexibility. I think the change at hitting coach will be good, especially with so many young guys.
  7. The big one – pitching especially starting. As i said here about a month ago, 2012 was simply weird. The park had been playing much closer to normal (never will normal) the past 8 years and then boom, it plays worse than the 1990s. Was it the heat and extreme dryness? That had to be a factor. I have lived here since 1975 as a 5-year-old and never experienced that bad, including evacuating our home here in COS while friends lost theirs. We saw BAonBIP jump from 300 to 322 or so. We had too many hurt pitchers pitching, too many rooks pitching. Too many badly called games by a rookie.

Here is the thing – do you panic and say this is the new normal? Or do.you loook for smart ways to improve? The Rox did the later. Signing Wiley as their pitching coordinator was best off-season move. They need to fix the 600 innings then decline rule that has been true here, if it can be fixed. They need a strategy for pitching that doesn’t change every year, which Wiley will do. On the field they have two guys coming back who can be #2s at least if healthy. We saw it from Chacin and I think DLR will be strong (he is key). Francis can be a solid #4. Every year post shoulder repair matters. They need a big step-up from Pomeranz. He has #1, CC Sabathia talent. But so did others who never made it. Then you have competition for #5 and the swing/partner/Coors field guy between Chatwood. Friedrich, Volstad and others. Lets be honest – this is not the Giants starting 5, we know that. And every team in the division i think will have a solid pen (including the Rox if they are not over used and stay healthy). But if Coors plays like 2005 to 2011, they have the potential to pitch well enough to let their bats win it.

8.  Have to add this, I do think the change from Tracy to Weiss alone will make the team better. The team has under achieved since 2009 and Tracy has a reputation of after year 1 guys getting too comfortable. Lets see what Walt can do.

So there is the off-season and what i read as the team’s strategy. I could be wrong and this team may lose 110 games. But sometimes flying under the radar, getting the house in order and focused, and getting healthy is more important than a big blockbuster change.

We shall see. As of today i can see from 78 to 88 wins. Should be fun anyways.

LETS PLAY BALL!

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
8 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
rockymountainhigh
rockymountainhigh
7 years ago

Thank you for the excellent write up Dr. C; I have pretty much said the same things as you summarized here attempting to alleviate the frustrations due to lack of winter action. There wasn’t much of a market out there in the pitching department. And contrary to popular opinion, we don’t need a top tier pitcher to be successful. We’ve learned from Rox’ history at altitude that the best formula is to rake and beat the opposing pitchers into submission.… Read more »

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
7 years ago

Even though my glasses are more orange than purple tinted, I will readily agree that we might see DanO’s best off season move yet to come at or near the end of spring training when other teams are looking to shed their #6 and/or #7 starters. The key here is that pitching rich teams will wait until the cut down date to make sure that their projected starters are indeed ready and healthy to begin the season. These pitchers usually… Read more »

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
7 years ago

Also Dr Chistopher please take those purple glasses of yours and a lot of money to Las Vegas, the odds there are that the Rockies will win 70.5 games in 2013 AND that is almost a seven game improvement over 2012 – no place to go but up!

Doctor_Christopher
Doctor_Christopher
7 years ago

Arrogant to comment on my own post? SORRY 🙂 Great chat on DP by Renk and Saunders. They seem to see most of what I said(whew, being the only one saying things makes me worry about insanity). The national guys (primarily ESPN) basically assume repeat on 2012. The guys who do the preseason predictions showed things like Tulo being a middle of the road SS, Cargo hitting in the .280s, basically regression for everyone. I do think 78 wins is… Read more »

TJinPhoenix
TJinPhoenix
7 years ago

Great conversation, this is why I come to this website. I don’t follow the minor leagues as closely as a lot of folks here (including the good Dr. and Orange) but it seems like for a LONG time we’ve heard Arenado’s name its always been followed with “When he’s ready”. It seems like he’s been on the cusp of being in the show full time for a LONG time. I ask this because I honestly don’t know, not to be… Read more »

TJinPhoenix
TJinPhoenix
7 years ago

Oops-didn’t mean to go plural on “basemen”…but while I’m dreaming I want a house in Kauai.

Agbayani
Agbayani
7 years ago

Dr. C, good to have you back. And I think you’re about half right. You’re right that other than the big ticket free agents there really wasn’t anyone IN OUR PRICE RANGE worth spending major money on. Kevin Correia? Got 10 million bucks, and he’s a very marginal 5th starter. No reason to chase after that. But you are kind of out there on assessing some of our minor league talent. You’re right that some of the really good prospects… Read more »

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
7 years ago

TJ – just one fan’s opinion but good young hitters seldom “lose” the hit tool, unless they eventually have trouble hitting Uncle Charlie (MLB curve ball). If there is one thing that Arenado has it is the hit tool, so I expect that he will make it and stick as the Rockies starting third baseman at some point in the next year or so. The problem however is that he was drafted out high school so he is still just… Read more »

8
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x