I know it is a long ways off, but it is never too soon to start preparing for 2013. I’m going to lay out the plan as if I was the GM of the Rockies. Brief comments and statements will be all over the place, so bear with me trying to sort out my story. It is going to be a long winter, right? So might as well pass the winter debating among ourselves.
I was able to enjoy the games more in September than in any other month because I watched the young players prove they belong in the bigs. IMO, most of them do belong in the big leagues and that helped me formulate a general plan to remake the Rockies team.
C – Rosario is the real deal at the plate and a legitmate clean up hitter. He quickly learned how to lay off the soft pitches out of the zone and started swinging with confidence. He can’t do worse defensively next year with some work in winter ball. Imagine how frightening he can be with Tulo behind him? Rosario must be limited to 120 games behind the dish so he doesn’t get run down due to altitude. Pacheco can back up.
2B – Rutledge – nice speed, good bat, good leather and arm; likely to play 2B in 2013 if not stashed in Springs. Nelson, Hererra, and LeMahieu can back up.
1B committee – I believe Helton should retire now to allow the Rox to use more versatile players without him taking up a roster spot and a IR spot; we have plenty of options there: Cuddyer, Colvin, and Pacheco.
SS – Tulo backed up by Rutledge, and in an emergency Nelson
3B – It is no longer a black hole although we may lack power; but as long as we have good OBP and production at the plate it is not necesary. Nelson and Pacheco both can play the position.
OF – CarGo and Fowler (much improved) are fixtures in LF & CF. Blackmon, Colvin, Cuddyer can play in RF with Blackmon & Colvin being versatile enough to play CF & LF.
Pitchers – Come up with a simple pitching plan; look in the mirror and say we aren’t very good if we try to have a five-man rotation go deep everytime out. Make it easier on the staff by carrying 8 or 9 starting pitchers. Their only job is to pitch effectviely at least three to five innings. Let the piggyback SPs finish the game. Only if it is a tight game do we need to go to Brothers and Betancourt. Carry only three or four short relievers which at least one is a southpaw.
Coaching/management:- keep Jim Tracy but no more using him as a puppet by the front office; Geivet (sp?) get away from the team locker room and let Jim Tracy do the managing and reporting to front office. DOD stay out of town scouting for new talent. Visit Rolando down in Latin America and learn from him.
Trading – golden rule is getting ground ball contact type pitchers in return. We need contact types to shorten the pitch counts; make the hitters hit into outs quickly rather than work the pitchers with foul balls.
Correct me if I’m wrong – players no longer under our control for 2013: Francis and Jon Sanchez
Must keep players: Brothers, Betancourt, Scahill (he pitched a ton at Springs and he knows how to pitch at altitude) and all position players not named Cuddyer, Hernandez, EY, Herrera.
Use as trade baits: Belisle, Chacin, Chatwood, DLR, Escalona, Friedrich, Harris, Matzek, Moscosco, Nicasio, Ottavino, Outman, Pomeranz, M Reynolds, Roenicke, Torres, White, Cuddyer, EY, Hernandez, Blackmon, Andrew Brown, TJ Wheeler, McBride, Trevor Story, Herrera.
So, on my count I see SEVENTEEN pitchers as well as a few position players to throw in that we can use as chips to bring in pitchers that are immune to Coors Field.
Our lineup would look more or less like this:
Fowler, Rutledge, CarGo, Rosario, Tulo, Pacheco, Colvin/Cuddyer/Helton (assuming he doesn’t want to let go of baseball love), Nelson, pitcher. We have so many versatile players at the corners that our bench consists of almost all starters other than Helton.
What you guys think? Feel free to throw me under the bus, jump on my bandwagon, or take a wait-and-see approach. Keep in mind I wrote this without factoring in dollars or what the Montforts/DOD wouldn’t do.