Spring is Around the Corner

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.

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Jeem
Jeem
8 years ago

Nice analysis, JD. I would say EVERYONE is tradeable. The one general positive development of 2012 is we now have pretty serviceable depth at every position but catcher (and I’m pretty little leery of your proposal to make Pacheco the back-up there). Quoth the MFL: “We need to fix what gets done 60 feet, 6 inches away from home plate.” So for example if you have to move Rutledge to get an SP you desire, you’ve got LeMahieu to fall… Read more »

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

RMH Posted this – i’d love to take credit cause he is a very smart mug, but I can’t do that to my brother from another mother…

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago

Hey my friend, i have to respectfully disagree when it comes to Helton. I believe he should be able to do exactly what he is hoping to do for next season – to come back and play in a limited situation (but more than Giambi did last year) and then retire on a high note. I know it is against putting the best players on the field each day, but he has given so much to the team over the… Read more »

GARY
GARY
8 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

I agree totally on Helton,but totally disagree on Pachecco.He is plain and simply a ball player.True he has not been sensational at any position,but he has been better than serviceable at all.I mean he has been learning on the jod and at the big league level.I think his defense at first has really improved,just as it did at third after a month or so of on the job training.His pick on the last out of the Cubs series was vintage… Read more »

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

I don’t want my comments about Helton to be misunderstood when it comes to Pacheco. I am not saying we should trade him at all! I am saying he should be the back seat should Todd come back and be healthy and when Todd retires he should be given a crack at taking over 1st full time. We are only talking one season with Todd and we can find PLENTY of spots for Jordan’s talent (backup catcher anyone?) for one… Read more »

Jeem
Jeem
8 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

RMH– didn’t realize you posted. So credit’s to you.

Julian
Julian
8 years ago

Here’s my take on next year’s roster: 1B: If Todd wants to play next year and physically can, then he will have a roster spot, and maybe start 60% of the games and come in as a late inning defensive replacement. We have lots of backups in Pacheco, Colvin, and Cuddyer. 2B: Ruttledge and LeMahieu. They both appear to be bona fide major leaguers. SS: Tulo, with Ruttledge as the backup. I also have concerns about Tulo’s ability to stay… Read more »

GARY
GARY
8 years ago
Reply to  Julian

Despite my “up the middle”comment above,I’m surprised no one here,or in the media has suggested Rutledge at third.Great reflexes,arm,and range.Also projects as at least as much power,speed,and average as Nelson.LeMahieu could start at second,and Nelson becomes super utility.Despite injuries I don’t see Tulo accepting going to third any time in the near future.

Bob in Indy
Bob in Indy
8 years ago

Put me in the short list of those supporting Helton’s return next year for three reasons. First, he has earned the opportunity to go out his way. Second, you just can’t deny that the Rockies defense is a whole lot better when he is on the field. His ability to catch just about anything thrown in the direction of first expands the range and fielding percentages of the rest of the infield, and there is no doubt the poor fielding… Read more »

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob in Indy

I completely agree. It isn’t a paycheck for him. The comment he made about not wanting to be away from his family to only pinch hit shows he is willing to retire (and forgo 5 million) if he can’t play on a semi-regular basis. I really really respect that.

Doc
Doc
8 years ago

Assuming the SMIB will still be the puppet master, we can all look forward to business as usual this winter. Outside the obvious pitching problems, IMHO the big questions next year revolve around the big three: Helton, Cargo, and Tulo. Helton will get every opportunity to go out in style next year. Questions about his health will decide how much he plays, and since I don’t think he’ll settle for a Giambi like role, if he can’t be effective, I… Read more »

DRH
DRH
8 years ago

The Rockies need pitching. They won’t get free agents to sign, and don’t have anyone they haven’t already tried in the farm system, so will need to trade for pitching. Who do they have to draw in a trade? Cuddyer won’t bring much with his contract and injuries this year. There will be some interest in a few of the young guys who performed well (Rutledge, Pacheco, Rosario). LeMahieu and Colvin probably won’t bring much back yet. The Rocks have… Read more »

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  DRH

Remember, they also can use money as well. Like Cuddy, but we eat part of his contract, Eric.

lwesche
lwesche
8 years ago

Thoughts….and rambling as long as we are playing GM. Helton should be allowed to go out on his terms. He has earned it. Class act all these years, many who can fill in for him even though I don’t think any of them are as good defensively. I, personally, would trade Tulo but know that will never happen. I think the team plays better without him. Cargo is not high on my list either and with Blackmon, Colvin, Cuddy and… Read more »

Julian
Julian
8 years ago

I’ve also wondered about Ruttledge at third and LeMahieu at second for the reasons suggested by Gary. In that scenario, Nelson becomes a backup, or gets traded for a starting pitcher. It seems like we have decent depth everywhere except at starting pitcher.

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago

Josh hasn’t played at third so it would be an adjustment. He’s only played SS and 2nd throughout the system:

MINORS: 188 games at SS, 22 games at 2nd
W/ROX: 55 games at SS, 4 at 2nd

I don’t like the idea of moving someone to another position that they haven’t played before, unless there really is no option…but, we have a few options at third now (nelson, pacheco or even sparkplug if necessary in a pinch)

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Jared, I think the move from SS to 3B (instead of 2B; let’s face facts, Tulo belongs at SS until he proves he can’t handle it) makes some sense. LeMahieu has been pretty unproductive as a hitter, but he’s showing signs. And he’s been simply fantastic at 2B. So if the Rockies want to tighten up the defense, a combo of Tulo and LeMahieu would be justifiable. That would leave Rutledge at 3B if Nelson’s 2nd half proves to be… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
8 years ago

Good thoughts all! I’ll chime in with my 2 cents: Tracy absolutely, positively has to go. Mike Maddux is my choice to replace him. Helton needs to retire. With all due respect, he is dead weight at this point in his career. Don’t bring Giambi back. Love the dude, and think he can contribute on an AL team. Re-sign Francis I’m on the fence about SP. We’ve got 10-12 guys, obviously none are good, but there has to be some… Read more »

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