2017 Rockies Predictions Anyone?

We’re just over a week away from Opening Day. Exciting stuff. I seems safe to say that all RWO regulars (and everyone else for that matter) are inclined to believe the Rockies are on the upswing. Dare we make predictions for the 2017 season? Make your own categories. Be unique!

 

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Record: 81-81. A vast improvement over previous years. We have a good team. I think starting pitching inexperience will hold us back the 4-5 games needed to be a legitimate playoff contender, but I still see a very nice season ahead.

Biggest “Surprise:” The Bullpen figures to be League average or even slightly better, Park adjusted. I like the back 4 (Holland/Otto/Dunn/McGee). I think McGee has a big bounce back season. We still have to figure out the front 3-4 guys. But there seems to be a pool of 8-10 guys to draw from, so I think BB and company will get this figured out. Furthermore, I think Holland will stay with the Rockies beyond this season.

Biggest Surprise II: Like the bullpen, the catching duo of Wolters/Murphy will be in the top half of major league baseball (note that my beloved Fangraphs rated the Rockies duo 30th preseason).

Best Player: NoDo will not only be the Rockies best player, he’ll be the best player in the NL.

Best Player II: DJ LeMahieu will once and for all silence critics and have yet another outstanding season.

Attendance: The Rockies will top 3 million for the first time since 2001. LoDo will be the place to be for the summer of 2017.

Biggest Disappointment: The disastrous free agent group of 2016 (Parra/Motte/Qualls) will continue to be a disaster. I honestly don’t see Motte or Qualls with the franchise by mid-year. They could be gone sooner. Unfortunately, we’re probably stuck with Parra.

NL West: 1. Dodgers (92 wins), 2. Giants (85 wins), 3. Rockies (81 wins), 4. DBacks (72 wins), 5. Padres (65 wins).

NL Playoff teams: Nats, Cubs, Dodgers,  Mets (big rebound year for Matt Harvey), Giants.

Prospect Predictions: Riley Pint becomes an elite, elite Prospect (top 3 in all of baseball). Brendan Rodgers solidifies a top 20 ranking.

 

32 Comments

    • Bob in WV

      March 30, 2017

      I see where Joe Peta of ESPN (http://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/18913708/joe-peta-projects-colorado-rockies-win-total-2017-season-mlb) has pegged the Rox at 76-86. No imagination there, just the same old elevated numbers at Coors and treating their road numbers as the norm. No discussion of how road games create a negative more than for other teams because of altitude adjustment issues and the fact we play in a division with three of the best pitchers’ parks in baseball. I am not a numbers guy, so I can’t quantify that belief but I’m sure Sir Carp and Mr. Ag could enlighten me as to whether I’m correct on this.

      As for my prediction, my “I will not be optimistic in the spring” philosophy of 2016 is behind me. Most everyone on this site set their eyes on 2017 a year ago, so the usual lousy record last year is not what was important. What was important was the growth in key areas: Trevor replacing Tulo, Blackmon and DJ continuing to improve, Wolters coming out of nowhere, David Dahl’s debut, and starting pitching beginning to take shape. A lack of regression with Nolan, Charlie, and DJ were also positive as some predicted that might happen.

      This year the starting pitching will improve somewhat, which alone will improve the bullpen. The bullpen will be better, only because it really can’t get any worse. The injuries I caused a few weeks ago will heal (pulling for you, Chad). The infield will continue to be a tremendous strength with or without Ian in it. The outfield will be better than ever with Dahl showing last year’s start was no fluke, Charlie maintaining, and Cargo motivated to having a solid season as the Rockies will be in contention all year, but in the end they will finish 87-75 and just miss the playoffs.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      March 30, 2017

      DANG – all sorts of exciting stuff happening:

      1. Rockies renew Coors lease for 30 years. I just think this is grand. Bravo!
      2. The Rockies will open the Party Deck for the opener in Milwaukee. I know there are many (heck, probably most) that cringe at the mention of the Party Deck (and Dinger). But I think the Party Deck is brilliant. Another “Bravo!” from sdcarp.
      2. Patterson optioned – so it looks as though Cardullo makes the team. I like this because Cardullo has been awesome this Spring (and Patterson has as well) and is RHed (Patterson – not so much). I can see this changing once Desmond gets back and up-to-speed, but for now, I think this is the correct move.
      3. Freeland is going to make the team. Damn! I like it.
      4. So…..we’re going to have to clear 2 spots on the 40 man by my calculations. This will be intriguing.

      5. Bob in WV – I love your analysis:

      This year the starting pitching will improve somewhat, which alone will improve the bullpen. The bullpen will be better, only because it really can’t get any worse. The injuries I caused a few weeks ago will heal (pulling for you, Chad). The infield will continue to be a tremendous strength with or without Ian in it. The outfield will be better than ever with Dahl showing last year’s start was no fluke, Charlie maintaining, and Cargo motivated to having a solid season as the Rockies will be in contention all year

      As far as I’m concerned, this pretty much sums it up.

      Reply
    • roxnsox

      March 31, 2017

      The Mr. Rock Solid Award: Charlie Blackmon. I said it years ago, I reiterate; and not without a bit of ego satisfaction to call it so early. “He’ll be a Rockies standout for years.”
      The Best Player No One Outside of Colorado Rockies Fandom Ever Heard of and Apparently Never Will: DJ Le Mahieu. Yes, you can win Gold Gloves and batting titles and remain unknown because you’re on the team in the forgotten time zone.
      The Put Fannies in the Seats Award: Nolan Arenado. It’s really fun to have at least one superstar on your team, and one who is a joy to watch. He fills this role nicely for the departed FC.
      Next Budding Almost-Superstar: David Dahl. This kid has the “it” factor. He may not quite make the title of superstar in his career, but it’s early days.
      Number of Triple Plays Turned: 2
      Number of Inside-the-Park Home Runs: 2
      Number of No-Hitters Thrown: 1, by the budding actual ace Jon Gray (and only the second actual ace in team history). He will also strike out 20 in a game this season. Whether it’s the same game? Stay tuned…
      Most Pleasant Surprise in the Bullpen: Carlos Estevez grows into his talent and blows people away on a regular basis.
      Second Most Pleasant Bullpen Accomplishment: Greg Holland fully regains dominance as a closer.
      Trade Deadline: Cargo’s still around, because the Rockies are in the thick of things. He’s gone next year though. See Dahl, D. and the other outfield up-and-comers, plus a possible Desmond move from first by next year.
      Most Solid Journeyman Performance: Mark Reynolds. I think Carp and I both had him as biggest surprise last year, and there’s an argument that we were right.
      Final Answer: 85-77, taking the second wild card because the Giants’ age catches up to them.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        March 31, 2017

        These are good. REALLY GOOD. I’m holding you to the Jon Gray predictions!

        Reply
        • roxnsox

          March 31, 2017

          Thanks Carp! I had fun visualizing all this. Let’s hope we haven’t jinxed (or CURSED) our Actual Ace.

          Reply
      • sdcarp

        March 31, 2017

        RMH – several thoughts here:

        First – I don’t think the end-of-career DOD would have made this move because of the contract. There’s a new sheriff in town, he seems to have growing autonomy.
        Second – (related to first) – almost simultaneously, I’m seeing Monfort sign a new 30 year lease for Coors and get the big, vacant lot west of Jacksons. He’s talking about some sort of baseball related structure for the vacant lot.

        Both of these items are beautiful. Bridich is running baseball operations. He’s good. Monfort is running the non-personnel side of the Rockies. This is where he’s good.

        Reply
        • roxnsox

          March 31, 2017

          The development of the lot south of the field pinches the parking a lot harder, though. Will Jackson’s already be $60 for opening day this year? (I pay Jackson’s rate sometimes because I hate spending 45 minutes to get out of Lot B, which is halfway back to the foothills of Boulder County anyway:) Maybe Dick M. can incorporate some affordable parking into the Fun Baseball Thing on that property.

          Reply
      • roxnsox

        March 31, 2017

        It should be fun to see how far the Cardullo Cinderella thing goes. You gotta like him.

        Reply
      • EdtheUmp

        March 31, 2017

        RMH…
        when I read that Motte was DFA my very first thought was you and I enjoying ST @ SRF and hoping that Motte and Qualls would be “let go.” Good things come to those who wait.
        Will/can we get to 81-81? I will not hold my breath but a real possibility exists of that record becoming a reality.
        Come on Monday!!

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      March 31, 2017

      Realistic prediction: 78-84. My personal Planet Alignment Theory comes this weekend. I’m thinking … 87-75. Random thoughts after watching the penultimate spring training game vs. the Mariners tonight. Good news and bad news, and as usual the bad comes first:
      -Ottavino and Holland. Both had decent results, both are showing kind of worrying inconsistency, particularly with velocity a few mph from their pre-surgery peaks. I’ve been reading Jeff Passan’s book “The Arm” which details experiences with TJ surgery, and let’s just say a full return to pre-surgery effectivenss is no sure thing. McGee hasn’t had TJ surgery, but his velocity was between 90-94, not at all consistent. He only got used for about 4 outs total in the WBC, so Leyland wasn’t exactly impressed by him either. All 3 critical relievers have me worried. Dunn and Estevez have been the best this spring.
      – Brian Mundell got his big chance, pinch hitting with the bases loaded against a generic lefty reliever! Slider, called strike. Slider, late swing, checked, but called strike. 95 mph fastball blown right past him. He looked … not ready for the moment.
      – Echoing Carp here: if the 4th/5th starter spots were decided purely on what our eyes show us in a pure scouting perspective, it’s no contest – Jordan Lyles is by far the most polished potential starter still in the big league camp. But he showed good stuff again with frustrating results again. I’m not giving up on him. A good streak of pitching luck is all he needs to gain some confidence and become the missing Chad Bettis this club desperately needs.
      – On that point: the main reason for my realistic 78 win prediction is the need to rely too much/too soon on Freeland/Marquez/Senzatela and probably Hoffman down the line. I felt you could get away with the winner of the spring training derby as one of your 5 starters. 2 of your 5? That’s asking too much. I see a bunch of “can’t get through the 5th” starts of the variety that fries a bullpen. Case in point: I checked Senzatela’s Gameday after his last start when he got run in the 6th inning. Still almost all fastballs the 3rd time through the order. That doesn’t work on big league hitters. It didn’t a couple days ago, and it really won’t work in April. Yet he’s looking right now like he’ll start the home opener. Rushing young starters isn’t a good thing. Tyler Matzek (opening day a couple years ago) says hello …
      The good: Story has convinced me. He’s the real deal. I expect much improved defense and, oh, 35 HRs. Chatwood: pitched better than his line suggests. His stuff is regular season ready. LeMahieu/Blackmon: ditto. Gerardo Parra faced a big Cargo-like defensive shift, and lo and behold, he poked one through the open SS hole! The old dog may be learning a trick or two …

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        April 1, 2017

        I like the Mariners for 2017. The kid you saw start for them last night – James Paxton, will be this year’s Kyle Hendricks, or 2015’s Dallas Kuechel. Also, lots of talk about the Jean Segura / Tajuian Walker trade. Remember the name Mitch Haniger. He was a “minor” piece that came to the Mariners in that deal. He can play.

        Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      April 1, 2017

      Hartford Yard Goats announced their roster. Rotation looks good. Almonte, Howard, French, and my favorite Wynkoop. He walked 1.6% and struck out 24% of all batters despite mid 80s fastballs. Think about it – One walk every three games and 8 Ks every one game. I’m going to continue to beat the Wynkoop drums even if it falls on deaf ears. I bet Ag is going to do his best to rain as hard as possible on my Wynkoop dream.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 1, 2017

      Mariners: I agree. This is a very solid team. And I think the Dbacks will live to regret the Walker-Segura trade. Segura can just plain hit. I don’t think last year was a fluke. It would’ve made sense if the Dbacks were shooting to compete in say 2019, but from everything else they’ve done it looks like they believe a turnaround is possible in 2017, particularly since Greinke isn’t getting any younger. Weird trade from the Dbacks perspective. RMH: I’m not gonna rain on Wynkoop! He’s succeeded so far, and while the best case projections will be something like “4th or 5th starter,” I’d be thrilled with that. This year will be the big test for him. I also like Parker French a lot better than most people – if he were lefthanded, I’d like him even better …

      Reply
    • Bill

      April 1, 2017

      I was surprised but glad that they DFAd Motte and kept Cardullo. Win jobs on merit not because somebody signed for a big contract and can’t live up to it. I think the Rockies should be vastly improved but some things worry me. How will the injuries to Desmond, Dahl and to a lesser extent Murphy hurt them. If they can get through the end of the month and not be out of the race by then and they come back we’ll be over one hurdle. As someone once said. You can’t win the pennant in April but you can lose it. Every year it seems that the manager and/or the GM says that the bullpen is vastly improved and thus the Rockies will be better. And most years they are not improved and the Rockies maybe inch ahead. When spring training started we had 4 big league quality starters and I think we could normally expect 6 to 7 innings or more from them. But with only 3 quality guys left it reallly hurts us. The return of Chris Rusin is very important as either a starter or long reliever. I don’t see Jordan Lyles as a starter because he seems to always tease us for 3, 4 or 5 innings and then collapses. If one or two of Freedland, Sentalezza, Marquez or Hoffman work out great and we can be improved. If not the bullpen will be overworked. I would not count on Bettis returning. Fighting cancer is a series of ups and downs and the kind of cancer he has sounds even worse. We all know that Lance Armstrong had it and beat it and won bike races. And then we found out he cheated. Can Chad beat it, be clean and return to last year’s form? It would be great but I wouldn’t count on it.

      The fact that we only have 3 big league starters seems to me the most obvious barrier to making a leap in the standings. I was never a fan of piggyback system but it might work for a month or two using a combination of the young guys along with Lyles and Rusin if he’s healthy within a week or so. Would the Rockies, if they were in the race for the playoffs, go out a get a quality starter? Who would they dangle? I would love to see them get rid of Parra but I can’t seem him bringing back much and trading any of the other every day guys could bring back something it would seem to signal that it’s “wait till next year.” Which might be more realistic anyway. And the elephant in the room. Can Tyler Chatwood pitch well at Coors Field more than once in awhile? So while I think they will be improved the pitching, once again, will let them down. At the moment I think 3rd place would be my projection this year.

      Reply
    • EdtheUmp

      April 1, 2017

      Food for thought and well as expectations.
      The Rox have 26 games in April…check out opponents and sites and weigh in on April record. I am aghast that I come up with 11-15. Hope to hell I am dead wrong but fear that won’t be far off.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      April 1, 2017

      I waited until the Cactus League was over before making predictions. Not a prediction; the BobinWV injury bug was a great thing to happen as it tested the team’s depth. It passed with flying colors. Even though Bettis was set back practically a whole year causing an extra rookie in the rotation, the depth is awesome as we can use three or more guys to find #5 and see which one comes out well.

      The Rockies win 87 games and miss the wild card on the final weekend. Third place finish behind Arizona (1st) and Dodgers (2nd).

      Trevor Story will put up better numbers on both sides of the ball than Corey Seager to eliminate him from MVP discussion. I don’t understand why Seager is a popular MVP candidate when he is merely equal to Story.

      Holland will collect 35 saves with Otto picking up the balance.

      CarGo will have a bad year – less than 100 RBIs and less than 25 HRs. Untradeable at deadline except for a bag of balls.

      Story will lead the team in SBs with at least 30. Blackmon 25. DJLM 15. Top 10 in team SBs.

      Arenado MVP (2nd straight year of Silver Slugger and GG and still no MVP? not going to happen) and another Fielding Bible award. I don’t respect GG because they are biased. Fielding Bible is the real award.

      Jon Gray – 20 game-winner with 200 IP and 190 Ks. Finish 5th in Cy Young vote.

      Tyler Anderson is this year’s version of Kyle Hendricks. Most underrated pitcher in NL with highest percentage of mishit balls.

      Chatty will once again have trouble winning games at Coors Field. Finish 10-12 record.

      Rotation on the final weekend: Gray, Anderson, Hoffman, Chatwood, Marquez (or Bettis if back from chemo)

      Jairo Diaz will be most important member of bullpen by June; he will come in as early as 5th inning or later to clear the traffic jams with Ks.

      Lyles DFA’ed by end of July assuming Rusin stays healthy.

      BB wins Manager of Year award.

      Cardullo, while being a good story, will be optioned back to Albuquerque for good at end of April when Desmond returns.

      Parra will be the Rocky Killer (with Arizona) version. Lots more BBs and opposite field hits. Bat .280 with 10 HRs and GG caliber glove in the OF.

      Jake McGee will return to 2014 form. His velocity back up to 95 plus. He’s sitting 94 or 95, not touching 95 – big difference.

      Ten walkoff wins.

      Split season series vs. Dodgers, barely win season series vs. Arizona, blow away San Diego and San Francisco in season series.

      Coors Field magic will be back: 55-26 at home, 32-49 on road. If Rockies do better than 32-49 on road, they go dancing in Rocktober. That’s the only thing that PAT needs adjusting to get us over the top.

      One of them, Adames or Amarista, will be DFA’ed by end of June.

      Chris Denorfia will be on the team sometimes this year (before September roster expansion)

      EdtheUmp says 11-15 in April; I say 12-14 in April so we don’t lose the division in April.

      Longest win streak will be 8 and three win streaks of at least 6 while longest losing streak will be 5 which will happen just once.

      Pooter will come here soon and predict 95 wins.

      I win a case of beer from EdtheUmp with 90 victories.

      Dick Montfort becomes a popular man when he adds something within 3 years on the parking lot between Fado’s and Jackson’s. Coors Field will become the #1 ball park in the majors.

      Jeff Bridich top 3 votes for GM of the year award.

      Reply
      • Bob in WV

        April 1, 2017

        Well, that’s rmh, Ag, and me with an 87-75 prediction, albeit with Ag in PAT mode there. You have Rox longest losing streak at 5 games, happening only once. If there is one thing that has consistently killed the Rox over the last 24 years it’s been a sudden imploding month of baseball. Some years it’s an awful start in April, others it’s a terrible May or June. Most notable in my mind(with zero data checked to back this up) are seasons with horrendous play right after the all-star break. Perhaps we should all predict which month in which the Rockies will meet their demise.

        I’ll digress for a moment regarding your GG comments and it’s bias. I am still pissed about the year Larry Bowa had an amazing season, setting a major league shortstop fielding percentage record at the time. In 1979, Bowa committed just 6 errors in 683 chances for a .991 fielding percentage. Meanwhile, Dave Concepcion did have far more chances with 806, but he only had a .967 fielding percentage as he committed a whopping 27 errors! Yet Concepcion won his fifth and final GG that year. I’m sure he would have had more eventually had Ozzie Smith not won it for the next 13 straight seasons. Bowa did win twice, with 9 errors the first time and 10 the next. Meanwhile, in 1974, 1976, and 1979 Concepcion won GG’s despite committing 84 errors, and that’s no typo! The hype of the Big Red Machine and the popularity of it’s team made the Gold Glove Awards a joke. I just assumed at the time that Concepcion kept beating out Bowa because of his better hitting, and so I often think of the award as the Golden Batting Glove Award.

        Reply
        • rockymountainhigh

          April 2, 2017

          I’m still pissed that Rollins won the MVP and GG in 2007 over Holliday and Tulo when his offensive stats were inferior to Holliday and his defensive stats inferior to Tulo.

          Reply
    • sdcarp

      April 1, 2017

      2017 Fantasy Draft

      Not prediction related, but some may enjoy. I’ve noted several times I own a team in a long time, deep, hyper competitive fantasy league, classic rotisserie format, 6×6, auction, $260 cap. 21 years. No names, but one owner is the brother of a current MLB GM, one is a retired scout, one is a retired attorney who currently acts as an Agent for a couple of active MLB players. It’s a Shark Tank!

      Highlights – Trout $60, Betts $55, Bryant $51, Blackmon $51, Kershaw $50. NoDo was kept from previous year at $44 (we keep 10, 3 year contract). The Mariners sleepers I mentioned above (Paxton and Haniger) aren’t sleepers at all. Paxton went for $27, Haniger $16. I have Tom Murphy as a waiver claim from last year at $1. I’m hoping to get Wolters in our taxi squad draft (currently underway) for $1. Picked up Robert Gsellman for $4….sort of excited about that! Aaron Judge for $6, Manuel Margot for $7, and Mike Zunino for $3 were some highlights.

      My team is as follows:
      C – Murphy ($1) and Zunino ($3)
      1 – Belt ($15)
      2 – Neil Walker ($3)
      SS – Addison Russell ($1) holdover from FA claim 2 years ago
      3 – Miguel Sano ($1) holdover from FA claim 2 years ago
      CR – Kris Bryant ($51)
      MI – Brad Miller ($3)
      OF – Domingo Santana ($1) FA claim off DL last year
      OF – Brandon Drury ($1) FA claim last year
      OF – Travis Jankowski ($1) FA claim last year
      OF – Aaron Judge ($6)
      OF – Manuel Margot ($7)
      OF – Chuck Natzy ($51) Fantasy players know Chuck!
      U – Yangervis Solarte ($6)

      SP – Clayton Kershaw ($50) steal
      SP – Felix Hernandez ($16)
      SP – Tanner Roark ($1) FA claim from 2 years ago
      SP – Robert Gsellman ($4)
      RP – that qualifies as SP – Rasiel Isglesias ($1) FA claim 2 years ago
      RP – Kenley Jansen ($16) auction buy 2 years ago when he started season on DL
      RP – Adam Ottavino ($2)
      RP – Felipe Rivero ($1)
      RP – Michael Lorenzen ($1)
      RP – Jeanmar Gomez ($1)

      Reply
      • rockymountainhigh

        April 1, 2017

        Your biggest steal will be King Felix. I predict AL Cy Young for him this year. $51 for Chuck Nazty seems a bit high but if you get to keep him for three years then it’s a steal. Good to know that Mike Trout is #1 as I have his autographed jersey in a case displayed in my baseball fan cave. Future HOF and then I can sell this jersey for $20,000?

        Reply
        • sdcarp

          April 2, 2017

          RMH – hope you’re correct regarding King Felix. As you can see, I’m high on the Mariners for 2K17. Also (from solely a fantasy perspective), the Padres young offense. Regarding Chuck Nazty and the exorbitant $51, typically players like that aren’t kept year-to-year because they can be repurchased in the following year’s auction for the same price, or even less. I look to save money. For example, Sonny Gray is injured and went unpicked. That means he’ll ultimately be a Free Agent DL pickup when he returns – assigned $1. If he returns to Sonny Gray form….then someone will keep him because he’s assigned $1, but worth $20-25. Honestly…..very much like real baseball. A young, inexpensive player is more highly sought after than an old guy with big contract. Our rules have evolved over the years to mimic real baseball as much as possible. About 10 years ago, we ditched the IP category in favor of Holds as we were witnessing the increasing importance of RPers in real baseball. Holds is an admittedly weird stat…..but it does bring value to middle relievers. All 14 Owners in our League know Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller were the best pure stuff pitchers in baseball last season.

          Reply
          • sdcarp

            April 2, 2017

            Regarding Holds – I was sort of happy (from a selfish standpoint) to see Holland win the Closers job and Otto moved to the 8th. I think Otto can really flourish in that role, and will still be equally important as Holland.

            Reply
    • Bob in WV

      April 1, 2017

      You gotta love Tony Wolters’ expression of confidence in the season’s starting rotation: “I can’t wait to show them off to the rest of the world.”

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      April 2, 2017

      Regarding Castro (my favorite player from the Tulo trade):

      Something isn’t right. Something is fishy. 1+1 isn’t equaling 2. Let’s allow this one to play and the facts be known.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 2, 2017

      Castro DFA’d really surprises me. As Carp suggests, no way they waive him unless there’s some arm trouble there. So far the Tulo trade haul isn’t exactly making a strong impression. Castro gone (and I also thought he was the most promising piece), Hoffman taking at least a bit longer than expected to establish himself (and I’m not certain that he ever will, although I do think it’s likely he’ll stick sooner or later as maybe a Bettis type?), and Tinoco essentially a nonfactor.

      My PAT: here’s the things that really have to fall into place for this club to go from my “realistic projection” of 78 wins all the way up to RMH’s true contender status of 87 wins. RMH beat me to the punch on some of these (and Jeem added a couple of his own) so some of this is repetition:

      – Freeland becomes this year’s Tyler Anderson, but gets an earlier start on it
      – Speaking of Anderson, he regresses statistically just a bit, but remains a very good mid rotation guy
      – Senzatela or Marquez manage to at least turn in a Juan Nicasio (the starter) type performance. That’s actually o.k. I’m still stuck on my “Gray + 4 league average starters” concept.
      – And speaking of Gray: Jeem’s got it right. He has to become a true ace, or damn close to it.
      – Bettis: the assumption is he’s out for the year. He says he wants to come back. I wouldn’t bet against him. How about an August return to give everyone a boost?
      – Murphy is this year’s Story. Well, maybe this year’s Iannetta. And Wolters is this year’s Torrealba, or something like that.
      – Story shows last year was no fluke. 30-35 HRs, and improved range on defense as confidence builds.
      – Here’s my big unexpected boost for 2017: Dahl. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. The stats geek in me says “strikes out too much, projects as a league average starter”/2WAR type. But the fan in me sees a rare talent, and says that true talent like that always finds a way to emerge. His injury proves to be minor, and he puts up a 3 .5 WAR season even after missing a month.
      – Arenado avoids the annual slump that keeps him just short of the Kris Bryant category.
      – Bullpen: McGee isn’t really what you’d call “good” (c. 2012-14 Tampa Bay), but he isn’t bad again (read: 2016 Rockies). He’s the 2015 guy, which is a useful pitcher who has moments of dominance. I said I was worried about Otto and Holland. My PAT: real game action brings out a couple mph extra in Otto and he becomes a really good setup man. Holland misses some time but is effective (again, Royals 2015 effective, not the dominant guy of the previous couple years) and that’s good enough. Estevez is the guy I’m expecting to really emerge this year. And Dunn is solid. Overall, a perfectly capable bullpen, with some nights (when Estevez-Otto-Holland are all on) turning a Rockies lead into essentially a 6 inning game.
      – Blackmon and LeMahieu can’t keep getting better can they? I bet against them every year, saying regression is to be expected. I’ve been wrong 3 years in a row. OK, I give in. I won’t say they’re better than they were in 2016, but how about the same? That’s pretty damn good.
      – The bench: don’t make me talk about Amarista. But Parra? He becomes the useful part-time player Bridich thought he signed. Reynolds isnt’ quite as good as 2016, but he’s useful too.
      – And Desmond comes back and his injury was a blessing in disguise, as Bud feels free to move him around the diamond Zobrist style with very good results.

      And of course the rotation stays relatively healthy, and some other teams run into serious problems (Giants? Dbacks? Cards? Marlins?) allowing the Rockies to squeeze into that second wildcard spot with a 2007-esque 87 wins …

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      April 3, 2017

      I posted this on Purple Row – regarding Castro:

      I’m forecasting Castro to Twins for Byung Ho Park.

      Reply

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