Rockies set up super at 3B

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 28 February 2007 at 4:10 pm

27 year old Garrett Atkins exploded on the scene for the Rockies last season with an incredible season with the bat in his hands.  He played in 157 games last season and he hit .329 with 117 runs scored, 48 doubles, 29 homers, 120 RBIs and a .965 OPS.  Atkins didn’t play too well on defense as he didn’t show much range and made 19 errors in 157 games.  Atkins was about to be switched to first base if Todd Helton was traded and it could still happen.  No matter where Atkins plays, he will have another awesome season swinging the bat.

25 year old Jeff Baker will be Atkins’ back up this season.  He is the reason the Rockies were shopping Helton in the off season.  Baker played in 128 games in AAA last season and he hit .305 with 71 runs scored, 20 homers, 108 RBIs and a .877 OPS.  The Rockies then brought him up and he was awesome.  He played in 18 games and hit .368 with 5 homers, 21 RBIs and a 1.204 OPS!  Baker has been a 3B most of his career in the minors but he didn’t play any there last season for the Rockies.  He also will back up in the outfield corner spots and first base for the Rockies.  Look for him to be a very productive hitter no matter how much he plays this season for the Rockies.

Rockies open up competition at shortstop position

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 28 February 2007 at 3:54 pm

28 year old Clint Barmes had an off year last season and now he will have to battle for the starting job.  He played in 131 games and hit only .220 with 7 homers, 56 RBIs and a .598 OPS.  Barmes showed very good range at shortstop but he made 18 errors.  He will need to make less errors and get his hitting stroke back to keep the starting job at SS for the Rockies.

23 year old Troy Tulowitzki will be the main competition for Barmes for the starting job at SS this season.  He played in 104 games in the minors and he hit .291 with 75 runs scored, 13 homers, 61 RBIs and a .843 OPS.  He came up late in the season for the Rockies and played in 25 games hitting .240 with a .609 OPS.  He showed great range at SS in 25 games for the Rockies and he only made 2 errors.  But, he has made 30 errors in 126 minor league games.  I still think Barmes is going to be the starting SS for the Rockies unless Tulowitzki has an awesome Spring.

25 year old lefty swinging Omar Quintanilla is the long shot to win the starting job for the Rockies.  He played in 82 AAA games last season and he hit .276 with 48 runs scored, 4 homers, 29 RBIs and a .745 OPS.  He played in 11 games for the Rockies last season and he hit .176 with a .508 OPS.  He played in 8 games at shortstop and he didn’t make an error while showing great range.

The Rockies sign Steve Finley

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page by chinmusic on Sunday 25 February 2007 at 8:38 pm

The Rockies signed soon to be 42 year old Steve Finley.  The lefty swinger will probably back up at all three positions in the outfield for the Rockies.  He played in 139 games last season for the Giants and hit .246 with 66 runs scored, 6 homers, 40 RBIs, 7 stolen bases and a .714 OPS.  Look for Finley to have a decent season swinging the bat with the Rockies and he still plays good defense as he only made 1 error all of last season.

The Rockies re-sign reliever Mike DeJean

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page by High Heat on Friday 23 February 2007 at 11:38 am

The Rockies will have signed Mike DeJean to a minor league contract and invited him to camp.  He only pitched 1.2 innings for the Rockies before his season ended because of injury on April 8th last season.  He did prove that he could that he could handle pitching in Colorado as he had a 2-3 record with 18 holds and a 3.19 ERA in 38 games for the Rockies in 2005.

Rockies looking good at 2B

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by High Heat on Sunday 18 February 2007 at 7:09 pm

When the Rockies traded Eli Marrero to the Mets for 2B Kazuo Matsui it just looked like a very minor move.  The Rockies sent Matsui down to the minors where he hit .278 for Colorado Springs.  The Rockies then brought him up and stuck him in the starting line up and he went on to dominate.  He hit .345 with a .896 OPS over his last 113 at bats of the season.  He scored an impressive 22 runs and stole 8 bases!  The Rockies are going to give him the starting job this year and they hope he will hit like he did in September over the whole season.  He also showed a lot of range at second base on defense and he only made 2 errors there.

33 year old Jamey Carroll will back up Matsui this season and he’ll also play some at 3B and SS.  He had his best season of his career last year as he hit .300 with a .781 OPS!  He scored a soild 84 runs and had 10 steals as he often was batting near the top of the line up.  He only made 3 errors at 2B and he has outstanding range in the field there.  Carroll will get his fair share of at bats all over the diamond for the Rockies this season.

The Rockies sign Jorge De Paula

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page by High Heat on Saturday 17 February 2007 at 12:21 am

The Rockies signed 28 year old righty Jorge De Paula to a minor league contract.  He has a big time arm but he had a rough season in AAA for the Yankees with a 4-10 record, 4.63 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.  He hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2005 and has a 0-1 record, 4.00 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 27 innings.  The Rockies will likely give him a chance to win a spot in the bullpen because he has a live arm.

The Rockies are looking good at First Base for this season

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by High Heat on Saturday 10 February 2007 at 6:42 pm

33 year old Todd Helton was almost traded to the Red Sox but the Sox weren’t willing to give anything up so Helton will likely be the starter for the Rockies again this season.  His numbers are on the decline as he hasn’t knocked in over 100 runs since 2003.  But he hit .347 with runners in scoring position so the RBI drop wasn’t all his fault.  His homers and batting average have both also fell for the third straight season last year and that is not anyone else’s problem.  But, he still hit .302 with a .880 OPS, 94 runs scored, 15 homers and 81 RBIs.  Look for Helton to knock in more runs this season because the top of the line up should be more productive in front of him in the order.  He also is an outstanding defensive first baseman as he only made 4 errors all season.

26 year old righty swinging Jeff Baker will likely back up Helton and take over for him if he’s injured or traded.  Baker had an excellent season in AAA last year as he hit .305 with a .877 OPS, 20 homers and 108 RBIs in 128 games.  He then came up to the Rockies in September and he hit .368 with a 1.204 OPS with 5 homers and 21 RBIs in only 57 at bats for the Rockies.  He’s the main reason the Rockies were/are willing to trade Todd Helton.

Rockies Catchers

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by High Heat on Wednesday 7 February 2007 at 12:31 am

This Spring the catching job is wide open for the Colorado Rockies.  The Rockies would like rookie Chris Iannetta to win the job, but veterans Yorvit Torrealba and Javier Lopez will have something to say about that before the season starts.  Iannetta is a 23 year old that tore up the minors last season with his bat.  He hit .336 combined between AA+AAA with 14 homers and 48 RBIs in only 307 at bats.  He then came up to the Rockies and hit .260 with a .760 OPS over 77 at bats.  He needs a little work on his defense as he allowed 2 passed balls in 191.2 innings behind the plate.  He also only threw out 14% of the runners that tried to steal on him….it could be that he was just nervous.

28 year old Yorvit Torrealba could beat out Iannetta because he’s a good defensive catcher with power.  He hit .247 last season with a .732 OPS.  He hit 7 homers and knocked in 43 runs in only 223 at bats which projects to good numbers if he can stay healthy.  He had shoulder problems last year but you would never know it by watching him throw the ball.  Yorvit threw out 34% of the runners that tried to steal on him last season.  Torrealba made 5 errors and had 4 passed balls last season which are numbers he could improve on.

36 year old Javier Lopez has signed on to compete for the starting job after having his worst season in a long time.  He only hit .251 with a .683 OPS.  He only hit 8 homers and knocked in only 35 runs in 342 at bats between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox.  in 2004-2005, Lopez hit a combined .301 with an average of 19 homers and 67.5 RBIs so its possible that he could have a bounce back season.  Coors Field could bring back his power.  Lopez only threw out 6% of the runners that tried to steal on him but he didn’t make an error last season.

25 year old Alvin Colina will likely be waiting for his chance in AAA ball.  Colina hit .254 with a .729 OPS in AAA last season with 12 homers and 46 RBIs.  He also got 1 hit in 5 at bats (.200 avg) for the Rockies last season.

32 year old Geronimo Gil has been signed to a minor-league contract.  He was awesome in the Mexican League (equal to AAA) as he hit .387 with 12 homers and 71 RBIs in only 310 at bats.  He also had an amazing OPS of 1.057!  For his major league career, Gil is a .233 hitter with a .620 OPS.  He is a very long shot to make the Rockies.

New Faces in 2007

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page by High Heat on Saturday 3 February 2007 at 2:56 pm

The Colorado Rockies were very busy over the Winter and it should make them a better team on the field.  Center fielder Willy Taveras was acquired in a trade with the Houston Astros and he’ll be the new starter for the Rockies.  He hit .308 after the All-Star break last season and stole 33 bases for the year.  He will definately make the Rockies a better team.  The Rockies also brought in Javier Lopez to compete for the starting job at catcher.  He had an off-year last season hitting .251 with only 8 homers, but one has to think Coors Field can help restore his power swing.  John Mabry was brought in to compete for a reserve job on the Rockies.  He’s very versatile and has a decent left-handed stick despite only hitting .205 last season for the Cubs.  Alexis Gomez was brought in to compete for a reserve outfield job.  He hit .272 in limited action with the Detroit Tigers last season, but he provided some key hits in the post-season for them.  He also hits lefty and can play all three outfield positions.

The Rockies have brought in a lot of new pitchers to help build their pitching staff.  The Rockies traded for veteran Rodrigo Lopez and expect him to be in their rotation.  He had an awful year last season as he was 9-18 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.  The Rockies are hoping they are getting the 2004-2005 version of Lopez that was 29-21 for the Orioles.  The Rockies also signed veteran Brian Lawrence who missed all of last season to compete for a job in the rotation.  Lawrence pitched 5 seasons for the San Diego Padres and compiled a 49-61 record with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.  The Rockies also brought in young starters Taylor Buchholz and Jason Hirsh from the Astros in the Jason Jennings trade.  Taylor Buchholz was 6-10 with a 5.89 ERA, but his WHIP was only 1.25 as he had a problem giving up gopher balls.  Hirsh was 3-4 with a 6.04 ERA for the Astros, but he dominated in AAA as he was 13-2 with a 2.10 ERA.  Both Hirsh and Buchholz will be in the Rockies rotation in the future.  LaTroy Hawkins was signed by the Rockies to pitch in the 7th and 8th innings.  He was 3-2 with 16 holds and a 4.48 ERA for the Orioles last season.  The Rockies have also brought in Danny Graves, Dave Veres and lefties Eric DuBose and Mike Gallo to battle for spots in the bullpen.

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