2012 TBLA Colorado Rockie Preview : Arms Wanted, any age may apply

Geezus. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Manager - Old Mr. Tracy (10 - 11)

Outlook: Rockies are one game under .500 after their first twenty one games, and the main culprit is exactly what you would have expected, the starting pitching. When 49 year old Jamie Moyer is doing the best work on the staff you are having problems. They are the only team in the NL whose starting rotation FIP is above 5.00 (5.02). So the Dodgers will go from facing the best 2012 rotation in baseball to the worst. I can't even imagine what a hot Matt Kemp in Coors is going to do this during this three game series against this rotation. Drew Pomeranz is going to wish he was still with the Indians unless he walks Kemp four times.

Disabled List: Jorge De La Rosa

Jeremy Guthrie is due back May 7th. Guthrie had a K rate before his injury of less than two. In fact he had 10 walks in five k's in 24 innings. How many starters have twice as many walks as strikeouts and get to take the mound? He was their number one starter going into the season.

Positions:

1st Base: Todd Helton still gets the majority of starts and he's hitting like an all - star with a TSL of .270 / .352 / .587. Todd has not had a full season slug % above .500 since 2005.

2nd Base: Marco Scutaro came over from the Red Sox in a cost cutting move for the Red Sox. Marco is a solid second baseman who started out slow hitting .200 on April 20th. Since then he's hit in seven of eight games to get his TSL for the season a bit more respectable .247 / .307 /.309. He still has a ways to go to get back to his normal production but I'm sure he will get there.

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki is doing okay when compared to other shortstops but far shy of what one expects from Troy. His .801 OPS would bedazzle the Dodgers but does nothing for the Rockies who need him to be superman to compete in the NL West.

3rd Base: Oops. Traded Ian Stewart. Signed Casey Blake. Released Casey Blake. Gave job to 3rd string catcher Jordan Pacheco who only made only error in his brief stint but made every ground ball an adventure. Chris Nelson is now the starting 3rd baseman. Chris Nelson was the 9th pick of the 2004 draft. At one time he was expected to be a stud SS. Then a stud 2nd baseman. Now he's merely a placeholder and not a very good one as Rockie fans await their next "phenom" Nolan Arenado who is toiling for the Tulsa Drillers biding his time before the Rockies call him up.

More on Jordan Pacheco, the former catcher is playing 3rd base everyday in the PCL and could find his way back at the hot corner sooner than later given the offensive struggles of Nelson. Pacheco is a line drive machine in the PCL right now with a .438 average and 1.085 OPS.

Catcher: Traded Ianneta to the Angels and signed Ramon Hernandez to fill in while future catcher Wilin Rosario gets acclimated to the major league game. That may take all year. Ramon has zero walks in 54 at bats. Rosario has a .599 OPS.

Right Fielder: Mike Cuddyer was signed to replace the platoon of Smith/Whoever of the past few years and Cuddyer is enjoying Coors so far. He has a .945 OPS at home, .710 on the road. Shocking.

Center Fielder: Rockie fans have been waiting for Dexter Fowler to spread his wings and show off all his skills for a few years now and maybe 2012 is the year he puts it all together. The multi talented Fowler started off the season going 1 for 13 but has an OPS over .900 since then.

Left Fielder: Carlos Gonzlaez may not be the stud muffin of 2010 but he might be the best overall left fielder in the game.

Bench: Jason Giambi for some reason is still in the NL, former number one pick of the Cubs Tyler Colvin is here, Eric Young Junior always looking for a place to play, and Jonathan Herrera fill out the solid bench.

Starting Pitching:

Gary Scott breaks down the Rockie pitching for this series:

Juan Nicasio:

He's a pitcher who makes it known he will throw sinking fastballs in the heart of the strike zone and relies on his velocity and defense for his success. Expect fast (not hard) sinkers to both right and left-handed hitters, with the slider being the primary out pitch to righties, but a total unwillingness to throw it to lefties.

Editor Note: Gary and I differ on Nicasio's stuff. When I've seen him pitch I've seen electric stuff.

Jhoulys Chacin (R)

Not a hard-thrower, he'll throw a four-seam fastball (90mph), two-seam fastball (89) and cut fastball (89) a combined 49% of the time. That's an incredibly low percentage of fastballs. His other pitches are an 81mph slider (17%), 85mph changeup (21%) and 78mph curveball (13%).

Drew Pomeranz (L)

Pomeranz has a three pitch mix. He throws his fastball 70% of the time like the book says, his curveball 24%, and his changeup 7%.His curveball's velocity is 11mph slower than his fastball, and his changeup has solid depth and slide. The problem is, his fastball is only 89-90mph, so he's not able to get hitters to back off his offspeed stuff. His fastball tends to get a lot of the plate, which could be the cause of his problems.

Bullpen:

Closer: Rafael Betancourt at age 37 has finally been given the closers job with no strings attached. To bad he's now 37 and might be showing some cracks in what has been a superlative skill set for years and years. The K rate has dropped several points. the walk rate is the highest since he joined the Rockies. The ERA says 1.00, FIP says 3.50 and xFIP says 3.86. Don't lose faith if we are down by a run.

Setup: Rex Brothers setup man is what you get with your 1st pick in the 2009. The hard throwing lefty can strike out anyone but has also given up 12 hits + 4 walks in 8 2/3 innings. He needs to do better than that if he's going to be the heir to the closer role. Josh Roenicke has pitched the most so far in the pen and hopefully will pitch a few times this series. Matt Belisle has been very effective for the Rockies since being acquired from the Reds back in 2009. He's getting four million to be a setup guy so he better be good.

Series Overview:

I don't want to fall back on the old it's Coors so runs are going to be scored but when you consider who is pitching, RUNS ARE GOING TO BE SCORED. If the Dodgers can beat Nicasio who I consider the pitcher with the best stuff on the staff we might want to have the brooms at the ready.

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