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The Coors Effect


January 11, 2010 1:21 PM

Rockies standing pat in offseason

On the heels of the third playoff appearances in franchise history, the Rockies haven't done a whole lot this offseason.  And that's probably not a bad thing.

The eight everyday starters should remain mostly unchanged in 2010.  Clint Barmes might have to hold off a challenge from Eric Young Jr., and Brad Hawpe reportedly could see more time at first base to give Todd Helton a few days off (and get more playing time for Seth Smith), but the Rockies' offense will be substantially similar to the one that the team had in 2009.  On the pitching front, Jason Marquis is out, the recipient of a 2-year deal with the Nationals, but the Rockies will almost certainly look in-house to fill his spot in the rotation.  It could be Jeff Francis, or it could be one of any number of young pitching prospects, but don't expect the Rockies to bring in a free agent to fill the final slot in the rotation.  Behind Ubaldo Jimenez, Aaron Cook, Jorge de la Rosa, and Jason Hammel, the Rockies should have a very solid starting rotation in 2010.

The bullpen really doesn't need to be reworked, either.  Huston Street is back to close out games, and Rafael Betancourt should serve as a competent eighth-inning man.  Franklin Morales -- if he isn't moved back to the rotation, which I don't expect him to be -- will also pitch in the late innings, and Matt Daley should provide decent middle relief with his funky windup.  The Rockies might be able to do better than Randy Flores for a lefty specialist, but that isn't really a pressing need.  A healthy, effective year from Manny Corpas and/or Taylor Buchholz would make this a very strong bullpen.

So, with all that talent still on hand, there's almost no reason to expect the Rockies to be making any big moves.  The Rockies enter 2010 as a solid team from top to bottom, but with no real superstars... which I'd much rather have than a team with a couple of superstars surrounded by a collection of stiffs.  It's why there haven't been any big moves; the biggest move so far, aside from re-signing Betancourt, has been to bring in Miguel Olivo to be Chris Iannetta's backup catcher.  Yorvit Torrealba is due some regression to the mean after hitting .291 last year, while Olivo provides legitimate pop -- he's averaged a homer every 20 at bats over the last two years.  I think that Olivo is a legitimate improvement, and having him around also allows the Rockies to give Michael McKenry a full year in AAA.

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