After five straight losing seasons, will this finally be the year the Colorado Rockies turn things around and compete in the NL West? After trading away star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki last July they received Jose Reyes and right-handed pitchers Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco. They saved $50 million in the deal and added three prospects to their already deep farm system. This offseason, the Rockies are also making improvements to their outfield fences in an attempt to limit the amount of longballs. Colorado will raise the outfield wall between right-center and right field by 8 feet and 9 inches to match the height of the out of town scoreboard. The outfield wall height will also increase down the left field line by 5 feet to 13 total feet. As far as the actual roster goes, shortstop Reyes has $48 million remaining on his contract and is currently being reviewed by MLB for a domestic violence charge that could result in a suspension, making him untradeable. It’s looking like prospect Trevor Story will make an early major league debut in his place. Second-baseman D.J. LeMahieu is coming off his first All Star Game and will be a major factor both defensively and hitting in 2016. Nolan Arenado at third has become one of the game’s elite and tied the NL’s best with 42 home runs in 2015. In the outfield, Charlie Blackmon at center is very effective with his glove and as a leadoff hitter for the Rockies. Gerardo Parra, a two-time Gold Glove winner who signed a three-year deal in January, will replace Corey Dickerson in left field with a hopefully healthy Carlos Gonzalez at right. The Rockies pitching rotation had a major league worst 5.27 ERA in 2015. This season, they have some starters with promise in Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood and Jordan Lyles. All are capable but have experienced injuries that have held them from excelling. Sadly, it’s been the same story in the bullpen with the highest
ERA, 4.70 and most walks, 249 in MLB last season. Colorado signed free agents Jason Motte and Chad Qualls to two-year deals, who should both improve pitching on the back end. Adam Ottavino, who underwent Tommy John surgery in May should be back at some point this season and remain a solid closer for the Rockies.
In his fourth season at the helm of this team, Walt Weiss needs to turn this ship around and change the losing culture of this franchise. They have some very promising pitching prospects with more on the way and need to capitalize and get some wins this season. Coors Field is an incredible place to watch a ball game so be sure to secure your Colorado Rockies tickets and come out to support these guys.