Colorado Rockies: Why They Should Be Better Than Most Expect in 2012

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Colorado Rockies: Why They Should Be Better Than Most Expect in 2012
Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Colorado Rockies have had a very busy offseason, signing players like Michael Cuddyer and Ramon Hernandez, trading for people like Marco Scutaro and Jeremy Guthrie, and moving ineffective players like Ian Stewart, Jason Hammel and Chris Ianetta. To make a long story short, there's a new look Rockies.

In 2007, the Colorado Rockies surprised people by winning 21 of their last 22 games to reach the World Series, just to be swept by the Boston Red Sox.

In 2008, the Rockies had a bombardment of injuries and finished 74-88. They traded their best hitter in Matt Holliday to the Oakland Athletics that offseason and weren't expected to do much in 2009.

However, in 2009, they shocked many people by going back to the playoffs with a 92-70 record, but lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS.

In 2010, they didn't make the playoffs, but finished with a 83-79 record. We got to see a former Oakland Athletics castoff, Carlos Gonzalez, break out that season and hit .336 with 34 home runs.

In 2011, the Rockies had a lot of injuries again (most notably pitcher Jorge De La Rosa) and some players just flat out underachieved. Then-starting 3B Ian Stewart hit only .064 in the first two months of the season and then-starting 2B Jose Lopez (now with the Cleveland Indians) hit for just .208 the first two months. The Rockies finished 73-89.

In other words, the Rockies were one of baseball's better teams before 2011. We've seen them have success recently and we shouldn't cast them off just because they had one bad season.

Rob Tringali/Getty Images
Ian Stewart, a former Rockies underachiever, now plays for the Chicago Cubs.

This is a different team now.

We would all agree they now have a very good lineup, but anyone would question the pitching staff. I can see why they would, but at worst, the team will be better than last season.

Last year's rotation:

Ubaldo Jimenez (before being traded): 6-9, 4.46 ERA

Jorge De La Rosa (before getting hurt): 5-2, 3.51 ERA

Jhoulys Chacin: 11-14, 3.62 ERA

Jason Hammel (now playing for the Baltimore Orioles): 7-13, 4.76 ERA

Aaron Cook (after he came back from early season injury, and he now plays for the Red Sox): 3-10, 6.03 ERA

Juan Nicasio (before getting hurt): 4-4, 4.14 ERA

Drew Pomeranz (acquired in the Jimenez trade, and when he played for the Rockies last year): 2-1, 5.40 ERA

Pomeranz didn't do the greatest, but he's had one hell of a spring this year, going 3-0 with an 0.53 ERA.

J. Meric/Getty Images
Aaron Cook was one pitcher who stunk up the rotation in Colorado last season.

Now our rotation is this:

Jeremy Guthrie, who did lead the league in losses, but he did play for the Orioles, and had a 4.33 ERA while playing in the loaded AL East. Plus, he's a big innings-eater, just like GM Dan O'Dowd wants.

Jhoulys Chacin (who is only 24 years old, and has a lot of potential)

Jorge De La Rosa (when he comes back from injury)

Drew Pomeranz ( who is only 23 years old, and was the centerpiece of the Ubaldo trade)

Jamie Moyer (who has had a good spring, but I'm not sold on him)

And, Juan Nicasio, who has had one heck of a story since being hit with a line drive in the neck last August, will be back in the rotation. He's another young pitcher at 25 years old.

With the exceptions of Guthrie and obviously Moyer (who I think will be in the bullpen or in the minors eventually)m the Rockies have a very young rotation with great potential. Surely, it's at least better than last year's rotation, since Hammel and Cook are no longer in Colorado.

Expect the Rockies to compete for the division this year.

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