2011 MLB Preview: Colorado Rockies

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2011 MLB Preview: Colorado Rockies
Harry How/Getty Images

The "9 Innings Blog" will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with our 30 teams in 30 days series. Today, we bring you the 2011 preview for the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies are looking to get back to playoffs and are ready to become a serious threat for the World Series crown.

The Rockies did not finish strong last year, losing eight straight after winning 10 straight in the beginning of September. The Rockies were shaky throughout the whole year and only seem to make a push towards the end of the season.

Colorado did make a few changes this year to the roster. It acquired 2B Jose Lopez from Seattle while letting 3B Melvin Mora go to Arizona.

SS Troy Tulowitzki and OF Carlos Gonzalez both got long multi-year extensions. The Rockies also re-signed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, who was one of the top pitchers on the free agent market.

Colorado hopes that Ubaldo Jimenez can return to form as he broke out last season with a 19-8 record last season and a 2.88 ERA. He also had 214 strikeouts. Carlos Gonzalez also broke out too, batting .336 with 34 homers and 117 RBI.

If Jimenez and Gonzalez can continue to produce, along with some production from the latter half of the rotation and lineup, the Rockies can contend against the World Series champion Giants in the West.

Key Addition: Jorge De La Rosa, RHP

Breakout Player: Dexter Fowler, OF

Prediction: Second NL West

Starters
CA: Chris Ianetta
1B: Todd Helton
2B: Jose Lopez
3B: Ian Stewart
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
OF: Carlos Gonzalez
OF: Dexter Fowler
OF: Seth Smith

Pitching Rotation
SP: Ubaldo Jimenez
SP: Jorge De La Rosa
SP: Jhoulys Chacin
SP: Jason Hammel
SP: Felipe Paulino

RP: Franklin Morales
RP: Matt Daley
RP: Matt Lindstrom
RP: Matt Reynolds
RP: Matt Belisle
RP: Rafael Betancourt
CP: Huston Street

Bench
CA: Jose Morales
1B: Jason Giambi
INF: Ty Wigginton
UTL: Jonathan Herrera
OF: Ryan Spilborghs

Top Prospects
1). Tyler Matzek, LHP
2). Wilin Rosario, CA
3). Nolan Renado, 3B
4). Cristhian Friedrich, RHP
5). Kyle Parker, OF

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