After a 2012 season filled with disappointment, injuries and the worst record in franchise history, the Colorado Rockies are determined to not let this 2013 season go down the same path
The Rockies’ 64-98 record in 2012 left them in last place in the NL West and one of the worst teams in all of baseball. So, what will be different in 2013? Well, there are several storylines that should spice up some debate on whether the Rockies will be ready this season.
First up, when the Rockies report to spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz., they will be under new management. Walt Weiss, a Rockies shortstop from 1994-1997, takes the reigns from Jim Tracy. When Tracy was hired in 2009, his presence led the Rockies to the playoffs and their best finish during his four-year stint as GM. Will Weiss be able to start out his tenure as Tracy did?
Up next, is the concern of whether the Rockies’ superstar shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will be healthy for the 2013 season. Tulowitzki, or “Tulo” as his teammates call him, missed four months of the 2012 season with a groin injury that required surgery and shut him down for the year. In Tulo’s career, the Rockies are 374-35 (.511) with him in the lineup, and 117-155 (.430) when he is out. Numbers speak for themselves. Tulo has been ranked in the top-10 in the league amongst shortstops. So, of course, the Rockies are ecstatic to have their superstar back in hopes that he can turn around the 98-loss team.
Third in the order is whether veteran Todd Helton will have enough left in the tank to finish out his ten-year $141 million contract. Helton was drafted in 1995 by the Rockies and has become the face of the franchise in his 18 years with the team. Helton suffered from hip problems in 2012 that led him to his worst season, as he hit .238/.343/.400 in just 69 games. Helton is optimistic about this season, as he told the Denver Post in September “If I am healthy, I am going to be better than I was (this season).”
Finally, the biggest off-season worry for the Rockies involved their pitching rotation. After a horrendous four-man starting rotation that finished last in the majors in innings, ERA (5.81), FIP, WHIP, wins (29), and winning percentage (.299), there is definitely nowhere to go but up for this squad. The Rockies are hoping that the young pitching staff will be led by the healthy returns of Juan Nicasio and Jorge De La Rosa, who signed a 1-year, $11 million option for the 2013 season. De La Rosa told Troy Renck, Rockies beat writer for The Denver Post, “that the team will surprise critics” this season.
It is safe to say that expectations are high in the mile-high city this season. The Rockies open up spring training play vs. Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, Feb. 24.