Who’s the best in the West?

March 24, 2010 | 6:25 am | 9  

The Rockies are getting attention in discussions on the NL West.

The Rockies and Dodgers are being picked to win the NL West.

Have the Rockies done enough to deserve the respect?

How do you look at the rest of the NL West?

My take:
– Rockies were wise to just fine tune in the off-season. They have a quality rotation, and a lineup that should be even better.
– Dodgers don’t have a No. 1 or a No. 5 starter. Bellasario’s visa problems will delay his availability when the season starts.
– Giants can dominate with their rotation and have a solid bullpen. They don’t, however, have the big bats in middle of lineup.
– Diamondbacks can’t afford a rotation that doesn’t have a healthy Brandon Webb, and the defense is shaky.
– Padres are trying to regroup and figure out a direction. They are one team in division with no hope.

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9 Comments »

  • Nic | March 24, 2010 | 9:37 am

    Tracy,

    I agree with you on the order of the division. I think as long as the Rockies can stay healthy (Street returning soon, no other major injuries, etc.), they will put themselves in good position to claim their first NL West title.

  • Tom | March 24, 2010 | 10:00 am

    Have Rockies fans EVER entered the season with this kind of legitimate optimism? A division title is a realistic possibility. They ought to at least be in the mix the entire season. And this is really the first time in 15 years we can say that.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | March 24, 2010 | 12:29 pm

    Actually Tom it’s the first time in 18 years. It is the result of the patience that ownership had in allowing O’Dowd and his staff to build a system instead of constantly trying to patch holes with free agents.
    If they don’t lose focus on the farm system there is reason to feel that they will be a factor in the race on a regular basis.

  • Robb | March 24, 2010 | 3:30 pm

    I really believe the Dodgers are not the Rockies biggest concern. Manny is getting older and is now off the juice. Their starting pitching is not as big a strength as some think, IMO. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the D’Backs be better (if Webb is okay) and the Giants hang around.

  • roxnsox | March 24, 2010 | 3:37 pm

    I have the highest hopes ever – legitimate ones this time, as pointed out here. Been burned too many times to really believe until I see them playing at a high level for a full season. Can’t wait!

    On another note, heard an announcing team on MLB network game today that is still disparaging the Rockies’ starting pitching. Old habits die hard! It annoyed me that they were spouting the idea that “The Rockies’ pitching is suspect. It always will be, at Coors Field! Yuk yuk…”

    But Tracy R. knows better, and so do we!

  • John Anderson | March 24, 2010 | 4:30 pm

    The Rox under Jim Tracey were 72-42 for a .638 winning percentage last season. There is little, if any, evidence that they would regress. Moreover, the bench, bullpen and rotation are all a bit deeper than last year.

    Bold prediction is they win 100 games and the division barring significant injury.

  • GARY | March 25, 2010 | 2:25 am

    until rox prove they can beat L.A.-especially in L.A.-I think they still look like a wild card-but hope springs eternal!gary.

  • Derrek | March 25, 2010 | 5:00 pm

    I don’t think they have a shot at 100 wins, but 90-95 is a realistic possibility. The Rox definitely look good to me, and with all the success they had after the Hurdle firing, how can you expect anything else.
    The bullpen is what worries me though. Until Morales shows consistency and Street gets back to healthy, the Rox will struggle late in games. Corpas is so frustrating and I think he is done. I hope I’m wrong but he has had 2 bad years and isn’t showing signs of improvement this spring. Betancourt is not dominate and Flores seems to be that “specialist” that comes in for one or two hitters. Belisle looks good so hopefully he will be the surprise of the year. The bullpen though is what will doom(if anything dooms them) the Rox.

  • Mike | March 25, 2010 | 9:05 pm

    Hard to definine legitimate optimism. We only have to look back to the anticipated 2008 season.

    This season, my view is cautious optimism. On paper, it’s hard to argue against, it looks good. It’s a long season though and I think there are some questions that will only be answered when we get to July/August. There have been some bright spots in pre-season and some not so bright spots. Is the bullpen ready for April? Seems like most think so but I’m not so sure. The starting rotation looks to be solid. Still, there are questions there. I think Jorge De La Rosa has the potential to be the Cy Young winner from the NL. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see Jorge and Ubaldo combine for 38-40 wins. If Cook or Francis falter, I think we will see Greg Smith.

    I’m sticking with my original predictions on here. Mr. Ringolsby will probably think I’m crazy but I think it could be a repeat of last season and too close to call.

    The Giants have some young talent that may get some playing time. Based on pre-season play, they just may figured out the middle of their lineup. I know pre-season win/losses don’t mean much but the Giants are having a pretty good pre-season, even with some of the not so bright spots their starters have had.

    1)Rockies/Giants

    2)Giants/Rockies

    3)Dodgers

    4)Padres

    5)Diamondbacks

    If everything goes well it could be 95 games in the win column and post season play. If it goes REALLY well it could be the Rockies vs the Rays in the world series. Wouldn’t get any better than that.