2014 NL West Preview And Predictions

6 of 6

September 29, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) throws to first to complete an out in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

5) Colorado Rockies: 75-87

1- Why will this team exceed expectations?

Hayden Kane from Rox Pile: Good health. It has been the story for the Colorado Rockies for a number of seasons now. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are two of the top 15 players in baseball, yet neither can stay on the field long enough for this team to realize its full potential with them in the middle of the lineup. The year those two play 140 games together will be the year we figure out if this team, as currently constructed, is good or not.

2- Why will this team fall short of expectations?

Poor roster construction. I am a fan of Justin Morneau, but it made very little sense to sign him. Putting him and his poor platoon splits at first base prevented the team from moving Michael Cuddyer to that spot.

That leaves Cuddyer in right field where he is an abomination defensively and where he potentially blocks a very promising young outfielder such as Corey Dickerson or Charlie Blackmon from getting at-bats. Meanwhile Morneau’s output is limited at this point. It just didn’t make sense, and in the same division as the Dodgers the Rockies have a very slim margin of error for those kinds of decisions.

3- Look for the team to make (this trade)

I don’t see them making many trades during the season because I think they are going to hover in the “in-between” all season where they are not decidedly buyers or sellers. If they give any indications they are selling the phone would ring off the hook regarding Cuddyer’s availability, as he is in the last year of his current deal.

4- Watch out for the emergence of (prospect)

Eddie Butler. He makes up one part of the most promising duo of pitching prospects in franchise history (first round pick Jonathan Gray is the other). Of the two he is closer to the big leagues and will likely debut sometime this summer.