Final statistics have little relevance. Players that won’t even sniff the major leagues often get more playing time than the regulars. And managers are more concerned with preventing injuries than determining when to use their left-handed specialist in the bullpen.
However, the Rockies had more of a productive spring than debilitating one.
Paul Janish, Ryan Casteel and Rosell Herrera topped the group of position players that hit extremely well, yet will be re-assigned by the end of the week.
The spotlight of Spring Training had to be centered on how well the Rockies relievers pitched. Chad Bettis, Wilton Lopez and Adam Ottavino will be relied on heavily in the bullpen. Each impressed in February and March, posting an earned run average below 3.00.
The most encouraging takeaway point from Salt River Fields?
Well, aside from Jhoulys Chacin being delayed a bit, the Rox avoided any major injury. Troy Tulowitzki missed several days in mid-March after being hit by a pitch, but then again, what’s Rockies baseball without Tulo getting hurt?
In terms of key players that had great springs, Brett Anderson and Nolan Arenado took giant steps forward.
Anderson looked awesome on the mound, working quickly and inducing double plays in potentially dangerous innings. Arenado seemed like a different guy at the plate, pounding mistake pitches into gaps and over the wall.
I thought about grading the Rockies spring, but didn’t really see a point in that. Let’s get to Miami already.
Here are 10 predictions for the Rox in 2014:
- Carlos Gonzalez and Tulowitzki will combine for 225 runs batted in or more
- Arenado will win another Gold Glove
- Wilin Rosario and Justin Morneau will each hit 25 home runs
- Corey Dickerson and Drew Stubbs will lead the team in stolen bases
- Chacin and Jorge de la Rosa will each win 15 games
- Boone Logan will rank in the top five of the National League for holds
- Brothers will take over the closer’s role and record 30 saves
- Gonzalez, Tulowitzki and Arenado will represent the Rockies in the All Star Game
- The Rockies will lead the National League in runs and home runs
- At season’s end, the Rox will be 84-78
Here’s my reasoning.
The club improved by 10 games last year and that was with a galore of injuries. The Rox are the healthiest they’ve been in a long time, so it makes sense to predict they’ll be another 10 games better this year.
Even though they’ll likely miss the playoffs again, September should be filled with enthusiasm and meaningful games.
If you’re a Rockies fan, that’s all you can ask for at this point.