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2012 Fantasy outlooks: Colorado Rockies

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Just two short years after their last playoff appearance, the Rockies found themselves in a deeper hole than they could overcome midway through last season, forcing the front office to change course. For all the success the team had at the end of the last decade, the status quo wasn't working anymore. The roster was in need of a makeover.

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Certain parts were untouchable, such as the nucleus of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Both are locked up long-term and both are good as it gets at their respective positions. But Ubaldo Jimenez, perhaps the only true ace the organization has ever known, suddenly became expendable and ultimately landed the Rockies two promising young pitchers in Drew Pomeranz and Alex White.

Though Pomeranz showed some potential down the stretch and has a pedigree that suggests he could be the organization's next true ace, the Rockies still didn't feel comfortable with their pitching depth entering spring training and made it their mission this offseason to acquire as many serviceable arms as possible -- most of which are probably too hittable for Coors Field.

Between Jeremy Guthrie, Guillermo Moscoso, Josh Outman, Jamie Moyer and Tyler Chatwood, the Rockies should have no shortage of innings. Whether or not they'll be good ones is a different story. Fortunately, any of those five (with the exception of Guthrie) who make the roster will likely become expendable as soon as Juan Nicasio (broken neck) and Jorge De La Rosa (Tommy John surgery) prove healthy and effective again.

As for the offense, the Rockies loaded up on veterans to complement Tulowitzki and Gonzalez, and while old men Todd Helton and Casey Blake may not hold up at the corners, Michael Cuddyer and Marco Scutaro are still productive enough to take advantage of the move to Coors Field. And whenever the Rockies decide they need an injection of youthful energy, they can turn the hot corner over to future star Nolan Arenado and the catcher spot over to slugger Wilin Rosario.

Breakout ... Dexter Fowler, OF

Judging by the final numbers, Fowler was the same player last season as the previous two seasons, when he was widely regarded as an underachiever. But let's not forget the path he took to those numbers. In June of last year, he was hitting so poorly that the Rockies actually demoted him to the minors. Instead of sulking, he adjusted, changing his stance -- which was never a thing of beauty from the left side -- to shorten his stroke. He returned a different player, hitting .297 with 36 extra-base hits, nine steals and a .901 OPS in his final 64 games. That's who the Rockies thought they were getting when Fowler was first breaking into the majors. Granted, the homers aren't there yet, but given his 6-foot-4 frame and extensive number of doubles and triples, they should come as he enters his prime. And even if they don't this year, Fowler still figures to exceed his draft position in Head-to-Head leagues. He's basically a Shane Victorino waiting to happen.

Sleeper ... Rafael Betancourt, RP

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After trading Huston Street to the Padres this offseason, the Rockies plan to make Betancourt their full-time closer. But wait, didn't the Indians try that with him in 2008, when he was coming off his best season? And wasn't it a cataclysmic failure? And didn't no-names like Masahide Kobayashi and, later, Jensen Lewis end up getting saves instead? Yes, yes and -- oh yes -- yes. But that was the old Betancourt. At age 36, he's no longer so easily rattled. Want proof? Hey, he was at his best while filling in for Street last year, posting a microscopic 0.32 ERA over his final 30 appearances, when he recorded all eight of his saves. He has always had great peripherals, from his strikeout rate to his WHIP, and his stuff is as good as ever despite his age. Betancourt is likely to slip in drafts given his limited closing experience, but if you draft him late as your second or third reliever, he might end up being your best.

Late-round flier ... Marco Scutaro, SS

Let's be honest here: Scutaro isn't going to hit 20 homers or steal 20 bases. He might not even be a 10-10 guy. He isn't going to redefine the shortstop position or carry anybody's Fantasy team. So why should anyone care about him on Draft Day? Because what he does offer, at least in Head-to-Head leagues, makes him surprisingly productive at the weakest position in Fantasy. He hits doubles. He walks. He puts the ball in play. As a full-timer in 2009, he ranked fifth among shortstops in Fantasy points, and one year later, he ranked sixth. Best of all, he's going to be batting second for a team that, given its home ballpark, routinely ranks among the highest scoring in the NL. With Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki hitting behind him, how can he not score a ton of runs? Again, you can do better at shortstop than Scutaro, but if you miss out on the big names early, don't forget about him as a fallback option.

2012 Colorado Rockies Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Dexter Fowler CF 1 Jeremy Guthrie RH
2 Marco Scutaro 2B 2 Jhoulys Chacin RH
3 Carlos Gonzalez LF 3 Juan Nicasio RH
4 Troy Tulowitzki SS 4 Guillermo Moscoso RH
5 Todd Helton 1B 5 Drew Pomeranz LH
6 Michael Cuddyer RF Alt Josh Outman LH
7 Ramon Hernandez C
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Casey Blake 3B CL Rafael Betancourt RH
Top bench options SU Rex Brothers LH
R Wilin Rosario C RP Matt Belisle RH
R Tyler Colvin OF RP Matt Reynolds LH
R Eric Young OF/2B RP Edgmer Escalona RH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2011 high Destination
1 Drew Pomeranz 23 SP Majors Majors
Even at reduced velocities with the extended workload, Pomeranz was more effective than not in a late-season call-up. He's a worthy late-rounder in mixed leagues, provided he wins a job.
2 Nolan Arenado 20 3B Class A Double-A
Despite his young age, Arenado is already a good enough contact and power hitter to play in the big leagues. Considering only Blake stands in his way, it'll likely happen midseason. A future star.
3 Wilin Rosario 23 C Majors Majors
Rosario's power hitting should play well at home, but his poor plate discipline could make him another Rod Barajas. He'll eventually supplant Hernandez, making him worth a flier in deeper leagues.
4 Chad Bettis 22 SP Class A Double-A
Bettis was overpowering in the heavy-hitting California League last year, causing him to shoot up the prospect rankings. He likely won't arrive in 2012, but he's a worthy long-term keeper.
5 Tim Wheeler 24 OF Double-A Triple-A
Wheeler emerged as a power hitter last year and is also an adequate base-stealer. His struggles against lefties might confine him to a platoon role, but he's not far from reaching the bigs.
Best of the rest: Tyler Matzek, SP; Trevor Story, SS; Tyler Anderson, SP; Kyle Parker, OF; Jordan Pacheco, 1B; Charlie Blackmon, OF; Christian Friedrich, SP; Edgmer Escalona, RP; DJ LeMahieu, 2B; Kent Matthes, OF; Joe Gardner, SP; Edwar Cabrera, SP; Zach Putnam, RP; Rob Scahill, SP; Hector Gomez, SS; and Ben Paulsen, 1B.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Yankees pitcher Adam Warren picks up win Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:03 am ET) Yankees pitcher Adam Warren allowed four runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings of work in New York's 8-5 win over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Warren did not find any issues until the sixth inning when he allowed four straight hitters to reach base safely after getting two outs. Warren allowed an RBI double to David Ortiz and then an RBI single to Pablo Sandoval before getting the hook.

Warren, now 2-1, moved his ERA to 4.78 with 14 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings of work. He will look to keep rolling Friday against the Orioles.


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Even with the homer and a walk, Napoli is hitting just .167 on the season. 


Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner cracks second home run
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:02 am ET) Yankees left fiedler Brett Gardner went 2 for 5 at the plate in New York's 8-5 win over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Gardner did his damage in the sixth inning when he took a Craig Breslow pitch over the right field wall for a three-run home run, his second of the year. Gardner also singled and scored twice. 

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Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeria cracks ninth home run Sunday
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(12:02 am ET) Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira went 1 for 4 at the plate in New York's 8-5 win over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Teixeira did his damage in the first inning, cranking a two-run home run over the Green Monster off of Joe Kelly, his ninth of the season. Teixeira is now hitting .202 with 20 RBI in 84 at-bats this season.


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(12:02 am ET) Yankees closer Andrew Miller worked a nearly perfect ninth inning in New York's 8-5 win over the Red Sox on Sunday, earning his 10th save of the year.

After walking Allen Craig to lead off the inning, Miller struck out two in Xander Bogaerts and Blake Swihart. Then, Miller put two more runners on base to load the bases for David Ortiz. Miller worked to a full count before Ortiz to flyout to end the game. Miller maintained his perfect 0.00 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings of work.


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Kelly lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing nine runs on five hits, including a first-inning homer to the Yanks’ Mark Teixeira. It’s the fourth straight non-quality start for Kelly, who only managed to strike out three batters. 

In losing his first career game against the Yankees in four starts, Kelly drops to 1-1 and his ERA rises to 5.72. 


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(5/3/2015) Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock knows the team is in a bit of a slump at the plate, including himself, according to MLB.com.

Arizona scored just four runs in the weekend set with Los Angeles, including two shutouts. Pollock is hitting .284, but went a combined 1 for 13 in the series.

"I think when you're not putting runs up you've got guys that want to get it done now," Pollock said. "Probably a little over-swinging and getting outside the zone. I know I've done that. It's tough, because you want to pick up the pitchers because they're throwing well, and it just wasn't happening and you start to press.

"Every team is going to go through that at some point. It's tough when you're in it to figure out exactly how to stop it. Obviously you want to care, I mean everyone cares. It's kind of trying to back off because you can care too much sometimes and that causes pressing. It's a tough one to get out of it."


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One of the trouble spots the Rangers may address is shortstop, where Rougned Odor is slumping badly, with only six hits in his last 49 at-bats. The Rangers may decide to let him work out his swing in the minors. 

"He's still learning," manager Jeff Banister said of Odor. "There are going to be growing pains. He was aggressive. He got himself in a hole a couple of times. Then you are facing the pitcher’s [choice of] pitches. It makes it tougher."


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(5/3/2015) The Padres are set to call up their top prospect catcher Austin Hedges, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Hedges was hitting .343 with two home runs and 15 RBI in 67 at-bats for Triple-A El Paso. Hedges was one of the final cuts for San Diego in spring training, going 2 for 13 with a walk.


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(5/3/2015) Rays second baseman Nick Franklin is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham Tuesday, according to the Tampa Tribune.

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