Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Fantasy outlooks: Colorado Rockies

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

While the Colorado Rockies, losers of 98 games in 2012, may not be good in actual baseball, they have several gems for Fantasy owners to consider heading into 2013. Last season saw the breakout of Dexter Fowler (.300 average, 13 home runs, 12 steals), the re-emergence of Tyler Colvin (.290 average with 18 home runs in 420 at-bats) and the dual introductions of young bats Josh Rutledge (eight home runs and 20 doubles in 277 at-bats) and Wilin Rosario (28 home runs in 396 at-bats). With superstar Troy Tulowitzki held to 47 games as he dealt with injuries and slugger Carlos Gonzalez having a down year (although a .303 average, 22 home runs and 20 steals would be a welcome line for many other players) as he battled hamstring issues and the absence of Tulowitzki in the lineup, this year's version of the Rockies are chock-full of exciting offensive Fantasy options. Rosario looks primed to build on his power numbers, Fowler should at least meet his output from 2012, Rutledge had a late-season slump but will pick up second base eligibility and be batting in a stronger lineup with Tulowitzki back and Colvin is a great source of underrated power.

2013 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

The problem? Pitching. Things got so bad in 2012 that the Rockies employed an unprecedented, unorthodox "piggyback" rotation plan -- having four starters throw about 75-80 pitches, then give way to a series of relievers. It had far from humidor-style effects, as only two pitchers of the 14 who started a game for the Rockies last year -- Jhoulys Chacin (4.43) and Drew Pomeranz (4.93) -- carried an ERA below 5.00 on the season. The Rockies had originally insisted that they would continue the piggyback experiment in 2013, but MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby reported in mid- September that the system would be scrapped in favor of a more traditional five-man rotation. Of course, the story notes that the hybrid/piggyback relievers -- essentially long relievers on a schedule who come into the game when a starter is about to face a lineup for the third time -- are still around, meaning rotation members could get yanked early (despite the team saying pitchers should last 90 or 100 pitches), when that lineup rears its head for a third time. While Fantasy players should be overjoyed at the experiment being put down -- Jorge De La Rosa, for instance, is now just back to being a mediocre pitcher, as opposed to a mediocre pitcher with severe innings limits -- it was an interesting idea: the restricted quirkiness made for more two-start weeks, meaning more opportunity for wins and strikeouts -- even though the truncated starts threatened those exact system benefits.

The Colorado bullpen, meanwhile, boasts a couple non-hybrid gems, in the form of closer Rafael Betancourt, who managed a 2.81 ERA and 31 saves in 2012, and Rex Brothers, who struck out 83 batters in 67 2/3 innings while winning eight games in relief. While Betancourt will just slide into the middle of the rankings among Fantasy's other closers, Brothers may turn out to be one of the more valuable low- ratio/high-strikeout middle relievers in the National League, who could assume closer duties if Betancourt is traded from the Rockies -- a middling team in a tough division -- at the deadline. In short, if there are two pitchers you want on this team, they would be Betancourt and Brothers. If there is a third pitcher, it just might be this guy...

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Dexter Fowler CF
2. Josh Rutledge 2B
3. Carlos Gonzalez LF
4. Troy Tulowitzki SS
5. Michael Cuddyer RF
6. Tyler Colvin 1B
7. Wilin Rosario C
8. Chris Nelson 3B
Bench Todd Helton 1B
Bench Jordan Pacheco IF/C
Bench Eric Young OF

Breakout candidate ... Drew Pomeranz, starting pitcher

While Jhoulys Chacin, Juan Nicasio and Jorge De La Rosa have all shown some degree of promise, 24-year-old Drew Pomeranz -- who was acquired as part of the 2011 Ubaldo Jimenez trade -- could be the ace emerging from this group. A top prospect heading into last season, Pomeranz had a career 1.96 ERA in 30 minor league starts before being given a shot in 2012. He was promptly kicked around in five appearances, sent back to the minors and called up again in July, where his childhood dreams of being a member of an experimental four-man rotation finally came true. With the piggyback strategy behind him, Pomeranz is no longer a strikeout pitcher burdened by pitch counts (which might have led to him pitching to contact and seeing his strikeout numbers dip). Instead, he's a strikeout pitcher entering his second season, and was surprisingly unaffected by the thin Denver air in 2012 (his home and road splits were nearly identical). Let your fellow drafters focus on Chacin, Nicasio and De La Rosa. Pomeranz should be a much better value on Draft Day and could end up being the best pitcher on the staff.

Very deep sleeper ... Ryan Wheeler, third baseman

Incumbent third baseman Chris Nelson hit .301 last year and top prospect Nolan Arenado got past some early struggles in the minors to finish with some respectable numbers in 2012. And the Rockies already have a full outfield and two capable first basemen. So why is Wheeler a (very deep) sleeper? He has a good deal of power and a career .313 batting average in over 1,600 minor league at-bats. He has twice produced an OPS above .955. He can even mix in some steals. Acquired from the Diamondbacks for reliever Matt Reynolds this winter, Wheeler can play first base, third base and the outfield. With the Rockies having a good deal of moving parts -- and the stadium playing to power-hitters once again -- Wheeler could make enough of an impact to slide in as a corner option for deep NL-only teams. And if he somehow supplants Nelson at third, he's immediately worthy of mixed league consideration.

Roto gem ... Tyler Colvin, outfielder/first baseman

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Jorge De La Rosa LHP
2. Jhoulys Chacin RHP
3. Drew Pomeranz LHP
4. Juan Nicasio RHP
5. Jeff Francis LHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Rafael Betancourt RHP
2. Tyler Chatwood RHP
3. Rob Scahill RHP
4. Chris Volstad RHP
5. Rex Brothers LHP

The popular sentiment is that Todd Helton will start the season as Colorado's first baseman. Helton will be 40 this season and is coming off August hip surgery. He last saw 500 at-bats in 2009 and hasn't hit 20 home runs since 2005. He's hit .260 or below twice in the last three years. This isn't to knock Helton -- he's a 16-year veteran who carries a career .320 average. It's merely meant to point out that the Rockies have a 27-year-old power-hitting option who could easily supplant Helton and push him to bench duty. Colvin has hit 18 or more home runs twice in the last three years, despite never having more than 420 at-bats. He set a career high with a .290 batting average last year, while also setting career highs in doubles (27), triples (10), RBI (72), steals (seven) and OPS (.858). He can play outfield and first base (he's eligible at both for 2013). Helton has been with Colorado for a long time, but he may be better suited for a part-time role as he comes back from surgery. Colvin has a powerful bat and has the ability to hit for a nice average, as well. He will get playing time and should be given mixed league consideration this season, where his offensive stats make him a nice Roto option.

Prospects Report

No Colorado prospect discussion would be complete without the mention of Nolan Arenado, the third baseman who took a bit of a step back in 2012 (.285 with 12 home runs in more than 500 at-bats) after looking like he could be ready to beak out following strong 2011 (20 home runs and a .298 average) and 2010 (.308 with 12 home runs) campaigns. However, Arenado had his third straight season of 30 or more doubles and he remains a tantalizing prospect who should be grabbed late in keeper leagues. ... Trevor Story was ranked as the top organizational prospect by Baseball Prospectus, but is still at least a year or two away from making an impact. ... Pitcher Chad Bettis had been on the rise before a shoulder injury shut him down last April. He'll resume his promising career in the low levels and could find his way to the majors by 2014… The team's first-round pick in 2012, David Dahl hit .379 with 22 doubles and a 1.048 OPS in rookie ball last year. Just 18, Dahl could have an impact in 2015. ... Like Ryan Wheeler, Tim Wheeler has a power bat (he hit 33 home runs in 2011 at Tulsa), but was slowed by a broken hand in 2012 and saw his numbers dip. While Tim has more speed than Ryan, he's blocked by a full outfield. If the Rockies decide to trade, say, Michael Cuddyer late in the season, there's a chance Wheeler could be elevated for late-season at-bats.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @nandocbs . You can also send us an e- mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Reds, Paul Maholm agree to deal for 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:12 pm ET) The Reds and pitcher Paul Maholm have agreed to a minor-league contract for 2015 with an invitation to spring training, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Maholm, who is recovering from ACL surgery in August, made 30 appearances in 2014 for the Dodgers, posting a 1-5 record with a 4.84 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings pitched.


White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija willing to listen to long-term deal
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:32 pm ET) New White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija's agent, Mark Rodgers said Sunday he and his client "owe it to Chicago to consider an offer" on a long-term contract, according to Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio.

However, Rodgers also said they would need to see how things go for at least half of a season before deciding whether to stay with the club.

Samardzija was traded to Chicago in the offseason from Oakland and has one-year remaining on his current contract.

Samardzija finished 2014 with a 7-13 record between the Cubs and Athletics, posting a 2.99 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 219 2/3 innings.


Scott Boras: Andruw Jones hopes to return to majors in 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:18 pm ET) Agent Scott Boras said outfielder Andruw Jones wants to return to the majors for another season in 2015 and that at least two teams are interested in signing him as a designated hitter.

Jones has spent the last two seasons playing in Japan. In his major-league career, Jones totaled 434 home runs and 1,289 RBI.


Royals' Luke Hochevar nearing return from Tommy John surgery
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(12:00 pm ET) Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar has been able to throw off a mound and expects to soon be at the full strength, reports The Kansas City Star.

Hochevar is recovering from Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss the 2014 season and said he expects to be at full strength once spring training is underway.

"I'm conditioning my arm," Hochevar said. "Once spring training comes around they're going to monitor me for a little while, but once they cut me loose I become a regular guy again."

In 2013, Hochevar produced a 1.92 ERA in 58 games. While Hochevar said he's looking forward to returning, he wants to be cautious with his body.

"Hopefully, I'm ready in two weeks," Hochevar said. "But you never know and I'm not going to put a timetable on it. I'm going to listen to my body. I need to look long term, not just career-wise but season-wise. Me on the shelf is no good. If it takes me an extra two weeks, a month, whatever it is, I need to be mindful of that."


Report: Padres 'in touch' with Phillies regarding Cole Hamels
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:09 am ET) The Padres are "in touch" with the Phillies in an attempt to land pitcher Cole Hamels, FOX Sports reports.

The Padres have made plenty of upgrades across the roster since general manager A.J. Heller took over, and it's possible they don't have the ammunition to land the Philadelphia ace in a deal. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week that he didn't expect Hamels to be traded before the start of the season. Hamels went 9-9 with a 2.46 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 204 2/3 innings in 2014.


Report: Orioles sign Mark Hendrickson to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) The Orioles have signed Mark Hendrickson to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training, CSNBaltimore.com reports.

Hendrickson, who last pitched in the majors in 2011, spent 2014 with York of the independent Atlantic League, posting a 1.54 ERA and 34:11 K:BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings over 55 appearances.


Rangers' Matt Harrison expects to open season on 60-day DL
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison said Saturday that he expects to open the season on the 60-day disabled list as he continues to recover from spinal fusion surgery, the Dallas Morning News reports.

"My job is to just get as healthy as I can and get myself right so I don’t have something happen like it did last year when I tried to come back," Harrison said. "I’m just going to focus on that and get ready to contribute whenever it may be."

Harrison is dealing with some stiffness in his right side, which will cause him to throw from a distance of 90 feet for a second consecutive week rather than progress to 105 feet. He hopes that he'll get his hips to rotate more and loosen up with more stretching and more throws from the 90-foot distance.


Report: Rays sign Ronald Belisario to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) The Rays have signed pitcher Ronald Belisario to a minor-league deal with an invitiation to spring training, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Belisaro made 62 appearances with the White Sox in 2014, posting a 4-8 record, 5.56 ERA and 47:18 K:BB ratio in 66 1/3 innings. He'll compete for a bullpen spot during the spring.


Dodgers SP Zack Greinke hasn't decided whether to opt out
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke said Saturday that he's yet to decide whether to opt out of his contract at the end of next season but added, "There's not really better options anywhere besides here," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Greinke is set to make $23 million in 2015, and he's due another $71 million over the following three seasons if he remains under his current contract. The Dodgers said earlier this offseason that they wouldn't discuss a contract extension with the pitcher during the winter.

Greinke went 17-8 with a 2.71 ERA and 207:43 K:BB ratio in 202 1/3 innings in 2014.


Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez hoping to bounce back in 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez can't wait to get on the field and get past the 2014 season.

"I can’t wait," Jimenez said at Saturday’s FanFest event. "Whatever happened in 2014 is in the past. There's nothing I can do about it now. I can just look forward and now I’m going to do everything in spring training to get myself ready the best I can for the season and help the team."

Jimenez, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal with Baltimore in 2014, went 6-9 with a 4.81 ERA in 125 1/3 innings pitched. 

"It was pretty hard, coming in with a new team and signing a contract like that and not to do what everyone is expecting you to do, it’s hard," Jimenez said. "It’s hard not to be there for the team, but regardless what happened, I fought a lot. I think I was trying to find a way to survive to be there for the team and do whatever I can do the best. We got really far. I didn’t help a lot, but I tried to do whatever I could with whatever I had."


 
 
 
Rankings