LIKELY OPENING DAY STARTING LINEUP
Pos. Player No. 2008 stats
CF Ryan Spilborghs 19 .313, 6 HR, 36 RBIs
SS Troy Tulowitzki 2 .263, 8 HR, 46 RBIs
1B Todd Helton 17 .264, 7 HR, 29 RBIs
3B Garrett Atkins 27 .286, 21 HR, 99 RBIs
RF Brad Hawpe 11 .283, 25 HR, 85 RBIs
2B Clint Barmes 12 .290, 11 HR, 44 RBIs
LF Seth Smith 7 .259, 4 HR, 15 RBIs
C Chris Iannetta 20 .264, 18 HR, 65 RBIs
LIKELY STARTING ROTATION
Pitcher No. 2008 stats
RHP Aaron Cook 28 16-9, 3.96 ERA
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez 38 12-12, 3.99 ERA
RHP Jason Marquis 21 11-9, 4.53 ERA with Cubs
LHP Jorge De La Rosa 29 10-8, 4.92 ERA
RHP Jason Hirsh 48 0-0, 8.31 ERA
Pitcher No. 2008 stats
RHP Huston Street 16 18 of 24 saves, 7-5 record with A’s
RHP Manual Corpas 60 4 saves, 13 attempts
RHP Taylor Buchholz 35 2.17 ERA
LHP Alan Embree 41 4.96 ERA
Rest of 40-man roster – Pitchers: 70 Samuel Deduno; 26 Jeff Francis (injured); 49 Jason Grilli; 44 Shane Lindsay; 46 Ryan Matteus; 56 Franklin Morales; 52 Juan Morillo; 58 Steven Register; 54 Greg Reynolds; 61 Esmil Rogers; 23 Greg Smith; 37 Ryan Speier. Catchers: 8 Yorvit Torrealba. Infielders: 10 Jeff Baker; 63 Hector Gomez; 47 Joe Koshansky; 64 Chris Nelson; 6 Omar Quintanilla; 9 Ian Stewart; 4 Eric Young. Outfielders: 24 Dexter Fowler; 5 Carlos Gonzalez; 14 Matt Murton
Games start at 1:05 p.m.
Date Opponent Site
Feb. 25 D’backs Hi Corbett
Feb. 26 White Sox Hi Corbett
Feb. 27 at Angels Tempe
Feb. 28 Dodgers Hi Corbett
March 1 at Indians Goodyear
March 2 Angels Hi Corbett
March 3 at Brewers Maryvale
March 5 Mexico Hi Corbett
March 6 at Padres Peoria
March 7 at Giants Scottsdale
March 8 San Diego Hi Corbett
March 10 Oakland Hi Corbett
March 11 at Indians Goodyear
March 12 at Angels Tempe
March 13 Giants Hi Corbett
March 14 Mariners Hi Corbett
March 15 at Dodgers Glendale
March 16 at D’backs TEP
March 17 Royals Hi Corbett
March 19 at Dodgers Glendale
March 20 Rangers Hi Corbett
March 21 at Rangers Surprise
March 22 Indians Hi Corbett
March 23 Brewers Hi Corbett
March 24 at Cubs Mesa
March 26 Dodgers Hi Corbett
March 27 at Mariners Peoria
March 28 Cubs Hi Corbett
March 29 at Athletics Phoenix
March 30 D’backs TEP
April 1 at Royals Surprise
April 2 at D’backs Chase Field
What’s set: Despite the season-ending shoulder injury to pitcher Jeff Francis, the Rockies have their top four starting pitchers already set. First baseman Todd Helton, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and right fielder Brad Hawpe are stable and reliable.
What’s not set: There still seems to be some uncertainty on how Helton will respond to offseason back surgery, if he can play 150-or so games, and if he can be the hitter that pitchers fear every time he steps into the batter’s box. The closer role is between recently acquired Huston Street and Manuel Corpas. Both need to rebound after poor 2007 seasons.
The Rockies have a young team with a bunch of promising players who have not been given a full chance to excel. Seth Smith has been mostly a pinch-hitter in his tenure, but has been placed in left field where Matt Holliday provided plenty of power before being traded.
“I think they were disappointed and humbled. We came up short as a group collectively. It is not so much they care what people think, but they want to show the industry and ourselves, the National League, that this was a good team that just had a bad year.” – Colorado manager Clint Hurdle, on going 74-88 after being in the World Series the previous season.
The bottom line
The Rockies have stable arms and a promising offense. There’s not much margin for error, however, which explains why Hurdle is talking about execution, execution, execution throughout spring drills.
• Third baseman/first baseman Garrett Atkins and outfielder Brad Hawpe are listed in most top 100 fantasy baseball rankings.
• Young outfielders Ryan Spilborghs and Seth Smith will be worth looking at in some leagues.
• Two other young outfielders – Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler – likely will have to wait for their chance to start.
• Not that people will be rushing to draft the Rockies’ fifth starter, but Hirsh will be challenged by Greg Smith, Franklin Morales, Glendon Rusch, Josh Fogg and Greg Reynolds. Smith is coming off elbow surgery.