Know Your Enemy: Colorado Rockies

Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

The Rox were bad last year. The Rox haven't made many changes. The Rox are likely to be bad again.

The Rockies had 14 different pitchers start a game for them in 2012. They tried something that no team had ever tried before: limiting most starters to 75 pitches per outing.

Result: just one Rockies starter (Jeff Francis) threw over 100 innings (113), and they racked up 60 no-decisions. The bad news is that the same pitching staff returns almost intact. The potential good news is that the Rockies have a new manager, Walt Weiss; there's no word yet on whether Weiss will keep this going or not.

It doesn't seem to matter; the Rockies allowed the most runs in the National League in 2012... by almost 100. Second-worst was the Astros, who aren't in the league any more -- so Rockies fans will have to get used to baseballs flying out of Coors Field again, hit by visiting players. Rox pitchers allowed 198 home runs in 2012, also the most in the league by a considerable margin (20 more than the next-worst staff).

The potential good news is that they should have Troy Tulowitzki back for a full season; with Tulo out, Carlos Gonzalez provided most of the Rockies' offense by hitting .303/.371/.510, although his home-run total declined for the second straight year. Catcher Wilin Rosario led the club with 28 dingers, and former Cub Tyler Colvin had what appeared to be a good year if you just look at his triple-slash (.290/.327/.531) and home-run count (18 in 420 at-bats), but Colvin hit .338/.380/.652, All-Star level, at home, and .244/.274/.413 on the road (the PA totals were identical for both).

Apart from getting Tulo back, the Rockies return mostly intact from 2012. This isn't a good thing, given their 98-loss season last year. Even with a team built for Coors Field, they were just 35-46 at home. It doesn't seem likely they'll get out of last place in the West in 2013.

The Cubs will face the Rockies May 14-15-16 at Wrigley Field and July 19-20-21 in Denver.

Tomorrow: Los Angeles Dodgers.
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