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Know Your Enemy: Colorado Rockies

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Remember yesterday's article? You could almost duplicate it for today's.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies lost 96 games in 2014. They avoided a last-place finish only because the Arizona Diamondbacks lost 98 games.

I'm here to tell you that those two clubs will fight it out for last place in the National League West again this year. The Rox are going to roll essentially the same starting position players out there that they did in 2014 and hope Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez make comebacks from injuries that caused both of them to miss about half the season (and CarGo wasn't good when he did play, while Tulo was).

The only difference in their starting lineup might be Nick Hundley, who was signed to a two-year deal as a free agent. He'll replace Wilin Rosario, who was decent. I don't quite get this move; maybe you do. Rosario has had some time at first base this spring; perhaps backing up Justin Morneau is in his future.

Former Phillie Kyle Kendrick joins the Rockies' rotation. That ought to be interesting, because Kendrick's career ERA is 4.22 and he allows about 24 homers per season. And they want him to pitch with Coors Field as his home park? Yikes. In seven career appearances at Coors (six starts), Kendrick has a 5.26 ERA, a 1.46 WHIP and five home runs allowed in 37⅔ innings. Good luck with that.

LaTroy Hawkins, who actually had a decent year closing for a very bad team in 2014 (if only he could have done that for a certain team we all know, 10 years earlier!), returns for what's supposed to be his final season at age 42. He'll be the oldest player in the major leagues this year and among his teammates his rookie year were Kirby Puckett and current Cubs broadcaster Ron Coomer.

I just don't have a lot more to say about the Rockies. Their key to any success this year is for two oft-injured players to return to All-Star level. Even if they do, their pitching staff looks awful, and pretty much the same staff led the majors in runs allowed last year by a considerable margin (818; the next-most was 777, by the Twins).

The Cubs will travel to Denver to face the Rox for their first road series of the year, April 10-11-12. That will include Colorado's home opener on April 10 and a fair chance of snow and cold weather. Fun! The Rockies' annual visit to Wrigley Field will be in (presumably) warmer weather, July 27-28-29. July 29 will be the one-year anniversary of the John Baker Game. If Baker doesn't make the Mariners roster maybe the Cubs could invite him back to play his guitar leading the seventh-inning stretch that afternoon.