MLB MLB Team News NL West — 03 March 2011
Colorado made a late run at the playoffs once again in 2011, however this time they fell just short. Carlos Gonzalez had a terrific breakout season, finishing with near MVP type numbers. The Rockies return for 2011 with an intriguing young nucleus of players. Troy Tulowitzki has turned into one of the best shortstops in the game and Seth Smith and Ian Stewart are slowly progressing as well. While Todd Helton is surely not the All-Star he once was, he has shown that he can still preform in clutch situations.

In the rotation, Colorado has Ubaldo Jiemenez, one of the best young pitchers in the game, but no other real shut down pitchers. Their best bet for improvement in the rotation is if Jhoulys Chacin can build on an impressive rookie year and become a solid number two option. The Rockies will definitely be in the division race, in what should be a down year for the west, but they may need improved play from the rotation and some of their weaker position guys if they want to actually win it.

Key Additions: Matt Lindstrom, Jason Giambi, Jose Lopez, Felipe Paulino, Ty Wiggington

Key Losses: Clint Barmes

Lineup:

C: Chris Iannetta
1B: Todd Helton
2B: Eric Young, Jr.
3B: Ian Stewart
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
LF: Carlos Gonzalez
CF: Dexter Fowler
RF: Seth Smith

Rotation:

1: Ubaldo Jiemenez
2: Jorge De La Rosa
3: Aaron Cook
4: Jhoulys Chacin
5: Jason Hammel
CL: Houston Street

Players Critical To Success:

Carlos Gonzalez: CarGo had an incredible 2010, but he absolutely has to continue his success into 2011 if the Rockies want to have the kind of lineup capable of matching up against the Giants’ pitching.

Jorge De Le Rosa: De La Rosa certainly has the potential to strike a ton of batters, however, with that capability comes his propensity for being erratic. If he can work on his control it would go a long way towards making him a much more reliable number two starter for the Rockies.

Dexter Fowler, Eric Young: The Rockies have no shortage of power bats, but what they need is for guys like Fowler and Young to get on base consistently enough for the big bats to drive them in.

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