90-73, National League champions
1. CF Willy Taveras:
.320 BA, .367 OBP, .382 SLG, 2 HR, 24 RBI in 2007
2. SS Troy Tulowitzki:
.291 BA, .359 OBP, .479 SLG, 24 HR, 99 RBI in 2007
3. RF Matt Holliday:
.340 BA, .405 OBP, .607 SLG, 36 HR, 137 RBI in 2007
4. 1B Todd Helton:
.320 BA, .434 OBP, .494 SLG, 17 HR, 91 RBI in 2007
5. 3B Garrett Atkins:
.301 BA, .367 OBP, .486 SLG, 25 HR, 111 RBI in 2007
6. RF Brad Hawpe:
.291 BA, .387 OBP, .539 SLG, 29 HR, 116 RBI in 2007
7. C Yorvit Torrealba:
.255 BA, .323 OBP, .376 SLG, 8 HR, 47 RBI in 2007
8. 2B Jayson Nix:
.292 BA, .380 OBP, .490 SLG, 11 HR, 58 RBI at Triple-A Colorado Springs 2007
1. Jeff Francis, 17-9, 4.22 ERA in 2007
2. Aaron Cook, 8-7, 4.12 in 2007
3. Ubaldo Jimenez, 4-4, 4.28 in 2007
4. Jason Hirsh, 5-7, 4.81 in 2007
5. Franklin Morales, 3-2, 3.43 in 2007 Projected bullpen
Closer: Manny Corpas, 19/22 saves, 2.08 ERA in 2007
RH setup man: Luis Vizcaino, 4.30 ERA with Yankees in 2007
LH setup man: Brian Fuentes, 3.08 ERA in 2007 The new guys
Jose Capellan: A right-handed reliever, Capellan had what was thought to be a breakout season with the Brewers in 2006 (4-2, 4.40 in 61 games), but struggled with Milwaukee and the Tigers last season. A consistent delivery could mean big success. Marcus Giles: He'll be in camp under a Minor League contract, but he could start if he regains his hitting stroke and the younger group of candidates prove not able to get the job done. Since hitting .291 with the Braves in 2005, he has hit .262 with the Braves in '06 and .229 with the Padres in '07. Matt Kata: Kata has had some hot streaks as a utility infielder the last four seasons. He came from nowhere to make the Rangers last spring and also played with the Pirates. He is in camp under a Minor League deal. Luis Vizcaino: One of baseball's most effective right-handed setup men, Vizcaino pitched for the Yankees last season. He returns to the National League West, where he had his best season, with the Diamondbacks in 2006 (72 SO, 26 BB). Scott Podsednik: A speedster who put up big stolen base numbers with the Brewers and the White Sox, Podsednik is hoping to rebound from an injury-plagued 2007 with the Sox. He has a Minor League contract. Josh Towers: The Rockies have attempted to trade for Towers in the past, and finally have him. Now, whether it's in the rotation or in the bullpen, can Towers' ground-ball style lead to success in Colorado?
Kip Wells: A right-hander who will compete for the back of the rotation or operate out of the bullpen, Wells showed promise at the beginning of his career but hasn't won consistently. He hopes taking inventory of what has worked for him and applying new training methods will make him a winner. Victor Zambrano: The Mets thought enough of Zambrano to trade prospect pitcher Scott Kazmir to the Rays for him a few years back. But Zambrano suffered an elbow injury and it didn't work out for the Mets. Zambrano's comeback continues with the Rockies, under a Minor League contract. Prospects to watch
Juan Morillo: Morillo gained notice by exceeding 100 mph with his fastball. But by slowing down to the mid-90s last season, Morillo found he had greater fastball movement and his slider was more effective. The Rockies received another year of options for him, but if he can complete his development he might be able to make his mark in the big leagues this year. Josh Newman: Newman pitched well in his first Triple-A season, going 3-2 with a 4.06 ERA in 55 appearances at Colorado Springs and earning brief action with the Rockies at the end of the year. He'll get a long look in Spring Training. Jayson Nix: Younger brother of Major League outfielder Laynce Nix, Jayson Nix was the Rockies' top pick in 2001. Bad offensive years in 2005 and 2006 slowed his progress, but he regained his hitting stroke last year. Drafted as a shortstop, Nix can easily handle defensive responsibilities at second. Offense is the question.
Returning from injury
Aaron Cook: Cook shook off his first-half doldrums and was on a roll when he suffered an oblique strain in August and didn't pitch again until the final game of the World Series. The Rockies signed him to a hefty contract extension hoping that he can build on that strong performance, and the encouraging second half.
Chris Iannetta: It's not exactly a rebound. Iannetta began last season starting behind the plate and receiving preseason Rookie of the Year buzz. He struggled early last season and endured a demotion. But Iannetta showed a stronger bat in September, and the Rockies expect him to buck for increased playing time as the season progresses. Long gone
Jeremy Affeldt: Affeldt initially faltered when the Rockies used him in a specialist role, but he turned hot in September and was an important reason for the club's late surge. Affeldt became a free agent at season's end. Jamey Carroll: The primary starter at second in 2006, Carroll struggled offensively in 2007 and finished the year as a late-innings defender. Carroll was dealt to the Indians in December, for a player to be named. Josh Fogg: Fogg won the hearts of fans by winning several matchups with big-name opposing pitchers, thus earning the nickname, "The Dragon Slayer." Fogg became a free agent. LaTroy Hawkins: Hawkins struggled in the first month of the season, but put up strong numbers in a middle relief role afterward. The Rockies attempted to re-sign him, but Hawkins took an offer from the Yankees. Kazuo Matsui: Matsui re-established his value last season with the Rockies, putting behind his rough experience with the Mets. He parlayed his Rockies performance into a big contract with the Astros. Jorge Julio: Julio became the Rockies' most dependable strikeout threat after arriving in a trade with the Marlins. But he suffered a neck injury at the end of the regular season and did not participate in the postseason. Julio became a free agent.
2007 hitting leaders (min. 200 at-bats)
Avg.: Holliday, .340
OBP: Helton, .434
SLG: Holliday, .607
Runs: Holliday, 120
RBIs: Holliday, 137
Hits: Holliday, 216
2B: Holliday, 50
3B: Holliday and Matsui, 6
HR: Holliday, 36
SB: Taveras, 33
2007 pitching leaders (min. 30 IP)
IP: Francis, 215 1/3
W: Francis, 17
L: Francis, Fogg, 9
Win %: Francis, .654 (17-9)
S: Fuentes, 20
ERA: Corpas, 2.08
K: Francis, 165
K/9: Julio, 8.54
WHIP: Matt Herges, 1.01
1. Will the young, talented pitching be ready?
Morales' lack of experience is the reason the Rockies re-signed lefty Mark Redman and signed Wells and Towers to compete for the fifth spot. But the two spots ahead of that one aren't manned by expereinced pitchers, either. The broken leg cut short Hirsh's first full season, and Jimenez has never been on a roster before the All-Star break.
Last season, Taveras and Matsui gave the Rockies the dimension of speed. Tulowitzki has more thump than Matsui from the No. 2 spot, but there is a speed tradeoff. Will Tulowitzki be patient enough to give Taveras opportunities to steal? Will Taveras have to curtail some of the running to give Tulowitzki more RBI opportunities, not to mention avoid wear and tear? 3. Who will play second base?
We saved this one for last, since we've been talking about it all winter. Giles has struggled the last couple of seasons, but at least he has been a fulltime starter. However, the Rockies are high on Nix, have dependable and versatile types in Clint Barmes and Omar Quintanilla, and are intrigued about whether power hitters Jeff Baker and Ian Stewart can play second well enough to get their bats into the lineup. The bottom line
The Rockies have been out of the spotlight for years and, frankly, that didn't change last season. They put together one of the greatest finishes of all time to make the playoffs, and marched to the World Series, but were frozen out of all postseason awards except for Holliday's Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award. Now, however, the Rockies are on the radar of their opponents. During Spring Training, they must avoid injuries, answer their pitching questions, and have a better start to the regular season than last year's 18-27 through May 21.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.