SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Few expect much from the Colorado Rockies’ pitching staff this season, and understandably so. The Rockies had a 5.49 team ERA in 2012, the worst in the National League by nearly a run per nine innings.
Offensively, though, the Rockies should be a handful for opposing staffs — and they’re deep enough in hitters to possibly swing a trade for another starting pitcher before Opening Day.
Catching is an area of particular surplus for Colorado. Wilin Rosario, Ramon Hernandez and Jordan Pacheco are on the team’s 40-man roster. Yorvit Torrealba is a non-roster invitee to spring training. Hernandez, earning $3.2 million, is likely the one the Rockies most would like to trade.
The team wants to add one more capable starting pitcher, major-league sources say — someone who could throw 150 to 175 innings and produce a ERA in the 4.50-4.75 range. Someone like right-hander Josh Fogg, who pitched for the Rockies in 2006-07.
Even pitchers of such modest quality are difficult to obtain. But even beyond catcher, the Rockies possess multiple options at every spot on the field, creating trade possibilities:
First base: Todd Helton, Michael Cuddyer, Tyler Colvin, Ryan Wheeler.
Second base: Josh Rutledge, DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Culberson.
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Jonathan Herrera, Reid Brignac.
Third base: Chris Nelson, Wheeler, Pacheco, Nolan Arenado.
Outfield: Cuddyer, Colvin, Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Eric Young Jr., Charlie Blackmon.
Will such depth lead to a trade? Difficult to say. But with Tulowitzki now recovered from left groin surgery, one club official says the offense could be “prolific.” And for the Rockies, that would be a start.
— Ken Rosenthal