Legends On Deck

How They Were Built: 2015 Colorado Rockies

Starting Pitchers

Jorge De La Rosa – Signed as an amateur free agent in 1998 by the Arizona Diamondbacks, De La Rosa made his major league debut in 2004 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers after being traded by the Diamondbacks with stops in Mexico and Boston along the way.  He eventually landed in Colorado after being traded from the Kansas City Royals and re-signed as a free agent in 2010.  Phew that was a lot.  De La Rosa has a career record of 84-68 with an ERA of 4.60 which is pretty good considering he pitches at Coors Field.  If all goes well he may record his 100th win by September.

Jhoulys Chacin – Chacin was signed by the Colorado Rockies as an amateur free agent in 2004.  He made his major league debut as a 21-year old in 2009 and has recorded 38 career wins.  He was limited to eleven starts in 2014 after making 31 in 2013.

Jordan Lyles – One considered the top pitching prospect in the Houston Astros depleted farm system years ago, Lyles has found a home in Colorado and should continue to improve.  His 21-33 career record could be more reflective on the teams he has played for rather than ability.  Lyles is currently on a one-year $2.475 million contract and is still arbitration eligible.  He was traded to Colorado in the Dexter Fowler deal in December of 2013.

Tyler Matzek – The 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Colorado Rockies, Matzek made his major league debut last season.  In 19 starts in 2014, Matzek was 6-11 with an ERA of 4.05.

Eddie Butler – Colorado’s 1st round pick in 2012.  Butler made just three starts in his first major league season going 1-1.  It is unsure if he will be the fifth starter or not, but he could battle for the spot during spring training.

Tyler Chatwood (DL) – Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Chatwood was one of many pitchers last season that needed Tommy John surgery.  His came in the summer and it is rather unlikely that he will return in 2015 but is possible.  Chatwood was acquired by Colorado in 2011 for Chris Ianetta.

Bullpen

LaTroy Hawkins (CL)- It is hard to believe that LaTroy Hawkins is entering his 21st season in the majors.  The 42-year old refuses to quit and can still give quality out of the pen.  He has appeared in 1000 games in his career and will close out games in Colorado in 2015.  During his lengthy career, Hawkins has been both a starter and a reliever and has played for 10 different teams and he has said that 2015 will be his last.  He holds a career record of 72-93 with 124 saves and an ERA of 4.33.  He signed a 1-yr deal in 2014 with a club option in 2015 with the Rockies.

Adam Ottavino – Ottavino was drafted in the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006, and made his major league debut in 2010.  Colorado plucked him off waivers in 2012 and he has been a serviceable relief pitcher.  He appeared in 75 games in 2014.

Rex Brothers – Another first round pick of the Rockies, Brothers has certainly earned his paycheck pitching in 269 games since his debut in 2011 all out of the bullpen.  He is 15-11 with an ERA of 3.49 and has recorded 273 strikeouts in 232+ innings.

Jairo Diaz – Signed with the Angels as an amateur free agent in 2007, Diaz was acquired by the Rockies in exchange for Josh Rutledge in December of 2014.  Diaz appeared in five games for the Angels last season and could possibly break camp with the Rockies out of spring training.

Boone Logan – The left-handed specialist is entering his 10th season in the majors.  After finding success with his previous teams, Logan struggled in Colorado in 2014.  Logan signed a 3-year $16.5 million deal as a free agent with Colorado in 2014.  He has made 455 career appearances including 80 in 2012 as a member of the New York Yankees.

Starting Lineup

Wilin Rosario (C) – Signed as an amateur free agent by the Rockies in 2006, Rosario has spent most of his time behind the plate.  He hit .267 in 2014, with 13 home runs and 54 RBI.  He definitely has power, but it can be due to playing a majority of his games at Coors Field.

Justin Morneau (1B) – Unsure if he will be ready for the start of the 2015 campaign, former AL MVP Morneau is entering his 13th year in the league.  He spent 11 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, the team that drafted him in 1999, before being shipped off to the Pittsburgh Pirates in August of 2013.  Morneau found his way to Colorado signing a 2-year contract in 2014 as a free agent.  Morneau has made four All-Star appearances and has been the recipient of Silver Slugger award twice.

DJ LeMahieu (2B) – Drafted in the second round by the Chicago Cubs in 2009, LeMahieu made his debut in May of 2011.  The Rockies acquired him in December of that year and has played most infield positions, but mainly second base.  He is hitting .267 so far in his young career and recorded 132 hits in 2014.

Nolan Arenado (3B) – Another early draft selection of the Rockies, Arenado was selected in the 2nd round of 2009 and made his debut four years later.  He has a career (although only two seasons) fielding percentage of .966 at the hot corner.  He raised his batting average to .287 in 2014 adding 18 home runs, up from 10 in 2013 in 22 less games.

Troy Tulowitzki (SS) – It remains to be seen if Tulo will be in Colorado as his name has been mentioned in plenty of trade rumors.  Staying healthy is the key here and if he does there is no reason to expect anything less than what we have seen in previous years.  The four-time All-Star is entering his 10th season in the league, but has been held to playing in just 264 games over the last three seasons.  Tulo was the seventh overall pick by the Rockies in 2005.

Corey Dickerson (LF) – One would have to think without looking that Colorado would have the most number of their own draft picks on the 25-man roster.  Dickerson was selected in eighth round in 2010 and made his debut with the Rockies in 2013.  A majority of his starts have come in left field and should be the same in 2015.  Dickerson put up real good numbers in 2014 with a line of .312/.364/.567/.931, but could skewed by the Coors Field Factor.

Charlie Blackmon (CF) – Born Charles Cobb Blackmon, is it any surprise that he plays outfield?  The speedy outfielder swiped 28 bases in 2014 and also hit 19 home runs.  He was selected as an All-Star in 2014 which was his first full seasons in the majors.  Another draft pick of the Rockies, Blackmon could fit in well as the leadoff hitter for this year’s version of the team.  He recorded 171 hits last season which lead the team.

Carlos Gonzalez (RF) – With three years remaining on the 7-year deal he signed back in 2011, CarGo is finding himself in trade rumors also.  Signed as an amateur free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002, Gonzalez made his major league debut in 2008 as a member of the Oakland Athletics.  The two-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, and Silver Slugger winner will also need to remain healthy if Colorado has any chance at improving on their 66 wins from a year ago.

Projected Bench

Nick Hundley (Catcher) – After spending seven years in San Diego and one in Baltimore, Hundley signed a two-year $6.25 million contract with the Rockies this offseason.  He will provide some relief to Rosario and is a quality back-up piece.

Daniel Descalso (Utility) – Former second round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, Descalso signed a two-year deal with the Rockies for $3.6 million.  He has played every position in the infield which is a nice player to have come off the bench.

Drew Stubbs (Outfield) – Stubbs avoided arbitration with Colorado agreeing to a one-year deal worth $5.825 million.  The Rockies acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Indians for Josh Outman in 2013.  Stubbs hit .289 with 15 home runs in 132 games in 2014.

Brandon Barnes (Outfield) – Acquired as the other piece with Jordan Lyles in the Dexter Fowler trade, Barnes played in 132 games in 2014 in all outfield positions.  He is an average hitter but can fill in nicely for days off or injuries.  He was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the sixth round in 2005.

John Ginder

Site Co-Founder/Senior Editor and Co-Host at Legends on Deck® The Podcast
In the past John has been a part of such successful sites as MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net.John was born and raised in upstate New York and has a love of all sports but mainly baseball. He has grown used to heartache with his teams as he roots for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres too.John has a loving and understanding wife and is the the proud father of two amazing boys.He also loves heavy metal music.

You can also reach out to John at jginder@legendsondeck.com