In the This Is My Nightmare series, we'll take a look at what the absolute worst case scenario for each team would be in 2013. Think of it as the negative complement to our You May Say I'm A Dreamer series that we'll be running during our preview series.
A nightmare season for the Rockies is something that seems incredibly easy to imagine. After all, a lot of the things that happened to the team in 2012 would qualify as an absolute nightmare if they once again ocurred in 2013. First, we'll start with the health of franchise crown jewel shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Tulowitzki missed a good 2/3 of the 2012 season after injuring his groin, and the injury pretty much sent the Rockies' season off the rails. Without him, the Rockies would be hard-pressed to compete, and go ahead and stick a fork in the team if he gets hurt.
Center fielder Dexter Fowler is another guy who has extreme disaster potential for Colorado. Fowler had a breakout year in 2012 thanks to a .390 BABIP, and if that mark drops to even his career level of .353 (which is still extremely high), his slash stats are going to fall across the board and his productivity will drop off a cliff. Even with that .390 BABIP, Fowler didn't crack three fWAR last year thanks to his below average defense, and a dropoff could make him a player barely above replacement level if the glove doesn't improve.
Catcher Wilin Rosario has awesome power but little else, and if by some twist of fate that power disappears, he'd be useless as a player for the Rockies. Colorado's pitching staff, which Rosario will be doing most of the handling of in 2013, could be a massive disaster as well. Jeff Francis was the only player on the team last year to top 100 innings, and while the Rockies have seemingly abandoned their piggyback plan going into 2013, there are still a lot of things that could go wrong (and rather easily, I might add). Jorge de la Rosa is heading up the Rockies rotation, and he thrown over 130 innings and made more than 23 starts just once in his career (going into his age 32 season in 2013). Colorado's rotation also features the ultimate soft tosser in Francis, the largely inexperienced Drew Pomeranz and Juan Nicasio, and the enigmatci Jhoulys Chacin. The Colorado staff is a very high risk/high reward bunch, with more weight on the "risk" side of the equation.
Finally, there's the Rockies' bullpen, which was shockingly effective in 2012 thanks to excellent seasons from Matt Belisle and Rafael Betancourt, along with strikeout (and walk) happy seasons from Adam Ottavino and Rex Brothers. Throw in Wilton Lopez from the Astros, and the Rockies bullpen could be the highlight of their 2013 season…unless Ottavino and Brothers let their walk issues get out of control, Belisle turns into a pumpkin after three excellent relief years, and Betancourt's drop in velocity and strikeout rate from a year ago gets the better of him.
There really is a lot that can go wrong with the Rockies in 2013, and honestly, I think that there is a lot that *will* go bad with them. Maybe Tulowitzki won't get hurt again, maybe the rotation won't be a complete dumpster fire again, but expecting nothing to go wrong after a bunch of stuff went in both directions in 2012 is a little silly.