According to the Denver Post, Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort told the audience at a baseball-related event this morning that he expects his team will win a franchise-record 94 games this year. Monfort reportedly compared the 2019 team’s disastrous 71-win campaign to the 2008 flop that happened between two playoff appearances for the Colorado club. The owner claimed that the bold prediction came courtesy of the team’s analytics department.
The 94-win mark would be quite an achievement for the Rockies given that they are the only team to have not given out a big league contract this winter. Colorado was victimized by injuries and underperformance last year, but it feels like the team would still need something resembling divine intervention to overcome all of those problems. Kyle Freeland went from Cy Young Award contender to a 6.73 ERA, Daniel Murphy had an 87 OPS+, Ian Desmond got 482 plate appearances… the list goes on. Having Nolan Arenado (for now anyway) and Trevor Story in your lineup will do a lot of good, but this isn’t basketball. Your supporting cast needs to actually provide support.
Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections at FanGraphs don’t exactly paint the rosiest of pictures for the Rockies either. Projections are educated guesses, not gospel, but it’s hard to see where exactly those 94 wins are coming from. It’s also important to remember that the Rockies play in the same division as the Dodgers (they’re really dang good), the Diamondbacks (they’ve added well this winter), and the Padres (they’re about to take the next step). Getting 94 wins in the NL West is nothing to sneeze at.
On top of all of that, it’s quite interesting to see Monfort saying this just after Arenado all but demanded a trade. The star third baseman’s name is still floating around in the trade market even after Arenado kind-of-sort-of walked his harsh words back. Would anyone really be shocked if Arenado is wearing a different uniform in a few months, to say nothing of on Opening Day?
Basically, the Rockies are bad and they’ve done next to nothing to change that reality. They might actually make themselves even worse at some point soon. Perhaps now isn’t the best time for Dick Monfort to be boasting of his team’s prowess. It’s not exactly difficult to see that the emperor wears no clothes. Dinger doesn’t wear any pants and the Rockies occasionally have no sleeves on their jerseys, so maybe the organization’s steering into that school of thought. More power to them, I guess. They might need it to deal with the angry fans.