By Scott Barzilla

There is an expression at our local men’s golf association golf tournaments for players that finish in last. Usually, there is the abbreviation “DAL” attached to their name. DAL stands for “dead ass last.” It is the nature of team sports that someone must finish last. So, finishing last inofitself is not necessarily totally negative. Still, there is the way that the Rockies finished last. You had to pipe light down to them they were so far in the cellar defensively.

The Houston Astros finished in 29th in team defense here. However, it should be noted that these numbers reflect the eight regulars. Chris Nelson does not appear here, but he came in with a -13.5 run differential primarily at third base. Any mitigation that you might think about their situation should be seen through that light.






Wilin Rosario



The young catcher came out offensively, but is unfortunately stuck in his shell defensively


Todd Helton



The best defender on the team is not long for this world. Pacheco might move here and Chris Nelson to third. Ouch.


Marco Scutaro



Scutaro was dealt at the right time. Rutledge will take over here and hopefully will be better defensively.


Jordan Pacheco



It’s hard to believe he wasn’t the worst defender among regulars. Chris Nelson is worse and likely will play more.


Josh Rutledge



Troy Tulowitzki has been the best shortstop in baseball over the long haul and should be again next season.


Carlos Gonzalez



How in the hell did he win the Gold Glove? Really guys? Are we this out to lunch?


Dexter Fowler



They are rumored to be shopping him and it would seem that replacing him with anyone would be an improvement.


Michael Cuddyer



Cuddyer is a jack of all trades and master of none. Offensively he should rebound to have a monster year.





This can’t help but get better, but they need to pay attention to fielding a lot more.


Wilin Rosario should have been a platoon catcher at best this season, but Ramon Hernandez couldn’t stay healthy and it ended up being for the best anyway. He looks like a 30 home run guy for the duration and if that ends up being the case the Rockies are well within their rights to ignore any defensive shortcomings. Of course, that is okay if the other positions are manned by capable fielders.

First Base

Todd Helton has been a borderline Hall of Fame first baseman for most of his career. Now, he is near the end and someone needs to take over. Jason Giambi wants to play another season, but he is older than Helton. The logical choice at this time seems to be Jordan Pacheco, but he shouldn’t be anywhere near a baseball glove.

Second Base

Marco Scutaro was brought into solidify second base for at least one year. He did that for the most part and was then dealt for Charlie Culberson. Josh Rutledge came out of nowhere when Troy Tulowitzki got hurt and played very well. He was also exposed as someone that doesn’t have the range to be an everyday shortstop. Perhaps, he will have the range to be a solid second baseman.

Third Base

Chris Nelson and Jordan Pacheco got the bulk of the time at third base. If you combined their fielding numbers you would be getting into Mark Reynolds territory. I suppose that you would have to expect one of them to improve to the point where they could be passable. Pacheco was certainly more than passable offensively, so the Rockies probably hope he can improve either at third or first.


Troy Tulowitzki has been good for somewhere between five and ten runs defensively every season. Back in his salad days he was somewhere close to Brendan Ryan or J.J. Hardy. Unlike those guys, he also is a high profile offensive performer. The Rockies lost both of those elements for virtually the entire season. Getting that back would go a long way in helping the Rockies vault their way up the NL West standings.

Left Field

Carlos Gonzalez has devolved since bursting on the scene in 2011. The NL coaches thought he was the best fielding left fielder in their league. Boy were they way off base. What is more disconcerting is how he went from an MVP candidate to someone that is good, but not great with the bat. If he can get back to where he was in 2011 then the Rockies may surprise some people.


Dexter Fowler is moving in the other direction offensively. He is drawing interest from other teams because he seems to be evolving offensively, but that is not happening with the glove. If he moved to a ballpark that was not as demanding in terms of ground to cover. Like most Rockies, he has some extreme home and road splits, so when you add that to the poor defensive metrics, it makes it hard for some teams to pull the trigger on a move.

Right Field

Michael Cuddyer was signed to bring some offense to the equation and possibly provide some versatility. He has played first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field. He might become the solution at first base at least in terms of offense. The problem is that while he can play five positions, he is below average at all of them, so the Twins (and now the Rockies) just have to pick what they see as the lesser of all evils and go with it.


Scott Barzilla

Scott Barzilla is the editor in chief at He is also the author of four books, including The Hall of Fame Index. The Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical innovation in 2011.

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