In a 162-game season, the bench can be the difference between making the playoffs or finishing 15-games out, no matter how strong the starting lineup is.
That is why I'm excited about the Rockies off-season to date. While they haven't made any eye-popping moves, which actually sounds painful, they have fortified their bench.
The latest addition is Melvin Mora, late of the Baltimores. He's a solid, proven Major Leaguer who will give the Rocks flexibility and some power. Even though he turns 38 tomorrow, he hasn't lost much. Plus, he's very motivated. Any man whose wife has given birth to quintuplets, in addition to another child, knows that's a lot of kids to feed.
Barring any trades, the Rockies bench will have Jason Giambi, Seth Smith, Ryan Spilborghs, Eric Young Junior and Mora. Depending upon who wins the catching battle, the bench will also have Chris Ianetta or Miguel Olivo.
The starting unit is strong, hence the lack of big off-season deals, and they'll be able to get some rest during the season because there isn't a big drop off when a bench player starts.
With the pitching staff as good as it has ever looked on paper at this time of year, the Rockies are poised to make another run at the post-season. With Jim Tracy at the helm, I don't see the Rockies messing the bed like they did in 2008 following their unlikely run to the World Series.
The Rockies are the team to beat in the West if you ask me.
"BR, are the Rockies the team to beat in the West?"