Apr 6, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorTroy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez need to produce huge offensive numbers this year if the Colorado Rockies want enjoy a ride into the baseball postseason.
They have the talent to keep the Rockies near the top of the National League West division for the 162-game season.
But they need to stay healthy. Colorado can't afford to have its superstars on the injured list.
Tulowitzki has to continue to play like he is the best shortstop in baseball. His defense is amazing.
Tulowitzki can make difficult plays look like routine plays. He has one of the strongest arms in the league.
Tulowitzki is coming off a season with a .302 average and 30 home runs.
Gonzalez didn't have monster numbers last year like he had during the 2010 season at the plate.
Two years ago, Gonzalez connected for 34 home runs.
Gonzalez had a solid 26-home run effort in 2011.
Gonzalez needs to have at least 32 home runs and play at least 145 games.
Those two can't do it alone.
Dexter Fowler has to step up in his center field position.
Fowler has the talent to become a superstar in the league, he just hasn't done it yet.
Time could be running out on Fowler, but this should be the year he makes that next step on his level of play.
First baseman Todd Helton is a great leader to have on the field and in the dugout. At age 38, he is key to helping the Rockies stay competitive in the division.
A critical pickup in the offseason for the Rockies right fielder Michael Cuddyer from the Minnesota Twins.
Cuddyer has the power surge Colorado stay in contention in the NL race.
The big question mark every year for the Rockies is pitching. This year isn't any different.
Jhoulys Chacin and Jeremy Guthrie are scheduled to be one and two in Colorado's pitching rotation. Guthrie is new to the Rockies after playing last year for the Orioles.
Rafael Betancourt is preparing to be the closer for the season.
The good thing for Rockies fans is the National League West is wide open. The San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks are the two early favorites for the crown. I don't think anybody is going to run away and hide in the division. The race should come down to the final few weeks of the year.
Keep in mind, pitching is the key to winning World Series.
That's why the Philadelphia Phillies should be playing in the World Series.
Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hammels make up the best three pitchers any team in the National League has to offer.
The player with the best name in baseball, in my opinion, is Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds. Bruce has decent power for the Reds. He is a good outfielder and has a great chance making the NL all-star team this year.
The biggest offseason move in baseball was Albert Pujols moving to the Los Angeles Angles.
Pujols made the Angles title contenders, but they won't win the World Series.
I have the American League coming down to the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers.
Boston struggled last September going 7-20 and not living up to the hype.
New manager Bobby Valentine took over for the fired Terry Francona. Valentine brings the spark and the discipline the Red Sox need to win a championship.
The star players for the Red Sox are Adrian Gonzalez (first base), Dustin Pedroia (second), Jacob Ellsbury (center) and David Ortiz (designated hitter).
The top pitchers for the Red Sox should be Jon Lester and Josh Beckett.
The bad thing is Boston is in the toughest division in baseball in the American League East.
Boston, the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays will be in the running for the division.
After a long journey, I like the Red Sox beating the Phillies in the World Series.
I have been wrong many times before on my predications, but at least baseball is back.
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