04/23/2009 5:46 PM ET
Hawpe: Pitching, youth are keys for Rox
Left-handed hitter is excited about rotation, young stars
This is my sixth season with Colorado, and this year's team is a lot different than last year's team. We're taking on a new identity.
That's the beautiful thing about the start of a new year -- there is change. We have a whole new coaching staff to complement Clint Hurdle, and we have a lot of new players after losing a few players during the winter.
I think the most important thing, though, is that we have the same attitude about trying to win every ballgame. That's something that doesn't change from year to year.
I feel especially good about our pitching. Those guys are going to keep us in ballgames. To be successful going forward, I think of lot of it's going to come down to our health. If our rotation stays healthy, and if the back end of our bullpen stays healthy -- and we get Taylor Buchholz back -- we'll be in good shape. If that happens, I think we can compete with the best of 'em.
Overall, we've had some good young players come in, and they continue to grow. Yeah, we're going to make some mistakes, but that's part of the game. Franklin Morales, for example, is a left-hander who is going to be a good pitcher for us for a long time. He's a competitor.
In center field, Dexter Folwer is going to be good for a long time. He is a great athlete, and he has the chance to be a very special ballplayer. And Chris Iannetta proved a lot last, year and he proved a lot this spring with Team USA at the World Baseball Classic. I think he'll contribute quite a bit, too.
Brad Hawpe has quickly become one of the senior members of the Rockies, who over the winter lost outfielder Matt Holliday in a trade with Oakland and closer Brian Fuentes, who signed with the Angels. Hawpe has hit at least 22 homers in each of the last three seasons, and in 2007 he drove in a career-high 116 runs.