Five Rockies surprises I would not have predicted in the offseason…
- Brad Hawpe released. During the offseason Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd said he was willing to listen to trade offers for Hawpe, but he wasn't shopping the player. Hawpe's playing time dwindled until he was released in mid-August.
- Chris Iannetta's demotion. The Rockies agreed to a three-year deal with Iannetta in December, but signed Miguel Olivo to split time with him the following month. Before the end of April, Iannetta was demoted to Triple A for about a month. Iannetta could be attractive on the trade market this winter, but the Rockies may need him if Olivo's club option turns mutual and he becomes tough to re-sign.
- Huston Street making his season debut on June 23rd. In January, the Rockies were so enamored of Street they extended him through 2012 at a minimal discount even though they already controlled him for '10. Street had a decent-sized injury history, though, so this year's shoulder issue didn't come out of nowhere.
- Jhoulys Chacin's season. Chacin wasn't a household name, though he was ranked fourth among Rockies prospects by Baseball America before the season. He's been a crucial member of the team in 2010, with a 3.79 ERA in 102 innings. Aaron Cook hasn't performed as expected and Jeff Francis and Jorge de la Rosa have dealt with injuries, so Chacin has been a godsend.
- Carlos Gonzalez's season. Given Gonzalez's strong 2009 trial, his performance this year isn't a shock. Still, I didn't expect an MVP-caliber year from the center fielder.