In time, we’ll know if the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks have enough pitching to challenge the preeminence of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants at the top of the National League West. Colorado probably has the best collection of young power arms it has ever put together, and Arizona's young arms are good enough to hold up the back end of the Diamondbacks’ rotation if Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller are capable enough of leading the way.
Regardless of whether they are contenders for the playoffs, however, the Rockies and Diamondbacks will make existence in the NL West difficult for the Dodgers and Giants, based on the strength of their offenses. “The toughest road trip in baseball is through Colorado,” one evaluator said last summer. “The worst.”
Pitchers get pounded, bullpens are taxed, visiting players strain playing in the mile-high conditions. With A.J. Pollock restored to the Arizona lineup this year, the journeys through Phoenix could be almost as challenging, an ongoing toll for the traditional NL West powers.
Based on the input of evaluators, the Rockies and Diamondbacks are ranked among the top 10 lineups in the latest in our ongoing series. But it starts with the team that led the majors in run production last season, and expects to again, even after a big loss to its lineup.