What went right
Outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler each turned in strong seasons at the plate, and Wilin Rosario crafted a solid rookie campaign. While not much went right in terms of pitching, Rafael Betancourt was outstanding as closer (2.47 ERA, 48 strikeouts, eight unintentional walks in 51.0 innings at this writing). Because of the larger struggles, an overdue front-office restructuring took place.
What went wrong
While Coors Field played quite like the pre-humidor launching pad of old, the pitching was awful in any context. Thirteen different pitchers made starts for the 2012 Rockies, and, at this moment, only one -- Jeff Francis (5.68 ERA) -- has logged at least 20 starts. Their team ERA of 5.12 is easily the worst in baseball, and, yes, that includes teams in the DH league. Chiefly, a widespread lack of control was the problem. Elsewhere, Todd Helton showed further signs of decline, and Troy Tulowitzki once again proved unable to stay healthy. Is it a good thing, bad thing or neutral thing that Dan O'Dowd is still the GM?
MVP: Fowler. In addition to manning center and running the bases with aplomb, the 26-year-old switch-hitter presently owns a batting line of .311/.396/.495. While his power dropped off in the second half, he does boast a nifty .407 OBP since the break.
LVP: The rotation. All of it. As mentioned above, 13 different starters took the mound for the Rox this season. Of those 13, the best ERA belonged to Drew Pomeranz. His mark? 4.80. As a unit, Rockies starters combined for an ERA of 5.86, easily the worst in baseball. Such were their struggles that manager Jim Tracy was forced to get a little wacky with their deployment.
MLB free agents to be: 1B Jason Giambi
Game plan heading into the offseason
Because of their unique playing environment, the Rockies have tried all sorts of approaches to building a winner. While there have been highlights (the pennant in 2007, for obvious instance), there's been little in the way of sustained success. As ever, pitching remains elusive. Every other team in the division is better poised to win right now (Giants and Dodgers) and in the future (Padres and Diamondbacks). There simply isn't much hope for near-term relevance in Colorado. Continue building from within, I suppose.
Ridiculously premature prediction for 2013
The Rockies will finish comfortably in last place in the NL West, but Jhoulys Chacin will enjoy a "soft" breakout in 2013. With Pomeranz and Alex White also in the fold, there's hope for a stable rotation in the years to come. But it takes more than that.