4) Is this the year they finally get their pitching staff together?
3) Will there young nucleus of hitters take the next step forward?
5) Fowler has been a bit of an anomaly. Most people, if asked, would probably rank him in the top ten, when in reality his home/road splits made him only mediocre. Stubbs is also mediocre. His big knock is that he strikes out a ton, but he will hit more home runs and is better defensively than Fowler so I will give Stubbs a slight advantage and the Rockies a slight upgrade.
4) Their pitching staff is now above average and trending up. I like the pick-ups of pitchers Jordan Lyles, Boone Logan, and especially Brett Anderson. If these 3 pitchers can improve the team by a combined 10 wins and the rest of the staff a combined 10 wins, they will be in contention. They improved by 10 wins last year to finish at 74 and with 20 more wins they will win 94 games.
3) 3rd basemen Nolan Arenado and 2nd basemen D.J. LeMahieu are steadily improving at the plate. I think their pitching will improve this year, while I think their hitting as a group is more than likely a year away.
2) He can, but will he? He does need to start fast or the fans may reject him and long for Helton to return. Personally I think he will be fine, he is a professional hitter, and had some good years with the Twins. Colorado should bring back his power stroke, and the outfield is nice and spacious which will play to his double power.
1) This is hard to answer, last year Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki missed a combined 88. Most teams can not survive that many games without arguably their best hitter, never mind their top two hitters. History says no, but if they want to make a playoff run the answer needs to be yes.