DENVER -- While serving as tour guide for the new improvements to Coors Field, Rockies owner Dick Monfort took some time to discuss the club that will play in the park starting with Friday's home opener against the Padres.
Buoyed by a 2-1 trip to Milwaukee to start the season, including an extra-inning loss on Opening Day, Monfort gave a quick assessment as his club sets out in 2013.
"I was more surprised than anybody that we lost 98 games [in 2012], and we didn't change the people [on our roster] a lot, so we'll see," Monfort said. "We started off good. We have a great offense. If we can continue to hit like that, we'll make things interesting."
With new manager Walt Weiss at the helm, there are five primary changes to the Rockies' 2013 roster: starting pitcher Jon Garland was signed at the end of Spring Training, pitcher Chris Volstad made the roster as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, along with Yorvit Torrealba, who returns as the backup catcher after being away since 2009, prospect Reid Brignac won a roster spot as a backup to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and reliever Wilton Lopez was acquired in offseason trade for last year's rookie starter Alex White.
Otherwise, a mix of established veterans and promising position players who proved themselves last year will combine with a pitching staff that struggled in 2012, with the starters posting the second highest ERA in franchise history.
"We've got some tremendous offensive players, so I'm very excited," Monfort said. "Pitching is what we've got to keep after. Our starting pitchers were good in Milwaukee, and our bullpen was good. If we can keep doing those things, we're going to win our share of games.
"We had a great Spring Training, and I saw a lot of really, really good players that I know could play somewhere else [in the Majors] that are in [Triple-A] Colorado Springs. So we've got a lot of talent. We just have to keep working it."
Monfort has watched the Rockies post losing seasons in three of the five years since their World Series appearance in 2007.
"At the end of the day, the record is all that's important," Monfort summed up. "We can have the nicest guys in the world. We can have the most talented guys in the world, but at the end of the day, you have to win. It's easier for me to take somebody complaining about 98 losses, because that's how many we had. It's not as if I'm going to say, 'If this or that would have happened,' because the fact is we lost 98 games. We have to take it, and we have to get better."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.