The Rockies had arguably the greatest infield to start 2015 with Justin Morneau, DJ LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado. Unfortunately, only two of those players stuck around for the majority of 2015. Morneau played in just 49 games all year long and is likely going to be hitting free agency this offseason, and Troy Tulowitzki was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays back in July. This leaves some questions for how the 2016 infield will look. Jose Reyes, who was received in the Tulowitzki trade, is the obvious starter next year if he remains on the team, but that is still up in the air. If Reyes is dealt, look for either Cristhian Adames or Trevor Story to get reps at shortstop in 2016. At first base, the Rockies don’t have very many strong options, with Ben Paulsen being the likely choice if Morneau isn’t around on the 2016 team.
Simply put, the Rockies bullpen sucked in 2015. But there are some reasons for optimism next year. Jairo Diaz showed some flashes of dominance in his short stint with the Rockies, as he allowed just five runs over 19 innings of work. He showed solid control, walking just six batters while striking out 18. Justin Miller was also a bright spot, putting up an ERA of 4.05 over 33 1/3 innings of work. He also showed the ability to get strikeouts while limiting walks, as he struck out 38 while walking just 11. One piece that will be huge in 2016 will be the return of Adam Ottavino, who didn’t allow a single run over 10 1/3 innings this year before falling victim to Tommy John surgery. His slider was as sharp as it’s ever been in his career and it will be a huge boost to the Rockies if he can come back healthy in 2016.
Vinny Castilla will be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame on April 19, 2016. Castilla will be joined by former Colorado Avalanche star Milan Hejduk, and former Denver Nugget Ralph Simpson. Castilla spent nine seasons with the Rockies, putting up a slash line of .294/.340/.530 while hitting 239 home runs and collecting 745 RBI.
Troy Tulowitzki and the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Texas Rangers at 2 pm MST and the Astros and Royals square off at 6 pm MST. Both of these games are elimination games, so be sure to watch and discuss the games in the comments below. Lineups will be added as they become available.
|TEXAS RANGERS||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Delino DeShields Jr. - CF||Ben Revere - LF|
|Shin-Soo Choo - RF||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|Prince Fielder - DH||Jose Bautista - RF|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||Edwin Encarnacion - DH|
|Mitch Moreland - 1B||Chris Colabello - 1B|
|Josh Hamilton - LF||Troy Tulowitzki - SS|
|Elvis Andrus - SS||Russell Martin - C|
|Rougned Odor - 2B||Kevin Pillar - CF|
|Chris Gimenez - C||Ryan Goins - 2B|
|Cole Hamels - LHP||Marcus Stroman - RHP|
Today's Lineups, Part Deux
|HOUSTON ASTROS||KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|Jose Altuve - 2B||Alcides Escobar - SS|
|George Springer - RF||Ben Zobrist - 2B|
|Carlos Correa - SS||Lorenzo Cain - CF|
|Colby Rasmus - LF||Eric Hosmer - 1B|
|Carlos Gomez - CF||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Evan Gattis - DH||Mike Moustakas - 3B|
|Luis Valbuena - 3B||Salvador Perez - C|
|Chris Carter - 1B||Alex Gordon - LF|
|Jason Castro - C||Alex Rios - RF|
|Collin McHugh - RHP||Johnny Cueto - RHP|