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The Colorado Rockies have options to consider at first base

With Justin Morneau gone, the Rockies have some decisions to make in replacing him.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With Morneau gone, Rockies should consider their options at first base- Mile High Sports

On Thursday, the Rockies declined their half of a mutual option that would have kept veteran Justin Morneau in Colorado one more year, on a $9 million salary. Morneau, 34, is now a free agent, and the Rockies are left to take a good, long look at their first base situation for next season.

As Casey Light of Mile High Sports points out, the starting job is all but in the hands of Ben Paulsen, who has held his own at the position for parts of the last two seasons. While Morneau battled a nagging neck injury and Wilin Rosario tried to sort out his game in Triple-A, Paulsen made 66 starts and 91 appearances at first base. He hit .277/.326/.462 over that time. His projections for 2016 have him at .274/.325/.459 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in just under 400 plate appearances.

Wilin Rosario is a probable to split time with Paulsen, though he has expressed openness to a trade this offseason. Rosario has struggled for much of the last two seasons both offensively and defensively, so what the Rockies could get in exchange for the Baby Bull is still a question mark for the organization. Rosario, at just 26, is a massive power asset to have in the lineup when he’s making contact consistently.

Light doesn't mention Kyle Parker as an alternative to Rosario's right-handed bat, though his struggles at the big league level make him an even higher risk than Rosario. Parker does not share Rosario's success against left handed pitching -- a career .575 OPS, though the sample is small -- having yet to log consistent playing time in the majors. This is the biggest problem with a Paulsen-Parker platoon situation since neither have stand-out numbers against lefties. Parker is a gamble with the bat, but an option nonetheless for the Rockies. 

Arenado, LeMahieu up for Gold Glove Awards -

Last year’s Rockies gold glovers, Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu, earned nominations again this year for their sparkling defense. Arenado is up against Matt Duffy of the San Francisco Giants and Todd Frazier of the Cincinatti Reds. At second base, it’s the MarlinsDee Gordon and the Red’s Brandon Phillips competing with LeMahieu.

Included in Thomas Harding’s article are Coors Shields clips that will surely make you miss watching Arenado and LeMahieu play baseball every night.

Rockies in AFL: Freeland grateful for extra work -

Jeff Callis of got a chance to catch up with 2014 first rounder, Kyle Freeland, who is one of Rockies representatives in the Arizona Fall League this year. Freeland has dealt with injuries for most of his professional career, and views the Fall League as an opportunity to make up for lost time.

For the 22-year old lefty, the next step is to develop a strong changeup. A four-pitch mix along with a lively fastball and strong command could make Freeland a key piece in the Rockies young rotation within the next few years.

MLB Postseason

Mets vs Royals recap: Syndergaard preservers, Wright drives in 4 in 9-3 Mets win - Amazin' Avenue

The Mets showed signs of life in Friday’s Game 3 matchup between the RoyalsYordano Ventura and Mets’ Noah Syndergaard. After a tug of war through the first three innings, New York broke the game open with a four-run sixth inning to lock up their first win of the World Series. Hometown heroics from Curtis Granderson and David Wright lifted the bounce-back performance of Syndergaard, who gave up three runs on six hits through the first two frames, and then did not allow another hit until an infield single from Mike Moustakas in the sixth. 

Former Rockie, and current Royals reliever, Franklin Morales gave up the four runs in the bottom half of the sixth. He also hit a batter and allowed the most... interesting fielder’s choice to get the only out he recorded in the inning. Rough night for Frankie.

The Mets and Royals resume action tonight. Steven Matz vs Chris Young.