The Colorado Rockies have finalized their 25-man active roster for Opening Day 2016. And with the roster fates of Jason Gurka, Scott Oberg and Brandon Barnes finally decided, the Rockies are ready to start the season in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Rockies have selected the contract of Jason Gurka, placing him on the 40-man and active roster and optioned Scott Oberg to Triple-A Albuquerque. That leaves Brandon Barnes as the team's 25th man.
Here's how the breakdown looks by position:
Jorge De La Rosa, Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Jordan Lyles
Christian Bergman, Miguel Castro, Boone Logan, Jake McGee (Closer), Justin Miller, Jason Gurka, Chad Qualls, Chris Rusin
Nick Hundley, Tony Wolters
Ben Paulsen, DJ LeMahieu, Trevor Story, Nolan Arenado, Mark Reynolds, Cristhian Adames
Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, Gerardo Parra, Ryan Raburn, Brandon Barnes
The Rockies' Opening Day rotation is currently expected to be Jorge De La Rosa for the Monday opener, followed by Chad Bettis on Tuesday, and likely Tyler Chatwood on Wednesday. That would leave Jordan Lyles starting the home opener on Friday. For the time being, the Rockies will go with a four-man rotation.
Since the Rockies are facing a right-handed pitcher in Zack Grienke on Opening Day, the lineup ought to look something like this:
Charlie Blackmon - CF
Trevor Story - SS
Carlos Gonzalez - RF
Nolan Arenado - 3B
Gerardo Parra - LF
Nick Hundley - C
Ben Paulsen - 1B
DJ LeMahieu - 2B
Jorge De La Rosa - P
Spring Training this year brought a number of surprising changes to what many head expected heading into camp. Trevor Story absolutely destroyed opponents' pitching and earned the starting shortstop job, though there is still some debate as to whether or not that was the right decision. Tony Wolters was claimed from the Indians and then shocked the world by by making the roster as the Rockies primary backup catcher as well as possible all around utility player. Ryan Raburn was a late signing, but since his signing was expected to be part of the team as a right-handed bench bat and backup outfielder.
As is always the case, injuries played a part in the finalized roster construction as Jairo Diaz, Tyler Anderson, Jason Motte, Jon Gray and Daniel Descalso will all start the season the disabled list. Diaz's injury was the worst as he tore the UCL in his pitching elbow and had surgery last week. He'll miss the entire season.
Gray's injury, though, may have the most impact as he was expected to be a part of the Rockies' rotation. Those plans are now on hold though it does appear that the Rockies expect him to be back sooner rather than later as they have gone with a four-man rotation to start the season.
Walt Weiss has also named Jake McGee as his closer to start the year. Acquired this past off-season for Corey Dickerson, McGee now has the closer spotlight to prove that he was worth the price.
In order to make room for Gurka on the 40-man roster, the Rockies will most likely place Diaz on the 60-day disabled list. No other roster moves we're needed as the rest of the Opening Day active roster was already on the 40-man roster.