Patrick Saunders identifies three players with something to prove as spring training gets underway. At this point, Gerardo Parra doing too well might actually be to the team’s detriment if it takes playing time away from David Dahl or, deeper on the depth chart, Raimel Tapia.
Also, I’m inclined to think that Tony Wolters has more to prove than Tom Murphy. We know what Murphy’s game is about—a big bat and a questionable glove. That’s definitely useful. But what if Wolters won the job outright? Would the pitching staff respond to someone who could be the best defensive Rockies catcher than Yorvit Torrealba? Can Wolters maintain his health and hit enough to justify it? If he performs well enough, does that provide the opportunity and inspiration to teach Murphy how to stand at first base a day a week? I’m not sure if a hot streak from Murphy takes playing time from Wolters or not, but I’m pretty sure a cold bat might relegate Wolters to bench status. How Black juggles this tandem will tell a lot about his managerial preferences over the next few years.
Kevin Henry discusses the three non-roster invitees with the best chance of making the Rockies roster out of spring training. He discusses the Rockies’ starting first baseman from last year, the team’s top draft choice from two years ago, and a veteran with a quality bat. It’s telling about the 2017 Rockies team depth that none of those three players are automatic additions to the roster.
In keeping with this Rockpile’s theme, we conclude with an article on the best third basemen in the league where, guess what, Nolan Arenado comes in at number three. Even then, he’s tied. Based on R.J. Anderson’s rationale, it seems Arenado gets dinged in the rankings a bit for not being an MVP candidate because the Rockies aren’t contenders. With an All-Star, Gold Glove or young potential star at virtually every position, a blossoming rotations and a rebuilt bullpen, this might be the season contention can’t be held against Arenado in his pursuit of an MVP.