SP: Gray, Anderson, Chatwood, Hoffman, Marquez
Gray starts opening day and Anderson is the back half out a strong 1-2 punch. Everyone else is bumped up with the unfortunate Bettis news and an injured Rusin - Hoffman and Marquez compete to take the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation, pending a trade or something.
RP: Holland, Ottavino, McGee, Dunn, Senzatela, Qualls, Motte
Holland or Otto close / take the highest leverage relief situations. McGee and Dunn face the lefties, Senzatela eats innings, Qualls and Motte are veterans and play until we can't stand them despite their veteran-ness or show they can still hang.
C: Wolters, Murphy
1B: Desmond, Reynolds
2B: Lemahieu, Amarista
3B: Arenado, Valaika
I have Amarista, Reynolds, and Valaika making the roster (although choosing between Patterson and Valaika for that last bench spot...I could go either way and probably find a bunch of reasons to argue why the other was a better choice). Valaika is crushing the ball this spring so I went with that, plus he has SS/3B versatility which is cool. Makes up for power lost at those positions when Story or Arenado don't play. Amarista is a glove. Reynolds is hitting this spring and is depth at 1B, he makes the team.
OF: Gonzalez, Blackmon, Dahl, Parra
If Dahl is still nursing that rib, I might switch Patterson with Valaika (Amarista if I felt like that was realistic) so the outfield rounds out.
My opening day lineup:
Bench: Reynolds, Amarista, Valaika, Murphy, Parra
Lol @ managers who burn through their bullpen trying to match lefies with lefties. Good luck. I have DJ leading off for as long as he can hit for average and get on base, Story mashing in the 5-spot, Desmond can rake lower down. This is a good looking lineup. Of course, I think Bud might go a different route.
Projected opening day lineup:
I still think Bud will maximize this lineups ability to alternate lefty and righty hitters and terrorize opposing bullpens. I think he'll hit Desmond higher in the order (he's even hit 3rd and cleanup a few times so far this spring) and I think Parra (with his decent offensive spring) will start on Opening Day, especially considering Dahl coming off an injury. Both this projected lineup and my own idea has Wolters in the 8-spot, but it could easily be Murph too.
How'd I do?!