Jon Gray seemed to benefit from the Winter Caravan, getting just as much out of it as the fans did. With everything from his pitching delivery to his luscious locks, fans got to talk all kinds of baseball with Gray. This is a guy who clearly has a passion for the sport he gets to play, loving to talk about the Rockies, the young players coming up, and moves that are new and exciting. Gray had some definite highlights last year, but ended 2017 on kind of a low note, giving up four runs in the NL Wild Card Game. Instead of getting caught up on the negative side, Gray tries to use the performance as motivation to get better and learn from mistakes. Gray is hoping to stay healthy in 2018, and he is optimistic about the possibilities for what the team might do. I’m excited to see what the golden-haired pitcher can bring in the upcoming season.
We have a lot to be excited about for the Rockies in 2018. The offseason has been a somewhat slow-moving whirlwind of moves, and I for one am more than ready for Opening Day to see how it all culminates. And in many of us are two kinds of fans: the logical and the passionate. There’s the side of us that looks at the players and the numbers and rationalizes how well we can reasonably potentially do. But there is also that side of us that screams at every game, calls the players by their first names, and is certain that this is the year that we will win it all. Both types of fans have an argument at this point in the offseason, and we will see which side emerges victorious.
Rewatch the birth of our favorite purple dinosaur. Dinger emerged on the scene on April 16, 1994, breaking out of his egg right on the field. In their inaugural season, the Rockies went without a mascot, but in their game against the Expos, they welcomed Dinger, as a nod to the triceratops bone they unearthed right near what would become home plate. And so it began.
Take a look back at Larry Walker’s career here, as he is considered for the Hall of Fame. Walker was a solid player, both offensively and defensively. He was a power hitter with 380 home runs and a seven-time Gold Glove Award-winner. Despite his numbers, though, he has been time and again looked over for the Hall of Fame, due to a career ended too short or perhaps the dreaded Colorado effect.
Walker grew up hoping to play hockey in the NHL, but switched his focus to baseball after being cut from hockey teams. And he went on to have an amazing career with some impressive numbers.
The Rockies have spent big on their super bullpen this offseason, and Kyle Bishop weighs the pros and cons based on past similar moves by other teams. The Yankees had Mariano Rivera from 2008 to 2012, as well as several other very highly-paid players. It will probably work out a little differently for the Rockies, who have spent most of their budget on the bullpen. The Dodgers created a super bullpen in 2014, and the Diamondbacks had one in 2013. The Rockies should learn what lessons they can from these previous super bullpens, like being flexible and not trying to force anything. Wade Davis is expected to be the strongest player, but if someone else might outshine him, the Rockies should consider moving things around. We are all ready to see what the super bullpen can do for the team, and keep our fingers crossed that they can deliver us into the playoffs in 2018.