Although we are just entering into spring training, and there are a lot of games to be played, we all get curious and speculate about the Rockies’ chances of the postseason this year. Olivia Greene breaks down each portion of the team to try to answer some of these questions. She starts off with the starting pitchers. We’re looking to Jon Gray to deliver, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the remainder of the young squad and get into good enough shape to help out the team. And then there’s the super bullpen. The Rockies kicked off the offseason with the expensive bullpen, and time will tell if this will all pay off.
She next moves onto the infield, where we’ve got some dynamite players. Third base and shortstop are covered; we know that much. Greene questions DJ LeMahieu at second, as his future with the Rockies is, well, a bit rocky. Catcher is a little bit of a toss up, with Chris Iannetta and Tony Wolters both potential options. And the big question of first base remains. The outfield is something of a question, too. Charlie Blackmon will be in center field, almost definitely. But then we’ve got Ian Desmond, Gerardo Parra, David Dahl, and Raimel Tapia all might see some playing time out there.
Finally, she takes a look at the offense. The team is obviously quite good at hitting at home, but last year we relied a little too heavily on Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. The whole team needs to step up to help deliver on offense.
Given all these elements, 2018 is looking like it could be the year. We’re all hoping for another playoff appearance, and this might be our best opportunity. As we get into Spring Training and even closer to Opening Day, we’re holding our breath to see if the Rockies can grant this wish in 2018.
The Rockies currently have seven pitchers working toward the five starting spots. And all of them are good enough. They are set up for a chance that this will be the best starting rotation we’ve ever had. If our young pitchers can continue to develop and mature along the same path that they did last year, then we have something great to look forward to. We also must do what we can to keep those young guys healthy.
The pitchers will report to spring training in Arizona on Wednesday, and there they will be put to the test. We’ve got Jon Gray, Chad Bettis, German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman, Tyler Anderson, and Kyle Freeland. A large amount of the Rockies’ success last year was thanks to this young pitching rotation. They have some work to do, but Bettis says they all push each other. Bud Black hopes to be able to help the young players mature into better handling high-pressure situations, as well as working on throwing more strikes. There is some fear of a sophomore slump for some of these guys, but they are working on creating consistency in order to counteract that risk. Between these promising starters and the incredible bullpen the team has built, things are looking good at the plate for the Rockies.