For those anxiously awaiting, Friday’s spring training opener for the Colorado Rockies can’t get here fast enough. We now know who will be the first pitcher to take the mound for the Rockies in official Cactus League action. The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders reports that Jeff Hoffman has been given the nod for the honors.
Like most everything else in spring training, the “opening day” nod has little meaning. However, it is encouraging to see Hoffman in the role after his up-and-down 2017 season. Hoffman pitched 99 1⁄3 inning for the big-league team last season with a 5.89 ERA. The peripherals were better as he had a 4.80 FIP, but it was still a tough season for the Rockies young starter.
After starting the season in Triple-A, Hoffman took advantage of a few spot starts to force his way onto the Rockies and pitched well for a while before appearing to wear down as the season progressed. Hoffman ended the season in the Rockies’ pen, but he will be looking to stake his claim to one of the team’s starting rotation spots this spring.