Spring training is underway, and we’re all anxiously watching to see what will happen for the Rockies. Patrick Saunders outlines some questions that the Rockies still have about what the 2018 season will look like. There is the concern about how prospect Brendan Rodgers will do. There is a good amount of pressure, as we’ve all been keeping an eye on him. We’re all watching to see how he can do in the major leagues.
Another question is how our young pitchers will do. It will be interesting to see who can step up and deliver in those big moments. And we’ll have to see how the catchers can do on the other side of the plate. Will it be Tony Wolters, Tom Murphy, or Chris Iannetta stepping up? Something we’ve all been speculating about, too, is what the lineup will look like. There has been a lot of talk about switching the batting order around, and this could have some impact on the offense.
And where will Ian Desmond play? The expensive Rockie had some injuries, but the team is hoping that he can deliver this year. There are similar questions about David Dahl and Trevor Story. These two had some disappointments in the past, but hopefully they can rise to the occasion in 2018.
There’s the big question of what will happen in terms of free agency after this season. Who will stay? And we can’t stop wondering about Ryan McMahon at first base, and how pitching will go for the 2018 season. We still have a lot to ponder with spring training underway, and hopefully some of these questions will be answered by Opening Day.
There has been a little more action in the offseason, with some big names getting signed. However, Carlos Gonzalez remains a free agent, leading many to think he might come back. However, this is in no way a done deal. The Rockies seem to be looking in other directions to fill in the outfield. There is no doubt that CarGo struggled last year, but we’ll have to wait and see if the Rockies might be willing to overlook that based on the relationship they have built with the right-fielder. It’s not out of the question that Gonzalez might return, and until any kind of settlement happens, there will likely still be rumors of his reunion with the Rockies. The franchise seems to be putting a lot of stock in its young players, so we’ll have to wait and see if they decide to do anything with this more veteran player.
Raimel Tapia has already impressed us this spring. He has bulked up and done well in the leadoff spot in spring training thus far. He’s looking like a serious contender for batting first in the 2018 season. Charlie Blackmon, the usual leadoff player, has expressed that he’s more than willing to move to a different spot in the lineup. He’s had success there, but he’s willing to admit that there could be a better way to organize it. If Tapia can continue to thrive in the next couple weeks, we might see him hitting leadoff and playing left field, but there are still too many balls in the air to say anything for certain.
More and more, it’s looking like DJ LeMahieu will be the go-to man at second base for the Rockies. LeMahieu has been a fixture at second base for the last several years, having proven himself time and again defensively. And he’s a part of one of the best infields in baseball, joining Nolan Arenado as an All-Star and a Golden Glove winner. Despite his stability, he is likely to face free agency at the end of this year. This is not because he hasn’t proven himself, but because of the competition with Charlie Blackmon and Arenado, also free agents at the end of the season. On top of this, the Rockies have some other players who can step into the second-base position. Ryan McMahon is experienced there, Pat Valaika did reasonably well there when he was needed, and Shawn O’Malley is hoping for his chance. LeMahieu will most likely be our second-base starter, but the Rockies are ready with some back-ups, just in case.
Shawn O’Malley may be a little unknown to most Rockies fans, but he plans on being on the roster come opening day. O’Malley signed a minor league deal back in December and is non-roster invitee to spring training. The switch hitting utility player can man shortstop, second base, third base, and all the outfield positions. Despite his skill level, O’Malley still faces some serious competition. However, he’s got some good stuff on his side. Bud Black likes to have that kind of versatility in his players. O’Malley would provide a solid baseball player for the Rockies. He’s got a good glove, a good bat, and some good speed. The question after spring training will be if he is good enough.
The Twins have signed the left handed power hitter in Logan Morrison. The acquisition doesn’t make much sense in that Minnesota already has plenty of options at first, DH and, the outfield. However, a good bat is never a bad addition to an already stacked lineup.
The Rockies have been mentioned as a possible landing place for Morrison, but with Ryan McMahon as the frontrunner for first base, that option was all but dried up. As spring training gets underway the last of the free agents are getting picked up and leaving us wondering who is next.