The last few months have given the Rockies a lot to be confident about. They won 87 games in the 2017 season, made it to the playoffs, and had some great bullpen pickups in the offseason. There is a good amount of hype surrounding the team, and the Rockies are likely feeling pretty good. And it’s mostly justified. The Rockies have some rock stars in Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon, as well as reliable talent in DJ LeMahieu and Gerardo Parra. Plus, the super bullpen is not the only pitching the team can be excited about: the young starting rotation has shown a lot of promise. Many have said that this is looking like the year that the Rockies can go far. It’s starting to look like it’s not just those of us here in Denver who are starting to believe, though. The Rockies are starting to get some wider attention, as many are seeing that there is some very real potential. The very expensive bullpen was likely the initial indicator, but it seems like the Rockies are starting to be seen as a real contender.
The issue, though, is the ultra tough division the Rockies find themselves in. There is some stiff competition from the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Giants, all of whom have also spent the offseason trying to get ready for a stellar 2018. And while confidence is an important part of the sport, it’s easy to become overconfident. The bar is set pretty high for the Rockies in 2018, and Bud Black is hoping the team is ready to confirm the rumors on the field. Black and general manager Jeff Bridich are doing what they can to create a team who can do well not only in 2018, but who can be successful year after year. This can be seen in the youth that the team has invested a lot of time and effort into, and so far things are looking promising. The Rockies have a lot to be proud of from the 2017 season, but they are trying to stay focused and play day-by-day to make sure they are playing their game and doing the best they can to live up to expectations.
As we get closer to Opening Day, we are nearing the time where decisions have to be made. There has been a good deal of speculation about what the lineup will look like on Opening Day, and the return of Carlos Gonzalez has thrown yet another wrench into the roster. CarGo will likely reprise his role in right field, meaning some adjustments for the young Rockies prospects. The biggest change likely will come with Ryan McMahon, who spent most of the offseason as the rumored first baseman. However, with CarGo in right field, the much-debated outfield spot is filled, leading us to think that Ian Desmond will probably come infield to first base, where he was initially meant to play with the team. And as Valaika gets healthy, it looks like he’s set to be the backup, which likely pushes McMahon to Triple A. Even though a lot of us expected to see the young prospect at first base, it might be a good chance for him to gain some experience and serve a backup if the Rockies might need it in a variety of positions.
The same is likely true for David Dahl. Again, though, this might be a good opportunity to regain some practice after a year lost to injuries. These predictions also mean that we will probably see Raimel Tapia and Mike Tauchman playing on Opening Day. None of this is certain, however, and a lot can happen between now and March 29.
For all of us who have younger siblings, we can imagine how weird it must have been for Nolan Arenado to see Jonah Arenado pinch run for the Giants. Nolan Arenado had a laugh about it, though, saying that it would have been cool to have his brother there at third base. There’s a strange conflict between wanting to get the out but also wanting to see Jonah Arenado do well. This is certainly a gifted family, and who knows what the future might hold for the brothers on the field.