The Rockies have had some tough roster decisions to make this year. While this is a tricky thing to do, it indicates some serious depth on the team. There’s a good amount of versatility among the players, like in Ian Desmond and Gerardo Parra, who are able to move seamlessly from position to position. What’s really exciting is that the same could be said for several players on the bench. There’s Pat Valaika, who thrived as a pinch hitter last year and was able to step into any spot asked of him. The Rockies also have a huge selection of talent for the backup outfield spot. There’s Jordan Patterson, who will start out the year in AAA. But then there’s Raimel Tapia, Mike Tauchman, and David Dahl. Each could be a good option, making the final decision very difficult. A lot of flexibility, too, comes in the form of Ryan McMahon, who has had an impressive Spring Training. He can play just about anywhere in the infield. Brendan Rodgers provides some depth in the minors, very likely to see some major league play before too long. And of course, the catcher’s spot has a lot of contenders. Chris Iannetta, Tony Wolters, and Tom Murphy all could thrive in the spot. We all know how many options we have at pitching. Utilizing all these backups could be the key to preventing injury and keeping everyone well-rested and ready for another postseason appearance.
Ryan McMahon has put on quite an impressive show in Spring Training. He has shown that he can possibly be a contender in the major leagues. With his consistency and apparent maturity on the field, McMahon seems to be ready to deliver. However, the resigning of Carlos Gonzalez, and Gerardo Parra coming back from his hand injury, the roster has gotten a little tighter. The Rockies then might consider moving McMahon back to the minor leagues. Casey Light at Mile High Sports contends that it might even be a wise business move to keep him in the minors. If he plays there for a year, then the Rockies maintain another year of team control. It’s not necessarily a popular move with players, as it is using the system to gain more from the player while not allowing him to provide all that he is capable of. The situation is a bit different for McMahon, of course, who is competing for a spot among a pretty stellar infield. It’s a hard choice, but Ryan McMahon could prove to be worth it for the Rockies during his time in Denver.
The Rockies have a very wide range of talented pitchers to choose from in their rotation. With such a plethora of players, Bud Black has considered the idea of moving a starter to the bullpen. There are six players hoping to fill five spots, and it’s looking like Antonio Senzatela might be the one to fill in as a reliever. This leaves Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, Tyler Anderson, Chad Bettis, and German Marquez as the starting pitchers. The current long-relievers are the reliable Chris Rusin and Scott Oberg, and Senzatela might be joining them in that role soon. We know what it will be at the end of the games, with Bryan Shaw, Wade Davis, and Jake McGee as the setup men. However, there are still some important decisions the Rockies need to make.
Ryan Ladika of Rox Pile gives us his opinions on the 2018 Rockies. This is part of a series, so if you’re interested in reading more, check it out here. He is optimistic about Tom Murphy, declaring him the biggest surprise of the year. Murphy has the potential, and if he can avoid injury, we can hope to see him live up to it. Ladika is kind of bummed by the performance of Ian Desmond. The Rockies gave him a huge contract, only to watch him sidelined with injuries. Even when he did get on the field, he didn’t do as much as the Rockies could have hoped. Hopefully 2018 will see some good return on the investment in Ian Desmond.
Chad Bettis was disappointed in his performance yesterday afternoon. He didn’t feel that he had complete command over his pitches. Bud Black, who we know doesn’t rely too much on Spring Training numbers, feels otherwise. He liked what he saw from the righty. The Rockies’ relief pitchers did well, and we saw home runs from Chris Iannetta and Charlie Blackmon.