Originally reported by Nick Groke, the fear of many Rockies fans this spring has finally come true — David Dahl will start the season in Triple-A. The young outfielder often considered to have the most upside for the Rockies will open the year playing for the Isotopes in order to work on his swing and timing, find his legs, get into baseball shape, or any number of other finding-your-groove baseball-isms.
Clearly, the Rockies are just being careful with their prized potential star after he missed all of 2017 due to a rib injury, and won’t rush him into major playing time. But if he continues to hit like he has since starting spring training in an 0-for-15 skid (he has gone 17-for-42 and leads the team in HR and RBI), Dahl will be back up in the majors in no time, and may push Gerardo Parra (or CarGo) into a bench role, or force Jeff Bridich to trade one of his OF’s. One thing is for sure — if healthy, Dahl’s talent is the kind that cannot be dismissed for long.
Lastly, it would be remiss of me to not point out that this leaves the final back-up OF spot up for grabs between Raimel Tapia and Mike Tauchman. I have been pushing for Tauchman to win this role all spring, and if I were a betting man, would place my money on seeing him at Chase Field with the Rockies come Opening Day. Does anyone disagree?
Best friends. Roomies. Mentors. Brothers. These are just some of the terms used by Nolan, Charlie, CarGo, and DJ when describing their relationships with each other. In an article that will make you smile and may even bring a tear to your eye, Patrick Saunders takes a closer look at the unique bonds that have formed since Chuck and DJ joined CarGo and Nolan as full-time Rockies in 2013, and gets personal about their history with one another and their outlook on the future with free-agency and a potential separation looming.
You’ll read about DJ and Charlie’s video-game sleepovers, how CarGo has mentored Nolan, Chuck and Nolan’s polar opposite personalities and close-knit friendship, the secret dark side of LeMahieu, and more. Nolan doesn’t hesitate to emphasize they are focused only on winning baseball games and making a run at the Postseason right now, not whether they’ll all be playing for the Rockies next year. But even as the consummate professional, Nolan admits, “These guys mean a lot to me, I love them. I love them a lot.”
And as I was writing this Rockpile last night, the Rockies Twitter account released this footage, taken by Gerardo Parra, of Charlie, DJ, and CarGo carpooling to the game that evening. You can see just how close these guys are with one another, and makes it even tougher to imagine the Rockies without them together — shenanigans and all.
The writers over at Rox Pile announced their 2018 season predictions for the Rockies, and — spoiler alert — there’s a lot of optimism. Of their twelve writers who offered predictions, only two have the Rockies missing the playoffs, and the lowest win total guessed is 85.
Many fans, myself included, expect a competitive year from the Rockies, and it’s nice to see more well-informed sources looking for this team to make a run at the Postseason. It’s certainly a change of pace from years past, and I can’t blame anyone for relishing in the deserved confidence. Let’s just hope we don’t have our hearts demolished into a million little pieces in the process.
NL West News
Friday, March 23rd, was not a great day for Giants fans. Official word came down that Jeff Samardzija will miss 3-to-4 weeks, while Madison Bumgarner will have pins in his broken hand for 4-to-6 weeks, and miss time beyond that in order to rehab and rebuild his strength. And just like that, Johnny Cueto felt the weight of the Bay Area fall on his shoulders.
As you’ll remember, the Giants traded for big-name stars Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen this offseason, and will now probably depend on them more than expected to carry this team offensively with the likes of Buster Posey in order to avoid getting buried in the standings to start the year.
You always hate to see good ball players get hurt — especially in spring training — but there’s no doubt this scenario helps the Rockies in their quest to climb the division ranks and make the Postseason again. Whether or not the Giants can weather the storm of injuries to their key starting pitchers will be a huge factor in the Wild Card race an how the NL West shakes out this year.
The Arizona Diamondbacks officially announced that Patrick Corbin will be their Opening Day starter on March 29th when they face the Rockies in a Wild Card game rematch at Chase Field. The Rockies have yet to make an official announcement on who they’ll counter with, but all signs point to MY staff ace, Jon Gray (no surprise there).
I was surprised to hear the start would go to Corbin. Robbie Ray had a better year than Corbin in 2017, posting a 63 ERA-, 85 FIP-, and 12.11 K/9 (compared to Corbin’s 88 ERA-, 93 FIP-, and 8.45 K/9), but will only have to wait one day to face the Rockies, as he is slated to be number two in Arizona’s rotation. It would have been a nice cherry-on-top for Ray’s strong 2017, but the honor will instead go to the longer-tenured Corbin. C’est la vie.