Coming off a not-so-stellar 2017, Ian Desmond is looking to improve his at-bats for the 2018 season. Desmond is attempting to lower his hands in his batting stance in an effort to get more contact on the ball. This is something he has done before with some success in his time with the Nationals, and he is looking to profit from that again. The idea to make the change came one day at his home in Florida, and at the start of spring training he started the work to perfect it. Black is also testing out Desmond as the leadoff hitter instead of Charlie Blackmon, and an improved swing could be just what the team needs out of him.
Desmond is scheduled to make $22 million this year, and with the hefty price tag comes high expectations. The 32-year-old needs to prove that he can hold his own on a team that is overflowing with young talent. The Rockies are looking to Demond for veteran guidance and to help lead this team to another postseason appearance. I appreciate his attempt to better himself, but changing something in his stance so late in his career might not be what it takes to make Desmond worth it. We are almost guaranteed to see Desmond on the opening day roster, and hopefully he will play well enough that spot.
The Rockies have cultivated many stars throughout the years. From Todd Helton to Nolan Arenado, there have been a multitude of extraordinary players to come up from the farm system. This year we may see another name added to that list. Ryan McMahon is scheduled to be that man. He’s looking like he could be the one to fill in our much needed hole at first base. He has already shown some great promise in these early days. Another strong option is shaping up in Brendan Rodgers, who could fill in a number of spots the Rockies might want him in. Given what the future will bring for the current players, we can only hope that the Rockies stars of tomorrow could make their debut in 2018.
Tom Murphy and Sam Howard are two other players to keep an eye on this year. They have already shown that they have the potential to do something great, and with a little more development, they’ll be well on their way.
Gerardo Parra underwent surgery on his hand just before spring training, leading many of us to hold our breath about our outfield options. There are several strong contenders for these positions, and Parra has stated that he is ready to be considered for one of them. He has had some batting practice and is feeling good. While an injury is never good, Parra is somewhat grateful for the timing that allows him to still be ready to go for the beginning of the season. Here’s hoping we can see the Parra who boosts the team up both on the field and off.
Pat Valaika has been lucky enough to remain healthy throughout his career. So when he strained his oblique near the start of spring training, he faced a new kind of challenge. However, Valakia has the support of not only the trainers but of his teammates as well. He is on his way back to full strength, and we can only hope that this injury will not affect him all year.
Bud Black has some high expectations from his starting pitchers. He wants to see them pitching several innings, which would be a good sign they are pitching well. In 2017, we often saw starting pitchers pulled pretty early. Last year the strategy was to maintain fresh arms and solid matchups. This year, the Rockies have spent big on their bullpen, but the plan is to be smart about when to use each one in the most advantageous way possible.
There has been a Carlos Gonzalez roller coaster ride this offseason. Reports have gone back and forth, a will they/won’t he back and forth. Currently the reports claim that the Rockies are close to a deal with him, but they have been close before, with CarGo and others. These haven’t always led to anything, though, so we still can’t say anything for sure. However, at this point, well into spring training, CarGo might want to seriously consider.accepting a deal offered by the Rockies.