When you look at the things he has to offer, Jon Gray seems like an incredible threat. He can give us a 96-mph fastball, a deadly slider, and a stunning curveball. When he’s got it together, he’s nearly unstoppable. Individually looking at these elements, it’s a bit confusing to see that he has a record of 1-3. In the offseason, we were hoping to see unquestionably dominant pitching, yet Jon Gray has not lived up to that hype. Gray is frustrated with his own performance, devastated to watch hard work fall apart. He’s had a hard time with longevity, like in his game against the Nationals. He’s still a work in progress, and the Rockies need him to be complete. He definitely has the raw talent, but it’s hard to see him struggle like he has. He will play in Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, and hopefully he can find his stride in the 2018 season soon.
In the 2017 season, defenses had DJ LeMahieu pretty well figured out. He was one of the league’s top opposite-field hitter. So teams would shift on him, leading to many outs that might not have been made without the drastic movement. However, while the sample size is still pretty small, we are seeing an entirely different trend out of LeMahieu. He has said that it wasn’t entirely his intention to overcome this shift, but that he was just working on his hitting overall. He can certainly still hit the ball to the opposite field, he’s diversifying, and might make him invaluable for the Rockies’ offense this season.
The Rockies have had some early injuries plague the team. Carlos Gonzalez strained his right hamstring, getting pulled from Wednesday’s game after the fourth inning. The starting right fielder would be hugely missed in Friday’s game against the Cubs, but the Rockies are doing what is necessary to make sure he is okay in the long run. Jeff Hoffman has been out since March with shoulder soreness. He has been doing some rehab work in the minor leagues, but there is no clear answer as to when he’ll be ready to return to the Rockies. Zac Rosscup was lined up to round out the bullpen, but warts on his finger, which may require surgery, has sidelined the lefty. This doesn’t have a huge effect on the team, as the bullpen has already proven itself thus far.
Carlos Estevez suffered an oblique injury in Spring Training, which got tweaked again, leading to a longer stretch on the DL. He could also contribute to the bullpen, but the Rockies aren’t missing him so bad quite yet.
Noah Yingling takes a look back at some of the major trades the Rockies made with Dan O’Dowd. Given that he was the team’s general manager for 16 years, this is a fantastic list looking at some of the fantastic (and not-so-fantastic) moves the Rockies have made in their 26-year duration.
There were a few shake-ups in the NL West in the offseason: Brad Boxberger is pitching for the Diamondbacks, doing pretty well so far, with only two hits against him and 11 strikeouts. Matt Kemp is in the Dodgers’ outfield, where he has remained healthy, which the team needs to see from him. Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen slumped early for the Giants, but they’re waiting to see them hit their stride. Eric Hosmer started strong for the Padres, but has been quiet lately. And Chris Iannetta has given the Rockies some great leadership, not to mention a solid bat hitting second.