A few seasons ago when I was considering trying to write for Purple Row I did 2 articles with the best case and worst case scenario in my mind. It was interesting that after all the work and digging that nothing came true that season. So with a lot less effort, here is my Best Case Scenario for the 2018 Colorado Rockies:
A lot needs to go right. Health matters. Players reaching their max projections. Management making the right moves, but it could all happen!
Offense: Ideally what we see in the outfield is David Dahl and Raimel Tapia force the issue and become the starting outfield with Charlie Blackmon. Cargo and Ian Desmond become useful backups significantly reducing the drag for the team as we can rest the starters and still have at least major league average production. In this scenario we work out a way to trade Gerardo Parra for anything and the other team takes on his contract.
Trevor Story finds the happy zone and while he still is a strikeout waiting to happen, he gives us enough power and OBP to make the issue less painful. But because other players are hitting well he is 7th in the lineup in front of the catcher for that day and his strikeouts are less of an impact.
Ryan McMahon rewards my fandom and finds a consistent stroke leading to 20+ HRs and a strikeout rate in the 15% range.
Nolan is Nolan. Arenado just keeps on chugging.
With all this we go from an offensive question mark to a team that other teams just don't want to play.
Defense: With the Offense above we see Dahl and Tapia show why they both are considered "Acceptable CF" on some scouting reports while they fill in the corners. McMahon provides average 1B defense. DJ, Story, and Arenado all do what they do. This all leads to memories of 2007 when hitting a ball in play felt more likely to be an out than anything else.
Starting Pitching: Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, Chad Bettis, Kyle Freeland, German Marquez. Writing those names made me giggle a bit with joy. Considering we have even MORE good options for depth the "best case" is that all of them have 30+ starts and remain effective the entire season. I do think that it is likely, even in a best case scenario, that Marquez joins the bullpen and Hoffman joins the rotation and we see them roll. We see that amazing defense clean up anything that the other team puts in play and with the highest ever strikeout rate for the Rockies we pile up the wins!
Bullpen: On paper, this is the best case scenario! The bullpen is filled with players who can shut down the other team and ensure we win once our starters hand off to them. Since our starters are consistent here and the defense is so strong the Rockies Pen is only moderately utilized and they help nail things down in the postseason!
Overall this all relies on health, a bit of growth/luck from younger players, and another team foolish enough to help us dump Parra. I think the plan is entirely possible and with the roster we have now if they play at the level that they could we will see a spectacular season for the Rockies.
In this scenario the Rockies go 95-67, win the NL West and then cruise through the playoffs because our bullpen is absurdly deep allowing us to win tight games and take advantage of match-ups!
Editor's note: this post was originally published on April 20, 2018. It has been lightly edited and pushed to the front page. If you'd like to see your work on the front page, write up a FanPost today!