Pitchers and catchers report this week, and the season is drawing near. All around the league, it’s been a quiet offseason, and fans are wondering what that will mean for 2019. Since the end of last season, Rockies fans have been waiting for a upgrade on the catcher position, but we’ve still got just Chris Iannetta and Tony Wolters. They both produced defensively, but struggled offensively. There were many opportunities for the Rockies to pick up a new catcher, like free agents Wilson Ramos and Kurt Suzuki. Former Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto also found himself at the center of Rockies speculation before ultimately signing with the Phillies.
Despite not making any moves behind the plate, the Rockies still stand a chance to have a playoff-worthy season. Iannetta and Wolters both played well opposite the young pitching rotation, with Kyle Freeland and German Márquez in particular. They may not be stellar hitters, but every now and again, Iannetta and Wolters can get hits when it counts. The Rockies missed out on getting a big name catcher, but if the two can get the job done, if the young players can step up, and if pitching can find its groove, the Rockies might just find their way to playoff baseball again.
As we draw near to Opening Day, it seems like the roster is mostly set. However, there just might be a surprise or two. Harrison Musgrave is fighting for a spot on the mound. He did well in the 35 games we threw while filling in last year. Depending on how well Chris Rusin and Jack McGee do in spring training, he could make his way onto the Opening Day roster. Yency Almonte also showed promise in his 14 appearances, performing well under pressure. He’s a bit less likely to get the start, but who knows what spring training will bring. Pat Valaika is also something of a question mark. He made minimal impact in 2018. He still has plenty to offer as a versatile player, and if Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson, and Mark Reynolds have poor showings in the spring, he might just make it in. We’ll see who can step up and prove themselves in the next few weeks.
After a long, slow offseason, spring training is almost here. Catchers and pitchers report on Wednesday the 13th, followed by the rest of the squad the following Monday the 18th. The Rockies will play their first game against the Diamondbacks on the 23rd. Head over to this Denver Post article for previews, prospect guides, MLB rule changes, and more.
The offseason is winding down, and the major deals we’ve been expecting for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have yet to occur. There’s just a standoff between agents and teams, and while teams are certainly interested, no deal have been made. The Giants are thinking of some kind of short-term deal, and the White Sox are looking to spend less than the $300 million they’re aiming for. Who knows, maybe the active Phillies with end up with the contract.