In this article for Forbes, Jack Etkin gives a limited but concise overview of the 2019 Colorado Rockies for national audiences, and breaks down the biggest changes this team has gone through since last season and how they might be in better shape to challenge the Dodgers for a division title this year.
Jack highlights the best-case and worst-case scenarios he sees arising this year in the Rockies attempt to dethrone Los Angeles and win their first NL West title. He expects this team to finish in second place at worst, which speaks to the level of competition currently out there, and they may have a chance at a first place finish if the Dodgers stumble. I’d like to think the Rockies have more of their fate in their hands, but the Dodgers are as tough a mountain to climb as there is in baseball, and we might need a little help getting there.
As day 345,285 of the offseason passes and the free agents vs. ownership drama continues, the Washington Post’s Des Bieler offers this article with many current players’ opinions on the seemingly broken free agent market. We hear from Justin Verlander in particular, who argues any team saying they’re in “rebuild mode” as a reason for not spending money would actually benefit from signing either superstar Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.
We also hear from current Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta, who had this to say about a fan’s proposal for a salary floor:
In the long run that may do more to hurt than help. Free markets and the genuine desire to win has been the gold standard and should be going forward. https://t.co/XX2VlOYhDI— Chris Iannetta (@Chris_Iannetta) February 11, 2019
Chris says a salary floor may do more harm than good, but it’s unclear why. He clearly believes a true free market should drive the desire to win and compete, thus incentivizing owners to spend money on free agents—but isn’t that reasoning why we’re in this position? Personally, I don’t see how a salary floor would be a negative addition to baseball, but feel free to educate me in the comments if you agree with Chris.
Charlie Blackmon—what a guy. He never fails to amaze me. How anyone could not like Chuck is beyond me. In this article from Thomas Harding, Blackmon opens up about his thoughts on the Nolan Arenado contract talks and sets a shining example of what it means to be a good team-mate—and, frankly, just a good person.
Chuck was in Nolan’s place this time last year. He was coming off the possibility of going to an arbitration hearing, then signing a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, then signing a multi-year extension. He knows what it’s like to truly want what is best for both the player and the organization, as Nolan is his good friend and the team is who he competes with every day. It’s a very unique perspective, and it makes me happy to know Blackmon just wants what is best for Nolan—the person—in the long run.
Troy Renck, former beat reporter for the Rockies, offers his “way-too-early” projection for the Rockies 25-man roster and gives a detailed breakdown of the how he shaped his projection for the rotation, bullpen, catchers, infield, and outfield. Troy Renck is on the exact same page as Thomas Harding, who are both on the same page as me.
Highlights of Renck’s projection include the battle between Chad Bettis and Antonio Senzatela for the 5th rotation spot, the bullpen appearing to be a weakness, questions surrounding how the club will replace DJ LeMahieu at second base, and that David Dahl—if healthy—will be a breathtaking player this year.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com picked ten rookies from the American League and ten rookies from the National League who they think will make a significant impact for their team in 2019. Naturally, Brendan Rodgers was one of the ten for the NL, and Jonathan believes Rodgers will have a real opportunity to win a roster spot in Spring Training, thanks in large part to his positional flexibility.
While I personally think it’s unlikely for Rodgers to start the year on the major league club, especially while Garrett Hampson is on the bench, I can’t help but be tantalized by the thought of him becoming the next big superstar for the Rockies this year—à la Trevor Story in 2016. Great things lay ahead for Brendan, it’s just a question of when they’ll happen.