While we hope the Rockies can get to another round of playoffs, there are a few things they need to work to overcome in order to achieve that goal. One issue that might arise is some regression for the pitchers. Both Kyle Freeland and German Marquez had outstanding seasons, and we have to hope they can repeat that, which is no easy task. The Rockies also hope for Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson can step up in case that dreaded slump occurs. Health remains a big factor, too. Hopefully the rotation can maintain their health throughout the season. This hope extends beyond the mound, though. Trevor Story’s elbow injury near the end of last season nearly derailed postseason plans. Nolan Arenado’s shoulder soreness was another scare. If one of the starters sustains an injury, the question is if one of the young players could successfully step in. Daniel Murphy was the big offseason gain, and it’s the hope that the 34-year-old can remain healthy after last year’s knee surgery. One more thing to keep an eye on is those young players. They certainly have the potential, but can they stay healthy and perform to expectations? The Rockies stand a chance for another playoff appearance, but they do have some concerns to watch out for.
Bryan Shaw was hyped to have a fantastic 2018 season. He had the playoff experience the Rockies were hoping for an had great success with Cleveland. Shaw was anticipated to be part of the super bullpen that was to be in 2018. The reality was somewhat different. He struggled immensely. Whether this was due to waning velocity and strength, or the high and dry Denver air, no one knows. Shaw claims, though, that he just didn’t execute well. As spring training gets underway, he’s optimistic that his postseason work will do the trick. He worked on techniques and mechanics, getting his delivery right. Hopefully he can show that in the next couple weeks and restore our faith in him.
Ian Desmond’s time in Denver has been rather disappointing. Between his high ground ball percentage, -0.6 Wins Above Replacement, and below average slash line, he’s not quite living up to this $70 million contract. However, Bud Black has continued to show faith in him. Desmond started at first base in 131 games and 13 in the outfield last year. Desmond did offer up 22 home runs and 88 RBIs in 2018. For 2019, we’re most likely going to see Desmond playing center field with Charlie Blackmon bumped over to left field. Black must think this is the best arrangement and could see some positive results in the new season.
Dan Szymborski has broken down projections for the Rockies for the 2019 season. He breaks down the potential in various positions, with high hopes on the promising pitching rotation. There’s also reason to be optimistic about Brendan Rodgers. Overall, it looks like the Rockies might be in for a better offensive season this year.
Some possibly good news on the Nolan Arenado front...