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Rockies turn to life without LeMahieu in 2019

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Rockies news and links for February 9, 2019

Colorado Rockies: Daniel Murphy taking over DJ LeMahieu’s number | Rox Pile
Daniel Murphy will wear No. 9 for the Colorado Rockies. You may remember this number as being most recently worn by DJ LeMahieu, who has now joined the New York Yankees. Murphy won’t just be replacing LeMahieu in terms of the number on his back, writes Kevin Henry of Rox Pile. Murphy could also bat second in the order, where Rockies fans have grown most accustomed to seeing LeMahieu. And Murphy could also play second base. While Murphy is expected to see the lion’s share of playing time at first base, we shouldn’t be surprised to see him factor into the mix at the keystone as well.

BSN Exclusive: Freeland, Story confident in Colorado’s options at second base | BSN Denver ($)
The players most likely to be penciled in at second base will be those with relatively little experience compared to veterans LeMahieu and Murphy— Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson and potentially Brendan Rodgers. While some may be concerned about the lack of experience, you won’t find any worry from Kyle Freeland or Trevor Story, two of the Rockies’ established stars. Patrick Lyons of BSN Denver spoke to both of them and they have plenty of confidence in the young talent to succeed.

Rockies’ youth could fill offseason departures | MLB.com
Carlos González is another veteran who appears to be ending his tenure with the Rockies’ franchise — though he is a free agent and things could change at any moment. Just as the Rox have replacements on the ready in the infield, David Dahl is ready to take the reins in the outfield. Speaking about all of the young guys, manager Bud Black says, “they’re ready to be contributors.” MLB.com’s Thomas Harding features further quotes from Dahl, Black and McMahon, who says he is now feeling grateful for his early-2018 struggles because they helped him know what to work on to improve in Triple-A.

Inbox: How will Rox use McMahon this year? | Rockies.com
In Harding’s latest Inbox, he delves into McMahon’s 2019 role, the likelihood that Chris Iannetta and Tony Wolters will once again see the bulk of the season’s catching duties and who might be a plausible Designated Hitter for the Rockies, were such a proposal to be adopted in the National League.

Arenado’s future in Colorado | Rockies Extras
Harding also joins MLB.com’s Alyson Footer for a Rockies-focused podcast. Topics include the front office’s confidence in reaching a long-term deal with Nolan Arenado and the potential for Scott Oberg to take over the closer’s role once Wade Davis’ contract expires.

An Arenado extension could have ripple effects | MLB.com
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com writes that an Arenado extension could have a ripple effect on this year’s free agent market. Feinsand notes that Bryce Harper and Manny Machado may not sign until March and it’s not difficult to envision Arenado signing his deal before then. Perhaps Arenado’s money will alter the expectations of Harper and Machado. Furthermore, an Arenado deal could also have an impact on 2019-2020 free agent class, as he would certainly have been the biggest name on the market.

Farhan Zaidi says there’s ‘mutual interest’ after lengthy Bryce Harper meeting | NBC Sports
The latest buzz around the Harper sweepstakes has centered around the San Francisco Giants. Harper met with the Giants last week and General Manager Farhan Zaidi says there is mutual interest, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports reports.

Manfred: No DH or draft changes likely for 2019 | The Associated Press
For those concerned about the NL adopting the DH, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said that will not be happening in 2019. Also, teams that “aren’t trying” to win will not be punished in the draft, which, along with the DH, was another component of the players’ proposals. Ronald Blum of The Associated Press also has news that Rockies’ co-owner Dick Monfort has been elected to MLB’s Executive Council.

Banjo Hitter: The Age of PECOTA (2019) | Baseball Prospectus
Aaron Gleeman of Baseball Prospectus breaks down the top players by age according to PECOTA’s 2019 projections. Arenado is projected to be the best 28-year-old. The Rockies also have some honorable mentions, including German Márquez for 24-year-old (the best is Carlos Correa), Charlie Blackmon for 32-year-old (the best is Buster Posey) and Murphy for 34-year-old (the best is Max Scherzer).

Dunn on track for Rockies after shoulder injury | MLB.com
Continuing with the plethora of content from Thomas Harding in today’s Rockpile— Mike Dunn missed most of the 2018 season due to injury, but it sounds as though he will be ready for Opening Day, according to Black. If Dunn can regain his 2013-2014 form from his time with the Miami Marlins, he would provide a significant boost to the left-handed side of the Rockies’ bullpen.