The Rockies season will start Thursday, and they’ll have to hit the ground running. The season kicks off against the Marlins in Miami, a locale the Rockies have historically struggled in. Then they head to Tampa, where they’ve not played since 2004. They get a day off, their only one in a 20-day stretch before coming home to Coors Field to face the Dodgers then the Braves. Next they’ll go to San Francisco and then San Diego in a West Coast trip. The grueling five-week start wraps up at the Brewers then the Braves. April will not be easy for the Rockies, but hopefully they can stand up and start the season off right.
The second base question arose when DJ LeMahieu left, and it’s lingered throughout the offseason. Many young players took a stab at the position, but with the season starting in just a few days, it’s decision time. Ryan McMahon has been fantastic throughout the Cactus League games, unsurprisingly named spring training MVP for the team. Garrett Hampson has also done well, if in a quieter way. He showed he’s got power and speed. Pat Valaika’s going to start 2019 in Triple-A, but he has a promising spring as well. While it’s a tough call, it’s good news for the Rockies to have so much infield talent.
Ryan McMahon stunned in spring training, hitting consistently and proving his motivation. He has struggled in the past to find his swing, but it seems that issue is no more. The opening at second base seems like a good driver for McMahon, who we are likely to see very often, in one position or another.
For many Rockies players, playing at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque is a similar experience to playing at Coors Field, what with the altitude, and it serves as a good last step before returning home to Denver. The Rockies fell to the Isotopes 7-3, with Ryan McMahon and Nolan Arenado hitting home runs against Peter Lambert. The Rockies have also opted to extend the affiliation two more years.