The pathway to compete for the NL West title is getting more difficult by the hour. The World Series champion Dodgers and the up-and-coming Padres are both the clear front runners for 2021 and the foreseeable future.
Rockies fans are understandably frustrated with the team’s current position in the division. If you look at any of our comment sections or just search “Rockies” on Twitter, you’ll find passionate fans desperately crying for help… and cool photos of mountains.
If you’re lucky, you might also find things like this.
That is... a sandwich?— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) December 29, 2020
Moving on, what if MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred woke up one morning and saw all those cries for help (and the sandwich) and became so inspired (mostly by the sandwich) that he called Dick Monfort and Jeff Bridich and said, “Hey. Your team isn’t good enough to compete in your division. I’ve seen the sandwich and I want to help. I can’t outright hand you that piece of metal but I can do this; I’ll give you back any current player from any team if they’ve ever been on your major league roster, for free.”
We’ll assume Monfort would say yes, because he really wants to compete, right? (Don’t answer that.)
Nonetheless, if this Christmas miracle were to happen, what would the squad look like? Would it even be enough to beat the Dodgers or Padres? Let’s put together a team and see.
Starting Pitchers: German Márquez, Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, Jon Gray and Tyler Chatwood
Not a ton of former Rockies starting pitchers to choose from. Unless I’m missing some, the only active former Rockies starters are Jhoulys Chacín, Tyler Chatwood, Jordan Lyles and Tyler Anderson. Chacín is past his prime. Lyles has had a few great seasons since he left but he has a career 5.75 ERA at Coors Field. It was between the Tylers, but I went with Chatwood just because he has slightly better pitching numbers for his career against the Dodgers than Anderson.
Relievers: Yency Almonte, Daniel Bard, Drew Pomeranz, Will Harris, Adam Ottavino, Tyler Matzek, Tommy Kahnle and Greg Holland.
As we go on, you’ll notice a lot of these players got a lot better once they left the Rockies. This would be by far the most improved area of the team. Pomeranz and Harris are both near top-tier relievers. Ottavino might still be even after a rough 2020. Kahnle has been really consistent since leaving Colorado but is coming off Tommy John surgery. Matzek was a nice story in 2020 and was above average, so the Rockies will take him. The final spot was between Holland and Jake McGee and I honestly just wasn’t ready to welcome back McGee yet, even in my head.
Catchers: Tom Murphy and Tony Wolters
The Rockies would gladly take back the new and improved Tom Murphy. Murphy missed the 2020 season due to injury but his 2019 season with the Seattle Mariners opened a lot of eyes after he destroyed lefties with a .347 average. I paired Murphy with Tony Wolters simply because of his defense and since Murphy will provide offense, why not have a friendly stache on the team? Other options included Nick Hundley and Jonathon Lucroy.
1B: Josh Fuentes and Ryan McMahon
Again, not a ton of options. The Rockies have been patching together a first baseman since Todd Helton left. Fuentes was fun last year, so we’d roll with him again to see if he’s legit. We’d also have to hope McMahon had a bounce back year.
2B: D.J. LeMahieu and Garrett Hampson
This is the one everyone would be most excited about. LeMahieu would rake just as he has his entire career. He would make the single greatest impact on the team, giving them a much better chance against anyone. Hampson gets the nod over Chris Owings, Pat Valaika or anyone else because of his speed and versatility. His solid center field defense would be needed once you see the outfielders.
SS: Trevor Story and Brendan Rodgers
Not a lot of infielders in general to choose from, simply because recent Rockies infield history has been dominated by LeMahieu, Story and Nolan Arenado. Rodgers has more upside and I just want to see more of him.
3B: Nolan Arenado
OF: Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson, Raimel Tapia and David Dahl
Dickerson is a no brainer, bringing instant and consistent offense. His bat, in combination with the rest of the lineup, elevates the offense to another level. The last spot came down to Dahl and Kevin Pillar and I just felt that a healthy Dahl was usually going to be better than Pillar.
Well, there it is: my 26-man roster of former and current Rockies built to take down the Dodgers. I have no idea if that would actually beat them or the Padres but it would be a really fun team to watch. What do you think? Would this team have a shot? Did I miss anyone? I probably did; yell it at me down below.
Could this team win the NL West over both the Dodgers and Padres?
This poll is closed
No, still not enough
Maybe, with some luck
Yes, this is the team Andrew Friedman has nightmares about
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Patrick Saunders take a look at some of the many effects that COVID-19 has had on the Rockies and baseball. The piece features fan testimonies of what the 2020 season was like and whether or not they’re losing interest.
More imagining. This time it’s a look at what a Story to the Yankees deal could look like and why both teams would do it. Joe Giglio proposes Devi Garcia, Mike Ford and Domingo German for the all-star shortstop.
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