The Opening Day roster is still a giant question mark. Who will make the roster in the outfield? Will Chris Owings make the team? Who will be the back-up catcher? Who will be the fifth starter? Will we have any surprise additions to the bullpen? There are a lot of questions still left unanswered. We’ve been breaking down each position with the State of the Position series, but let’s look at what Patrick Saunders has predicted.
Starting rotation: Germán Márquez, Jon Gray and Kyle Freeland are all givens at this point. Antonio Senzatela has added himself to that list with his impressive spring thus far. While there are prime candidates for the fifth spot, we still don’t know who will land there. Jeff Hoffman is out of options and has been struggling all spring. Chi Chi González and Peter Lambert seem to be the two standouts to make the roster. I’m sure we all would love a good comeback story, I don’t think Ubaldo Jiménez will make the cut.
Bullpen: Wade Davis seems to have recovered from his woes of last season. Scott Oberg signed an extension and will certainly be an anchor. Tyler Kinley is rocking a 0.00 ERA in all of his appearances this spring. There are quite a few relievers in the mix that could oust Bryan Shaw if they can show they have the control that he currently lacks. Currently some of those name include: James Pazos, Phillip Diehl, Tim Collins, Joe Harvey and Jesus Tinoco.
Catcher: Tony Wolters is our main catcher, but will Elias Díaz, Drew Butera or Dom Nuñez back him up? Díaz seems to be leading the race right now, but only by a hair.
First base: Daniel Murphy will be the starter, but Josh Fuentes could make the team as a backup.
Second base: We’re covered with Ryan McMahon, but there is currently a strong case for both Garrett Hampson and Chris Owings to fill the backup role. Owings, who is currently on paternity leave, has shocked me this spring. A week ago I was less than impressed, but he seems to have found his groove. Both Hampson and Owings can provide a versatility to the roster with their ability to also see time in the outfield.
Shortstop: Trevor Story has this role on lock. Owings or Hampson can fill this role when Story needs a day off.
Third base: Nolan Arenado, need I say more?
Outfield: You will see All-Stars David Dahl and Charlie Blackmon. Ian Desmond and Raimel Tapia will share some time in left. Owings or Hampson will also provide depth.
I know, that’s a lot to process. Check-out Saunders’ predictions and compare that to what the Purple Row staff wrote. There are still 14 more days of games this spring for the Rockies (some of them will be split squad.) We could still see a lot of changes in the coming days.
Do you have any roster predictions right now?
Daniel Bard made his Cactus League debut on Wednesday and only secured one out while giving up six runs. It wasn’t a pretty outing, but what kind of performance can you expect from someone who hasn’t pitched in big league-level games since 2015? Bud Black isn’t overreacting, yet, but I’m not sure if Bard will be a comeback kid or not.
This is a bit of any older article, but in case you missed it, Ubaldo Jiménez’s wife is expected to deliver their third child at any moment. Jiménez doesn’t plan to take any paternity leave at this point. As long as he is still pitching, he’ll remain in camp. With it being a scheduled off-day for the Rockies, he’s hoping they can welcome their child today!
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Speaking of babies, Jeff Hoffman and his wife welcomed their second child into the world this past weekend!