In a Friday night news dump, the Rockies announced the Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee would be released, shocking news for anyone who has been following this team in recent seasons. After moving on from that shocking news, the question remained: who will be taking their spots?
Kevin Henry breaks down how a slew of recent scrap-heap acquisitions figures to help remake the Rockies roster in the 60-game season. Henry doesn’t mention Tim Collins, who struck out a batter per inning in the Purple Row Sim, but since the roster starts at 30 and will eventually be whittled down to 26 spots, plenty of relievers have to demonstrate they can pitch effectively in 2020.
Lost in the feel-good story of Daniel Bard making the 2020 Rockies was the news the Chris Owings also made the Opening Day 30-man roster. The spot was apparently Owings’ to lose thanks to his strong pre-lockdown Spring Training performance alone (.360/.429/.560 in 10 games), but in an interview with Thomas Harding he describes what he had to do to make sure that performance stuck (he had four extra base hits between Friday and Saturday’s intrasquad games). Owings, like Bard, finds himself on the comeback trail as well after sustaining hand injuries in 2017. Between him, Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon, and Brendan Rodgers, the right side of the Rockies infield (and, in a pinch, some outfield spots as well) will be well covered.
If Spring Training games don’t matter, then Summer Camp intrasquad games really don’t matter. But there are still a few important notes here. For one thing, manager Bud Black said that Charlie Blackmon is doing well but needs to build up stamina after being laid low by COVID-19 for a stretch. But at least his teammates (filling in for the fans) are in midseason form.
Elsewhere on the recovering from injury/illness front, David Dahl is still working to get fully ready for 2020. He missed some Summer Camp due to a core injury, though Bud Black seems content to chalk it up to growing pains or something like that? From the article: “As he gets older and continues to mature physically, and gets — what we refer to in the scouting world as man-strength — hopefully these little nagging injuries can go away.” On the bright side, Dahl doubled and singled in his return to action.
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IN EVEN BETTER NEWS, the Rockies will play another Major League Baseball team in an exhibition game (with no crowd) at the brand new Globe Life Park in Arlington on Tuesday, with Opening Day scheduled for Friday. How are you gearing up for the return of real live games? Let us know in the comments.
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