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Rockies’ roster begins to take final shape

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The moves announced today provide a clear picture of where the team is headed

The Colorado Rockies announced a series to roster moves today as they continue to shore up their roster and prepare for the start of the 2021 season.

As was expected after Kyle Freeland’s shoulder strain, Chi Chi González will make the roster.

González has pitched 82 2/3 innings in two seasons with the Rockies for an ERA of 5.66. Bud Black has repeatedly complimented González’s spring training, noting that he’s seen an increase in velocity.

As expected, Scott Oberg has been placed on the 60-day IL after a fourth surgery for blood clots. Oberg’s future in baseball remains uncertain.

The Rockies made the following changes as well:

There was speculation that Colton Welker might break camp with the Rockies given his terrific spring training performance. (In 40 plate appearances, he earned an OPS of .889.) Given that Welker spent 2019 in Hartford, however, it makes sense the Rockies would want him to spend some time in Albuquerque, but expect to see him in Denver this season.

Gilbreath had been competing for a lefty reliever slot, but the Rockies have decided to send him down as well while Briceño, Rabago, Serven, Stamets, Trejo, and Vilade move to minor league camps, none of which is surprising.

Notable is Greg Bird who will continue training with the Rockies and hope for a call-up. Bird has not had a remarkable spring training, slashing only .189/.279/.270.

The Rockies also announced the following:

While Dereck Rodríguez and Connor Joe are not locks to make the team, the fact that they’re still in camp is noteworthy.

If he makes the team, Rodríguez would presumably work in long relief (4.79 ERA in 62 innings) along with Robert Stephenson. There were questions about Jordan Sheffield’s place on the team, but it appears likely he will begin the season with the Rockies.

Utility player Connor Joe also seems likely to make the 40-man roster. Joe has had an exceptional spring, earning an OPS of 1.233 in 38 plate appearances. Given the health issues the Rockies are seeing, Joe, like Chris Owings, will be able to assume a number of roles.