Happy Opening Day everyone! The long, dark winter is unofficially over and we can finally get going on the 2021 MLB season.
After an offseason full of trauma for their fans, less than stellar projections, and soundbites about proving people wrong, the Rockies will finally take the field for their first game of the year today. As painful as this offseason has been, it’s hard not to be excited. That’s just the magic of Opening Day. While some fans have vowed to avoid forking over money for tickets, public health allowance for the first time since September 29, 2019 means others will finally be back at Coors Field, taking in a Rockies game and providing actual crowd noise.
In what feels like a fitting start to the season following the offseason the Rockies just went through, the team is fortunate enough to be taking on the defending World Series Champs today. But hey, the cliché of “everyone has a chance on Opening Day” will ring loudly for a Rockies group who believes they can be a lot better than everyone is expecting.
Regardless, taking on the Dodgers means we’re not easing our way into this season.
For the Rockies, Germán Márquez is on the hill making his second straight Opening Day start. More often than not, Márquez’s presence on the mound means the team has a good chance at coming away with a victory. The bad news? He’ll be going up against Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers legend who has tormented the Rockies for over a decade needs no introduction, but he’s making his ninth Opening Day start. After finally grabbing an elusive World Series ring ‘Kersh’ no longer faces the immense pressure that he has in the past.
Aside from the match-up itself, the start of the season brings a slew of intriguing stories for this Rockies club. Watching Trevor Story is always a joy and I expect his rise to continue (hopefully while still wearing Colorado purple.) He’s the new leader of this team and it will be interesting to see how handles that role. In the outfield, Raimel Tapia thinks he has a shot at the NL batting title, and he’ll be looking to get off to a hot start to prove last year’s ninth place finish in batting average was no fluke. CJ Cron has shown flashes of brilliance in Spring Training, Ryan McMahon is hoping to put an underwhelming 2020 behind him, and Charlie Blackmon will look to start this season just like he did the last.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve spent much of this offseason getting down on the Rockies (and more specifically, the front office) but Opening Day has a unique ability to wipe away all that. For now, we get to enjoy the glory of baseball and the team’s potential to pleasantly surprise us with their play.
Happy Opening Day!
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Jhoulys Chacin to return to Colorado on Major League Deal | Purple Row
Thanks to the prescient Justin Wick, you may have already known about this on Tuesday when he wrote about Chacin’s availability. 36 hours later, the Rockies made the transaction official and the team found themselves with another arm on the roster.
Chacin hasn’t played for the Rockies since June 28, 2014, but is fourth all time in bWAR for the club and ranks ninth in innings pitched for the Rockies. We’ll see if Chacin has enough left in the tank to add some positive outings to his Rockies career.
Blackmon heart and soul of Rockies baseball | MLB.com
With Nolan Arenado gone, I would have expected all the attention to turn towards Trevor Story, but followed closely by Charlie Blackmon. In reality, Blackmon has flown relatively under the radar during Spring Training.
Perhaps that’s a good thing for the new father who will look to get back on track after struggling mightily after his hot start last year. Blackmon maintains that he loves being in Colorado and playing in front of this fanbase, something that hasn’t always been the case for the team’s stars. Hopefully that positive mentality translates to a strong showing for Chuck Nazty.
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