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Rockies unveil 2022 Opening Day roster

Plenty of old and new faces will suit up in purple against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Day

This afternoon, the Colorado Rockies revealed their 28-man roster to start the season as they prepare for Opening Day 2022. Due to spring training being shortened because of the lockout, MLB and the MLBPA agreed to expand rosters for the month of April, before it reverts back to a 26-man roster in May.

The roster features a majority of players that suited up for Colorado last season along with the notable additions of Kris Bryant, Randal Grichuk and José Iglesias.

The Rotation: LHP Kyle Freeland, RHP Germán Márquez, RHP Antonio Senzatela, LHP Austin Gomber, RHP Chad Kuhl

Kyle Freeland will get the nod as the Opening Day starter for the second time of his Rockies career. He will be followed by his fellow 2021 starters: Germán Márquez, Antonio Senzatela, and Austin Gomber. All four will be looking to build off of strong performances last season and pitch the Rockies into contention. Chad Kuhl is penciled in as the fifth starter, but a shaky spring combined with a stellar audition by non-roster invitee Ty Blach puts the final rotation spot up for grabs in the early goings of the season.

The Bullpen: RHP’s Daniel Bard, Jhoulys Chacín, Alex Colomé, Carlos Estevez, Ashton Goudeau, Tyler Kinley, Justin Lawrence, Jordan Sheffield. LHP Ty Blach

Lucas Gilbreath and Robert Stephenson were placed on the COVID-19 injured list earlier in the week, paving the way for Jordan Sheffield and Justin Lawrence to join the roster after being optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. Bard, Colomé, and Estevez all factor in to close games as Bud Black has not designated a closer quite yet, but all will play a key role in preserving leads late in games. Ashton Goudeau had a strong spring training performance and has found a spot as a long reliever and spot starter while Colorado native, Ty Blach, impressed management to earn a spot on the roster and will serve as the lone lefty in the bullpen. Blach can also battle for a spot in the starting rotation.

Peter Lambert was placed on the 10-day injured list while both Scott Oberg and Ryan Rolison were placed on the 60-day injured list.

The Catchers: Elias Díaz, Dom Nuñez

The Rockies catching tandem remains the same from 2021. Elias Díaz is slated as the primary catcher for the Rockies after a breakout 2021 campaign on both sides of the baseball. Dom Nuñez will need to improve his offensive approach and cut down on strikeouts in order to complement his power.

The Infielders: C.J. Cron, José Iglesias, Ryan McMahon, Brendan Rodgers, Alan Trejo

After leading the team in home runs last season, C.J. Cron is looking to continue his consistent production at first base as he begins a new two-year extension. Ryan McMahon proved he was an elite glove at third base and will get a full season to continue that production. Brendan Rodgers managed to stay healthy in spring training and is getting his first Opening Day start with the team at second base. Newcomer José Iglesias will hold down the shortstop position but will need to improve upon his error-laden 2021 season and provide a consistent bat near the bottom of the lineup. Alan Trejo has the ability to fill in at three infield positions and will likely be called upon often.

The Outfielders: Charlie Blackmon, Kris Bryant, Yonathan Daza, Randal Grichuk, Sam Hilliard

Kris Bryant and Randal Grichuk headline a new-look outfield for the Rockies. They will join Charlie Blackmon as the presumed outfield trio, with plenty of opportunities for any of them to serve as the designated hitter. All three are looking to power the Rockies' offense and cover the spacious fields of Coors Field, a not-so-small feat. Yonathan Daza and Sam Hilliard will wait in the wings as strong defenders, but will both need to put the ball in play more, and cut down on strikeouts.

The Utilitymen: Garrett Hampson, Connor Joe

Rounding out the lineup is Garrett Hampson and Connor Joe. Hampson can cover the middle infield positions as well as centerfield. His speed is a game-changer and is likely to be utilized plenty this season. Joe can be utilized in both corner outfield spots or first base, and after he hit the cover off the ball in spring, he is likely to get plenty of reps as the designated hitter when he’s not on the field.