John Supowitz | February 26th, 2020
After making the playoffs in 2017 and 2018, it was thought the Colorado Rockies would contend in the National League West, or at least find themselves in the playoffs, none of that would be the case. Colorado instead was not a factor at all in 2019, finishing fourth in the NL West with a 71-91 record.
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While the Rockies we’re a powerhouse on offense, finishing eighth in RBI (803) and ninth in runs (803), it was their pitching that doomed them as they finished 29th in ERA.
The all the starting positions looked to be set with most of the same players from last season. The top of rotation looks to also be set, but after that is anyone’s guess.
C: Tony Wolters
1B: Daniel Murphy
SS: Trevor Story
3B: Nolan Arenado
This is an infield that has some incredible players. This will most likely be the starting infiled on opening day, will it remain that throughout the season? With Colorado not making any moves in offseason, Wolters is locked in as the catcher; he’s a good defender, but his lack of bat (262/.337/.329 slash line in 2019) does not leave much confidence. Murphy is slated to play first base; injuries have hindered him the last couple of seasons, but if he can stay healthy he’ll be a very good bat to have in that lineup.
Second base will be most likely be determined this spring; McMahon seems to be the front runner with a solid 2019 (24 HR and 83 RBI), top prospects Hampson and Rodgers struggled last year in their rookie seasons, but with McMahon’s versatility to play third and first, they have chance to fill in.
Trevor Story is a set and forget at shortstop. The big question is will Arenado still be in a Rockies uniform by the end of the season? We heard the Rockies were possibility shopping him around and Arenado’s frustration over it. If Colorado finds themselves out of contention at the all-star break, do they move they star third baseman?
RF: Charlie Blackmon
CF: David Dahl
LF: Ian Desmond
You can pencil in Blackmon and Dahl at left and center respectively. In left, Desmond is most likely your starter, but Raimel Tapia and rookie Sam Hilliard will have their chance, this could be a job determined over the spring.
Starting Rotation Projections
In a disastrous starting rotation that ranked last with a 5.87 ERA, Gray who had a team-leading 3.84 ERA and was the most consistent will be atop the rotation. Marquez will the get the second spot; he was great in the first half of the season with 3.48 ERA in his first 13 starts, after that he hit a wall, posting an 8.26 ERA and a .321 BAA in his next eight, but rebounded to finish the season with a 3.68 in his final seven starts.
Freeland plummeted after a great 2018 campaign; went from being the starter to a demotion to Triple-A after beginning 0-4 with 8.80 ERA, he was sent back up and his troubles continued before a groin injury sidelined him. Antonio Senzatela (11-11 6.71 ERA), Peter Lambert (3-7 7.25 ERA in 2019), Chi Chi Gonzalez 2-6 5.29 ERA in 2019, Hoffman (2-6 6.56 ERA) all saw a number of starts last season, they will compete in the spring for the last two rotation spots.
CL: Wade Davis
RP: Tyler Kinley
RP: Scott Oberg
RP: Bryan Shaw
RP: Jake McGee
RP: Jairo Diaz
RP: Carlos Estevez
RP: Jesus Tinoco
RP: Yency Almonte
The rotation was bad, and so was the bullpen thanks to a National League second worse 5.14 ERA and 25th in save percentage. Davis had a brutal 2019 with a career worse in walk-rate (6.1), ERA (8.65), and WHIP (1.875), he will come into spring as the closer, it’s just a question of will he come out with it? Oberg who lead the bullpen with a 2.25 ERA and 2.4 WAR could get that closer job. Flame throwers Diaz and Estevez can be great assets along with newcomer Kinley, who had 3.65 ERA with Miami last year.
The bench was nothing special hitting just .198 with 13 HR in 298 appearances. Rodgers, Dom Nunez, Hampson, and Josh Fuentes will be the ones getting those opportunities.
Players To Watch:
I like Brendan Rodgers, he was Colorado’s top prospect going into 2019, he has plenty of pop in his bat, if he can lower his strikeouts and stay healthy, he poised to breakout.
There will be a battle between Scott Oberg and Wade Davis for the closer role. I wouldn’t be shocked if Oberg was the closer on opening day.
They’re playing in a tough division, the Dodgers somehow were able to get even better, the Padres are ready to come into their own and make a playoff run, and the Diamondbacks signing Madison Bumgarner (or Mason Saunders), Kole Calhoun, and acquiring Sterling Marte shows they in it to win it.
2020 Predicted Record: 75-87 4th in the NL West
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Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images