Three keys for the 2014 Rockies are pitching, pitching, and health. The position players are completely healthy and the pitchers are on the rebound to good health. Brett Anderson was completely healthy during the off season and did not show any ill effects. Boone Logan is mostly mended and is slowly working back into game shape. Jhoulys Chacin was the only major injury reported during spring training and he should be ready in late April to early May. Tyler Chatwood threw a side session Sunday and ran lightly and he said it went well. But Rockies plan to discuss his status and a decision is expected Monday. Jordan Lyles would be coming off regular 5-day rest if he has to replace Chatwood Wednesday. Update: Overheard in the news media indicates Chatwood is more likely than not to hit the DL to protect him long term. If so, it will be retroactive to March 28th making him available April 13th at the earliest. April 17th would be his regular turn in the rotation if the Rox keep the rotation on regular schedule. That translates to three missed starts.
The 25-man roster was unveiled and it was a little bit unorthodox; six outfielders to go along with just one utility infielder. But the roster is not expected to be fixed for long periods. It will probably be fluid switching between 7-man and 8-man bullpen. The Rockies will also likely shuffle the outfielders to keep the roster fluid as needed for certain situations. The rotation to start the year will be JDLR, Brett Anderson, Jordan Lyles, Nicasio, and Kerosene. Spoiler alert – Kerosene is in line to pitch the home opener Friday at Coors Field. LaTroy Hawkins, Rex Brothers, Chad Bettis, Zero, Wilton Lopez, Matt Belisle, and Thomas Kahnle (Rule 5) will make up the bullpen to start the season. The position regulars are Baby Bull, Justin Morneau, DJ LeMaheiu, Tulo, Nolan Arenado, CarGo, Money, and a bucket of centerfielders. The bench players are Jordan Pacheco, Charlie Culberson, and three of the four outfielders not starting (among Drew Stubbs, Brandon Barnes, Charlie Blackmon, and Corey Dickerson).
Boone Logan, Chacin, and Chatwood (likely) are on the DL. They should be available Saturday (4/5), April 17th, and early May respectively. Lyles (already called back up), Christian Friedrich, Eddie Butler, and Jon Gray are the backups if the Rox need a starting pitcher. Manuel Corpas, Nick Massett, and Rod Scahill are likely to receive the first calls if bullpen help is needed. Josh Rutledge and Ryan Wheeler are on the 40-man roster and likely the first call ups if infield help is needed. Paul Janish has an out clause on July 1st and he probably will remain on the minor league contract until then in case of Tulo’s injury. Tim Wheeler also is not on the 40-man roster; he cleared the waivers last winter and nobody claimed him so he will be playing in Springs. He has rediscovered his power and could be needed in extreme case of injury bug to the outfield cast. Mike McKenry and Jackson Williams are on the Sky Sox team as catchers.
The four-game series begin Monday 5:05 pm MDT on ESPN2 and ROOT tv. The scheduled pitchers for the Rockies are De la Rosa, Anderson, Lyles, and Nicasio. The Miami Marlins will have Jose Fernandez, Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez, and Jacob Turner lined up for the series. The games on Tuesday and Wednesday will start at 5:10 pm MDT and will be televised by ROOT TV. Thursday’s game will be at 10:40 am MDT with no live tv. But Miami’s tv station is televising the game. That means the game will be available live on MLB.tv for those out of the Rockies market and the replay will be available about an hour after the game ends. Weather will not be a factor as the Marlins have a retractable roof.
All four games will feature a right-handed starting pitcher by the Marlins. Opening day lineup card: