After the long season of doing nothing during the off season, most fans think it will be a repeat of 2019. I will attempt to write some positive points on why they might be a .500 club. The Rockies were the only team not to sign a free agent to a MLB contract. Good or bad? It sounds awful on the surface, but then it might a good thing since GM Jeff Bridich has a history of bad free agent signings. So this is one less problem!
Of course the off season ended with the volcanic explosion by Nolan Arenado responding to the lack of action by the front office to improve the team. The volcano probably started boiling back at the trade deadline of 2018 season. They were in great shape and only needed a piece or two to get them to the peak if the front office only had a win now attitude. As it turns out, they got eliminated by the Dodgers in game 163 for the division championship and then swept by Milwaukee in the NLDS. For far too long, the Rockies have been over-valuing their prospects, therefore making it impossible to add a major piece or two at the trade deadline.
I’m going to drink some Purple Kool Aid and wear some purple shades in an attempt to find some hope going into the 2020 season. Let’s start on the offensive side of the ball. Colorado has two all-star caliber players on the left side of the infield in Trevor Story and Arenado. Now let’s move to the right side where there is potential but only if BB will look for the best lineup, not the most money. Ryan McMahon after a long slow start to 2019 started to come into his own. But he must move over to 1B and put Dan Murphy on the bench. That will open up 2B for either Brendan Rodgers who was hampered by an injury and Garret Hampson who can provide speed at the top of the order. Hampson did come on strong towards the end of 2019, but that was against mostly expanded rosters of the opponents.
As usual, the Rockies did nothing to add depth behind the plate. Tony Wolters is popular and a defensive stalwart. But that’s about it. Rockies failed to get a veteran to add depth equivalent to a Yorvit Torrealba. So we’re stuck with Drew Butera or Dom Nunez? This is the weakest spot in the lineup. Heck even German Marquez and Kyle Freeland should bat 8th and C bat 9th.
Colorado will need a healthy David Dahl to man CF for a full season. Chuck_Nazty will be in RF when he should have been traded to an AL team for a right-handed bat. But he is still dangerous in the lineup if not in the field. Ian Desmond must be moved to the bench. LF should be manned by a fresh face like a Sam Hilliard. He has the speed and bat to be a regular. He has nothing left to prove in AAA. There’s Raimel Tapia but he’s more suited to join Desmond and Murphy on the bench. We can use his speed late in the game. Hampson is a nice super utility player that he can play both the infield and outfield.
Let’s move to the defensive side of the ball and it all starts with the rotation. Freeland had a bad year that he spent the entire off season overhauling his delivery to eliminate the hitch in his windup. If this works well, then we will see the 2018 version of K-Free. If Jon Gray and German Marquez can repeat 2019 or be even slightly better, then BB will have a solid top three of the rotation. The fourth and fifth spot is still open to competition. Antonio Senzatela, Peter Lambert, Chi Chi Gonzalez, and about four other pitchers that were added to the 40-man roster will be battling for the final two spots.
The rotation means nothing if the bullpen cannot finish the starters’ work. In 2019 we started with Wade Davis, Jake McGee, and Bryan Shaw all of whom were awful. FInally BB took his head out of the sand and it looks like Jairo Diaz, Scott Oberg, and Carlos Estevez can be effective at the back end of the bullpen. James Pazos and Yency Almonte are the wild cards. Remember there will be three-batter minimum when a new pitcher comes into the game. Jeff Hoffman could be placed as a long reliever if he doesn’t make the rotation.
Other items in general that needs to be improved: stop striking out with runners on base and less than two outs, stop walking batters, give up a quality AB and move runners around, bench must be better with Murphy, Desmond, Hampton, and Tapia.
Go ahead and comment below why we are going to be a 75-win team. I’m only trying to keep the hopes to balance with the problems.
There was no new post during the off season because I kept waiting for something to happen. So now spring training will begin roughly 3-4 weeks! I will be in the Phoenix area from Feb. 29th through March 7th. EdtheUmp will be there as well during most of the month of March. So let us know if you are going to be in the area so we can have a couple of beers at the Tavern Grille near Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.