30 Teams in 30 Days: Colorado Rockies Preview

Colorado Rockies Preview!
Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado gets airborne over Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, bottom, after forcing him out at second base and throwing to first to complete a double play on Adrian Gonzalez during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

 

The 30/30 Club

Club 10: Colorado Rockies

One of the surprise teams of 2017 was the Colorado Rockies.  The Rockies had almost no expectations to make the playoffs last year (only five of 37 ESPN analysts did so), but they surprised everyone and held off the Milwaukee Brewers to win the second wild-card spot.  They would ultimately fall to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the wild-card game, but expectations are high for this team to get back to the postseason this year.

Past reports:

BaltimoreChicago ALHoustonAtlantaChicago NLArizona
BostonClevelandLos AngelesMiamiCincinnatiColorado
New York ALDetroitOaklandNew York NLMilwaukeeLos Angeles
Tampa BayKansas CitySeattlePhiladelphiaPittsburghSan Diego
TorontoMinnesotaTexasWashingtonSt. LouisSan Francisco

 

2017 Record: 87-75, lost to Arizona in the Wild Card game

Acquisitions: RP Wade Davis (free agent), C Chris Iannetta (free agent), RP Bryan Shaw (free agent)

Departures: RP Pat Neshek (free agent), OF Carlos Gonzalez (free agent), 1B Mark Reynolds (free agent), SP Tyler Chatwood (free agent), C Ryan Hanigan (free agent), C Jonathan Lucroy (free agent), CL Greg Holland (free agent)

Projected Lineup:

CF Charlie Blackmon

2B DJ Lemahieu

3B Nolan Arenado

SS Trevor Story

RF Gerardo Parra

LF Ian Desmond

1B Ryan McMahon

C Chris Iannetta

Projected Rotation:

SP Jon Gray

SP Chad Bettis

SP Tyler Anderson

SP German Marquez

SP Kyle Freeland

Position Battles:

The Rockies are one of the teams who can legitimately say they have some depth in their rotation, as they also have second-year pitchers Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela available if any of their other starters struggle or get hurt.  They are expected to start the year in AAA.  Gerardo Parra is the veteran who is taking over for the departed Carlos Gonzalez in RF, but young Raimel Tapia could take over the job during the season and he may start the season in RF as Parra underwent hand surgery late in February.

Outlook:

The Rockies’ offense could feel the hit of losing sluggers Mark Reynolds and Carlos Gonzalez in free agency, but they do have a young slugger in Ryan McMahon who can make up some of that power that is lacking in right field.  The Rockies also have David Dahl in their system who has major league experience in right field, but he has struggled in spring training and may end up starting the year in AAA after missing all of 2017.  The Rockies lost closer Greg Holland but replaced him with another very capable closer in Wade Davis.  The rotation should be better with another year of experience for the rookie corps of Marquez, Freeland, Hoffman, and Senzatela, and they hope that Chad Bettis can regain the form he had prior to his cancer diagnosis.  There is a lot of hope in Colorado this year, and while they may not be on the level of the Los Angeles Dodgers, they should be one of the teams in contention for one of the two wild-card positions.

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