Friday, March 9, 2018

Colorado Rockies 2018 season preview



                 Behind MVP candidates Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon, the Colorado Rockies finished 3rd in the NL West, with a 87-75 record, and that was good enough for the 2nd wild card spot in the National League, though they lost in the wild card game to the Arizona Diamondbacks. With star closer Greg Holland facing free agency, the Rockies had some moves to make. Let's take a look at what they did this offseason.

                  Notable additions: RHP Wade Davis, RHP Bryan Shaw, C Chris Iannetta, SS Shawn O'Malley.

                  Notable subtractions: RHP Greg Holland, RHP Tyler Chatwood, 1B Mark Reynolds, OF Carlos Gonzalez, C Jonathan Lucroy, C Ryan Hanigan, INF Alexi Amarista, RHP Jordan Lyles, RHP Pat Neshek.

                    What they did well: They replaced Holland and Neshek with Davis and Shaw, who are arguably better. That's about it, as it wasn't a very good offseason.

                    What they did bad: Holland and Reynolds were very surprising for them in 2017, but weren't signed, and still aren't to this day. They didn't re-sign any of their pending free agents, besides Jake McGee. It wasn't too good of an offseason for them.

                     Sneaky sleeper: At just age 22, German Marquez lead the Rockies in innings pitched, with 162, just barely qualifying for stats. He also was a pretty good player, with a 4.39 ERA and 147 strikeouts.

                      Incoming outbreak: With Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies long-time right fielder, gone, there will be a new guy in right. That could be 23 year old Raimel Tapia, who hit .288 and stole 5 bases in 171 Plate Appearances in 2017. 2018 could be Tapia's year.

                      Unsuspected slump: After a surprising rookie 2016 season, Trevor Story fell in 2017, leading the league in strikeouts, with 191. He also hit .239. It was a very rough campaign for the now 25 year old.

                      Blue-chip Bopper: After the 2017 season ended, I knew who should have won the MVP in the National League. That was Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. Arenado lost to Joey Votto and Giancarlo Stanton (go Yankees!), but I would've given him a first place vote. Arenado reached the 130 RBI mark for the third consecutive season, and hit .309. He also smashed 37 HRs. Will the league's best fielding and hitting third baseman please report? Oh, hi Nolan Arenado (this is getting weird).

                       Astounding ace: Their best pitcher, and new acquisition Wade Davis should go here, and I know he's their best pitcher. But, I'm going to go with Jon Gray instead. Gray battled injuries in 2017, and pitched just 110.1 innings, but had a 3.67 ERA in that time. He also struck out 112 batters. He's one of the most underrated aces in the league, mainly because he'd be a second or third at best on most other teams.

                         Here is the Rockies projected roster, starting with their lineup.

 CF Charlie Blackmon (L)
 2B D.J. LeMahieu (R)
 3B Nolan Arenado (R)
 SS Trevor Story (R)
 1B Ian Desmond (R)
 LF David Dahl (L)
 C Tony Wolters (L)
 RF Raimel Tapia (L)
 Pitcher

  Here is their rotation.

 RHP Jon Gray
 RHP German Marquez
 LHP Kyle Freeland
 RHP Antonio Senzatela
 RHP Chad Bettis
 LHP Tyler Anderson

 Wade Davis (R) is their closer, with Jake McGee (L), Bryan Shaw (R), Scott Oberg (R), Mike Dunn (L), Adam Ottavino (R), Carlos Estevez (R) and Chris Rusin (L) in the bullpen as well.

 C Chris Iannetta (R), INF Pat Valaika (R), OF Gerardo Parra (L) and C Tom Murphy (R) are on the bench.

 Finally, for my prediction, I think the Rockies, a very, very good team, will miss the playoffs in 2018.

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