MLB Opening Day 2014: Jordan Pacheco, Charlie Blackmon losing hold on roster spots?
By Hayden Kane
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Two fan favorite players, not to mention two young players who seemed to offer great promise to the future plans of the Colorado Rockies in recent years, might be losing their hold on roster spots. The two players in question are Jordan Pacheco and Charlie Blackmon.
Pacheco has a Michael McKenry problem. Blackmon has a Brandon Barnes problem. Both could find their spot on the 25-man roster in question.
Pacheco’s problem extends to two other players, regular starting catcher Wilin Rosario and staff ace Jorge De La Rosa. Those who cover the Rockies have written, in pretty clear terms, that De La Rosa is not always comfortable working with Rosario and that he has been happy throwing to McKenry.
The Rockies obviously have a lot of motivation to keep De La Rosa comfortable and happy given the fact he is one of the five most important players on the roster if things are going to click in 2014. To state that the motivation to keep De La Rosa on track will trump the motivation to have Pacheco as the backup catcher is to state the comically obvious. It seems likely that the primary catching duo for the Rockies is going to be Rosario and McKenry, though we still might see Pacheco in the organization if he clears waivers or if the Rockies inexplicably carry three catchers.
As for Blackmon, he is potentially the victim of an unexpected development in the outfield competition. With four days until opening day, Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes are the ones who have locked down spots.
Of the four outfielders under consideration, Dickerson offers the most upside offensively. That gives him a distinct edge over Blackmon, especially considering the fact that Barnes brings the strong defense and versatility that were previously Blackmon’s best arguments for a roster spot.
Both players could ultimately remain in the organization, but for some reason I have a hard time envisioning another Triple-A stint for Blackmon. If Dickerson does indeed beat him out for that 5th outfield spot, expect trade talks involving Blackmon to resume.
It sounds like the Rockies might proceed in 2014 without two of their more popular players, not to mention two of their better follows on Twitter.