Injuries: In my opinion, a major contributor to the Rockies falling apart late in the season is due to injuries. Trevor Story and Mark Reynolds going down last year caused the swoon that kept them out of contention. This year, the Rockies have started with a huge number of injuries. David Dahl, Ian Desmond, Tom Murphy, Chad Bettis, and now Jon Gray have all spent time on the DL and the Rockies have not only stayed above water but thrived. The depth of the team has been huge with Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra (!!!) providing quality at-bats for the team. This pair has combined for 26 RBIs. With all of the above guys, except Bettis, expected to be back before the summer, the Rockies will be adding, rather than subtracting, key guys.
Depth and Versatility: This was touched on with the injury discussion, but the Rockies have way more depth than in the past. They had essentially the same starting lineup for Opening Day because injuries kept two “starters” out.
There are so many more options at every position. Parra, and Reynolds have already proved their worth and Tapia, German Marquez, Jeff Hoffman, Jordan Patterson are all in Albuquerque should the Rockies need them.
The versatility of the team will be more on display when Desmond returns to the lineup. He will be able to play in the outfield, giving the Rockies a right-handed option there and, perhaps more importantly, keeping Mark Reynolds in the lineup.