Colorado Rockies: A quick look at the 2017 roster’s evolution

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 03: The Colorado Rockies celebrate beating the Milwaukee Brewers after the MLB Opening Day game at Miller Park on April 3, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 03: The Colorado Rockies celebrate beating the Milwaukee Brewers after the MLB Opening Day game at Miller Park on April 3, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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The offseason is always a good time for reflection. Upon looking back at the 2017 season for the Colorado Rockies, it is amazing to see just how the team evolved and improved as the year progressed.

Take a look at the players who were on Colorado’s Opening Day roster when the team first took the field against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 3.

Pitchers (13):

Tyler AndersonTyler Chatwood, Mike Dunn, Carlos Estevez, Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, Greg Holland, Jordan Lyles, German Marquez, Jake McGee, Scott Oberg, Adam Ottavino, Antonio Senzatela

Catchers (2):

Dustin Garneau, Tony Wolters

Infielders (6):

Cristhian Adames, Alexi Amarista, Nolan Arenado, DJ LeMahieuMark Reynolds, Trevor Story

Outfielders (4):

Charlie BlackmonStephen Cardullo, Carlos GonzálezGerardo Parra

Look at some of the names on that list and think about who wasn’t on there in October and how the evolution occurred.

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Two of the biggest moves made right before the 2017 season began included Colorado dropping Jason Motte and Miguel Castro from its bullpen. It would be the start of many moves the Rockies would make to improve its relief corps as the season went along. Chad Qualls, on the disabled list when the season began, was designated for assignment at the end of June. Jordan Lyles was designated for assignment just before the end of July.

Chris Rusin started the season on the disabled list and would prove to be one of Colorado’s most valuable relievers. Pat Neshek was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies just before the trade deadline.

Look at Colorado’s Opening Day catchers and think about how big of a role that veterans Ryan Hanigan and Jonathan Lucroy made after they joined the Rockies in May and July, respectively.

Stephen Cardullo and Cristhian Adames were on Colorado’s Opening Day roster but both were off Colorado’s 40-man roster by the time Memorial Day rolled around. Pat Valaika (one of the last players left off Colorado’s Opening Day roster) turned into one of the most impactful players off the bench. Ian Desmond, who was injured on Opening Day, battled injuries throughout the season and never reached expectations.

Mark Reynolds was a huge question mark to make the Opening Day roster after signing a minor league deal in the offseason. Yet he made an immediate impact on Opening Day in Milwaukee, a sign of things to come.

Raimel Tapia and Mike Tauchman were on Colorado’s Wild Card roster but nowhere near the Opening Day roster. Tauchman joined Ryan McMahon, Shane Carle, Senzatela and Freeland in making their Rockies debut in 2017.

Next: A suggestion for what the Rockies need to do in the offseason

We often make a big deal about which players make the Opening Day roster. Trust me, we will again when the 2018 season is close to dawning. However, unlike past seasons, Colorado had enough depth in 2017 to not only start the season strong, but also continually reinvent itself as the campaign wore on.

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