Colorado Rockies: 4 key spring training battles to watch

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25: Archie Bradley #25 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch during the fourth inning of the spring training game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 25, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25: Archie Bradley #25 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch during the fourth inning of the spring training game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 25, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Ryan McMahon of the Colorado Rockies
SCOTTSDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 23: Ryan McMahon #85 of the Colorado Rockies poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 23, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /

First base

Ah yes, the question that has haunted Rockies Twitter throughout the offseason. Is Ryan McMahon really ready to take over the position? How much will Ian Desmond play at first base, the position he signed a big, long-term contract to take over last offseason? Will the Rockies sign a free agent to bolster the position? Could it be someone like Mark Reynolds who has experience with the Rockies or someone like Logan Morrison from outside the organization?

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As each day passes, it seems that the Rockies are content to not spend big here and see if the McMahon/Desmond platoon can work. If all goes well this season, it makes sense. McMahon has proven he can hit in the minor leagues and will be out to prove that that success can translate to MLB. Desmond will be out to prove that last year was a fluke, thanks in part to numerous injuries.

McMahon making the Opening Day roster makes sense from a flexibility standpoint as well. He can play first, second or third and the Rockies love versatility. Desmond can play outfield or first or even shortstop if needed, so there is flexibility there as well.

If a late signing doesn’t occur, watch to see if McMahon can solidify his spot with a strong spring. If things go well in the spring for him, it makes Opening Day decisions a lot easier for the Rockies. If not, it could open the door for Desmond to play first base and an outfielder like David Dahl or Raimel Tapia to have a shot at making the Opening Day roster.

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