Toss out every assumption we may have had about the makeup of this year’s Colorado Rockies roster. The signing of Carlos Gonzalez to a one-year, $8 million deal, which is expected to be made official sometime later today, has thrown a huge monkey wrench into everything I thought I knew about this team.
So with all of the excitement (and skepticism for that matter), here are some key questions with the signing of CarGo.
- Who gets the 5th outfielder spot on the 25-man roster?
Now that there are four for sure outfielders (Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, Gerardo Parra and Gonzalez), someone needs to step up for the final spot. I discussed earlier about the corner outfield battle and this turns it into four guys fighting of one spot.
It almost assures David Dahl and Jordan Patterson will start the season in the minors. Then manager Bud Black must decide whether or not he wants to give Raimel Tapia or Mike Tauchman a shot on the bench. My guess is he will send Tapia down so he can see everyday playing time. However, there is still a lot of spring left for him to prove himself worthy of a spot on the 25-man roster.
2. What happens at first base?
The Rockies had practically committed themselves to having rookie Ryan McMahon patrol first base. Now does Ian Desmond get moved back to first for platoon situations against left-handed pitching to take the some stress off of McMahon?
3. What does the batting order look like?
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It looked as if Bud Black had decided on moving Charlie Blackmon to the middle of the lineup but now does he return to leadoff? He did on Sunday against the Dodgers. I liked the idea of him at the 3 hole but Blackmon does bring a different element at leadoff.
After trying out multiple people to limited success in spring, and if Sunday’s game is any indication, Blackmon probably moves back. Does CarGo return to the middle of the order considering how bad he was at the plate for the majority of last year? Black will have a lot to decide in the coming days.
4. What CarGo are the Rockies getting?
Did the Rockies just sign the CarGo that crushed the baseball in his first eight years in a Rockies uniform or is he the player who hit .262 with 57 RBI and 14 home runs last year. He did get hot in September, hitting .377 with six homers but struggled for the majority of the season … so which CarGo is coming back? I am guessing somewhere in the middle. If the Rockies get a CarGo who hits .290 with 90+ RBI and 25+ homers, $8 million is one heck of a bargain.
This is exciting news for the Rockies … but is this a great signing or a nostalgia grab? I was a huge critic of CarGo all of last year but memories of him and his prowess in right field have me excited and intrigued. Only time will tell whether this was a fantastic pick up or a complete mistake.