As we get closer and closer to the regular season, we’re starting to see the separation of players within the Colorado Rockies clubhouse, meaning who will be on the Opening Day roster and who will have to go back to the minors for a few days or weeks.
Of course, there are two mainstays on the Rockies. Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon are essentially the two most recognized and honored players on the team. Last year was a good year for the Rockies, and an even better year for both men as they were both in the top five for National League MVP honors. However, it’s time that the Rockies stop solely depending on them.
I mean what I say, especially when it comes to the Rockies. Everyone knows that Nolan and Charlie are the two guys who contributed so much to the team last year. Blackmon, 31 had an MVP-type year and one for the history books from the leadoff position. He put up 37 home runs with 104 RBI and posting a batting average of .331, leading him to coming in fifth in MVP voting.
If you thought he had a good year, just wait until you hear Nolan’s stats. Last season, Nolan also put up 37 home runs but also posted 130 RBI. He put together a batting average of .309 and WAR of 7.2 and he came in 4th in the MVP race (how that low, I’m not sure). I wrote an article about how he’ll be a strong MVP candidate again in 2018 here. He also got the Gold and Platinum Gloves and Silver Slugger awards. He’s just a treasure that Rockies fans should enjoy seeing play as often as they can.
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As for the rest of the team, it was a little rough if your name wasn’t Blackmon or Arenado. We all know what happened with CarGo and Ian Desmond didn’t have a fighting chance due to injury. Mark Reynolds had a good season, but slagged off in the second half. Gerardo Parra had a good year so I’d call him an outlier in this graph. DJ LeMahieu had a solid season with RBI (64) and his batting average (.310), but he was third in all of Major League Baseball by grounding into 24 double plays. Thanks to 191 strikeouts last season, Trevor Story is in the same boat as LeMahieu and Parra.
The way things were last year, it should come as no surprise that Arenado and Blackmon were carrying the team … but that’s not how it should be. For a team that went to the Wild Card game, you would expect Colorado to have more people performing, though the Rockies at times did anything but that. I think this may have been one of the reasons why Colorado couldn’t make it past the Wild Card game.
The way the Rockies are looking this year, they have a strong young core as well as plenty of veterans. This season will be a test for many of these guys as the Rockies try to return to the postseason. With CarGo back in the mix, it could be a redemption year for him and he really needs to prove that he’s still got it. If the Rockies want to be able to succeed this year, their main goal should be to stop depending upon Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado and have a lineup that produces from top to bottom.