Colorado Rockies: Another round of our own predictions
This off-season the Rockies beefed up their bullpen after Greg Holland rejected their three year offer. The club signed resigned Jake McGee, added Bryan Shaw and closer Wade Davis. However the biggest surprise arm could be Adam Ottavino.
After recovering and missing most of the 2015 season and appearing in only 34 games in 2016, Adam Ottavino pitched in 63 games in 2017.
While showing flashes with his filthy slider that spurred a fan made Twitter account “@OttavinosSlider“, he struggled for most of the year with his command. If Ottavino can regain the control of his many sliders (career high 39 BB, which was 6.6 per nine innings, in 2017), he could be a linchpin of the Rockies bullpen. With expectations lowered after Tommy John surgery and Ottavino yet to regain his consistency, he could be the biggest surprise of 2018.
In 2017 Pat Valaika had 66 pinch hit opportunitues and thrived, coining him “Patty Barrels”. With the addition of a healthy David Dahl, Ryan McMahon presumably getting major time at first base and the resigning of Carlos Gonzalez, pinch-hit at bats for Valaika could be scarce.
Throw in a healthy Ian Desmond and spot at bats for Ramiel Tapia, Valaika’s production could take a huge dip. While I find him extremely valuable and a much more capable utility option than Ian Desmond, the Rockies interests likely lay elsewhere.
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Buyers or Sellers
Regardless if the Rockies are in the playoff hunt or are out of it by the deadline, I predict they stand pat with the roster and payroll. There aren’t many players the Rockies could move or want to at the deadline outside of D.J LeMahieu. The contracts, age, and production of Ian Desmond and Gerardo Parra make them undesirable targets for buyers.
The Rockies have plenty of young starting pitching depth. Unless they have a rash of injures near the deadline, I don’t see them adding a pitching piece. Don’t look for the Rockies to make many in season moves, at least until Parra’s contract is off the books, or until Ian Desmond does something to establish some trade value.
With the money owed and years left, it’s very unlikely the Rockies part with Desmond unless they are willing to eat a huge chunk of the remaining contract.
The Rockies will finish 92-70. The Rockies will get the first NL Wild Card spot and host the National League Wild Card game reaching the NLDS.
The Rockies were 21-14 in one run games in 2017. Most of those wins and losses coming on the back of former closer Greg Holland.
As noted in a September article by our very own Brady Vernon in this article, the Rockies started 9-0 in one run games. However, after May 5th they fell to 9-11. Much of that had to do with the second half struggles of Greg Holland.
Next: Colorado Rockies: Roundtable season projections and outlooks
With a beefed up bullpen lead by pitcher whisperer Bud Black and another year of experience by his young rotation, look for the Rockies to be on the positive side in one run games…as well as the positive side on the season, in general