Congratulations Colorado Rockies fans, we have made it! The offseason is officially over as pitchers and catchers report to spring camp today with position players to follow on Sunday. Instead of rumors, speculation, and contract negotiations, there will finally be some tangible baseball to talk about.
Now that the wait is over, here are some key storylines to keep an eye on as spring training unfolds for the Colorado Rockies in Arizona:
Who will win the second base job?
The departure of DJ LeMahieu leaves a huge void to fill at second base. Vying to take his place this spring are Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson, Pat Valaika, and top prospect Brendan Rodgers. The Rockies are hoping someone will emerge from this group to take total control of the position but don’t be surprised if there is a platoon to start the season. Rodgers will likely start the season in the minors unless he really turns some heads with his play.
How does the bullpen replace Adam Ottavino?
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Adam Ottavino will be joining LeMahieu in New York this season, leaving the Rockies without their eighth-inning set-up man who was responsible for 77.2 innings over 75 appearances last season. That is a lot of innings that will somehow need to be replaced.
A possible candidate is Seunghwan Oh who the Rockies acquired at the trade deadline and was an important part of last season’s playoff run. The Rockies are also desperate for Bryan Shaw to bounce back and live up to his big contract after a disastrous ’18 campaign. Finally, keep an eye on Carlos Estevez this spring. After missing all of last season, the young, powerful right-hander, could push for a significant role in bullpen if he can stay healthy.