The 2019 Major League Baseball season starts today for the Colorado Rockies. How may it play out?
The Colorado Rockies have made it to the postseason in each of the last two years for the first time in franchise history. Despite once again surprising many around baseball, once again no Rockies player or pitcher won any major awards. Will that change in 2019?
For background, I’ve been one win off on my annual win total prediction for the Rockies the last three seasons. Last year, I tabbed seven of the 10 playoff teams, which seems easy enough to do if you don’t overthink it (bet on the money!). Don’t be surprised if a lot of this comes true and don’t be surprised if none of it comes true because there is a reason they play the games. Did anyone have Oakland in the playoffs last March or even in June?
Rockies Wins: 87
Last year, the Colorado Rockies won 91 games and the year prior it was 87. In 2017, they went to the Wild Card game and lost. In 2018, they went to the Wild Card game and won after nearly winning the division but losing in a tie-breaker game in Los Angeles.
The Rockies lost several franchise icons in the offseason to free agency. Still, even without an All-Star second baseman, All-Star-caliber reliever and two former All-Star outfielders, the club should make out just fine.
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Daniel Murphy was brought in to play second base and Mark Reynolds is back as a bench bat. Both are needed to provide pop to a much maligned offense. This year’s lineup will see nearly every spot in the order flipping from left to right to left. It will also be bolstered by young players who many have clamored to see for years.
In fact, the young players and bigger roles from players like David Dahl are why some think the Rockies will not take any steps back at all.
But the loss of Adam Ottavino is one that can not be overlooked and the bullpen seems to have a few weak spots, particularly in relying upon Mike Dunn as a lefty who has been hurt for the better part of two years. However, if he is healthy, he is generally pretty solid. Plus there have been signs of Wade Davis in decline and he needs to limit home runs, especially considering where he plays half of his games.
The strength of Colorado is their starting pitching which has not only been good but has only had eight different players toe the slab to throw the first pitch over the last two-and-a-half years. Most teams are lucky to have the health and talent to only use eight pitchers in half of a season.
Given this luxury of health, we have not really seen what is behind the starting seven or so. But if there were to be massive issues, the Rockies have some touted prospects who are ready to continue a streak over a year’s worth of games that has only seen organizationally homegrown players start for the Rockies.
Catching is still a question as is some adjustments in the coaching stuff but, overall, the team should be about the same as last season.