Remember how bad it looked for Ian Desmond in 2017 and only playing 95 games in an injury-riddled season? Well 2019 has been even worse. He’s never posted a positive WAR with the club and he is sitting at -1.6 WAR through 126 games played this season. He was benched in favor of getting Raimel Tapia some playing time. Expect the outfield to be aligned with hopefully a healthy David Dahl in center, Tapia in left and Charlie Blackmon in right. Thankfully, the Desmond deal is one season closer to being done.
For the infield, expect the stable anchor we’ve come to expect on the left side in Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. Expect Garrett Hampson to still be on the roster but I wouldn’t make any guarantees he will start like he did at the beginning of 2019. Brendan Rodgers showed he wasn’t ready for the call-up and might have been sent up too soon with DJ LeMahieu’s departure (maybe one day the thought of not re-signing him will fade). Rodgers is rehabbing from a season-ending shoulder injury but it will be imperative to get him more experience if he is going to be the future of this organization.
Daniel Murphy, unfortunately, is not a viable option anywhere in the infield and the Rockies should eat the contract if necessary. It is long past due for this club to invest in a legitimate first baseman. Paul Goldschmidt would have been the perfect answer in the offseason if he weren’t in the division and the Cardinals in due part are benefitting all the way to the top of the NL Central. Jose Abreu is the biggest name in upcoming free agency at the position and he has rebounded his career appearing in the last two All-Star games driving in 112 RBI through publication. Joey Votto would be a dream even for a year or two and even at 35 and the fact that he’ll retire on the only team he’s ever known.
If money and age is a concern, Matt Olson is a rising star. He doesn’t hit for the best average but specializes in the long ball, hitting 31 homers in 111 games this season. He is signed through the rest of the season for just over $1 million and is just 25. His Gold Glove caliber play is better than all of this and would be the best addition in the offseason. All of this to say, expect Murphy to be the Rockies 2020 first baseman.
Projected Colorado Rockies 2020 Opening Day Roster
Right-handed Pitchers (9): Wade Davis, Jon Gray, German Marquez, Scott Oberg, Bryan Shaw, Tim Melville, Wes Parsons, [Add veteran starter like Jake Odorizzi], [Add righty reliever possibly Yusmeiro Petit]
Left-handed Pitchers (4): Kyle Freeland, Jake McGee, Chris Rusin, [Add quality lefty, preferably Will Smith]
Catchers (2): Tony Wolters, [Should have been Realmuto, probably won’t get Grandal, Alex Avila seems like a happy medium but don’t be surprised if it is Drew Butera].
Infielders (6): Daniel Murphy [Hopefully Matt Olson], Nolan Arenado, Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon, Trevor Story, Brendan Rodgers
Outfielders (5): Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl, Raimel Tapia, [Marcell Ozuna would be a luxury or just make our hearts not ache anymore and bring CarGo back. Even if it’s just to keep that club house together], [another backup outfielder, in the likes of a Gerardo Parra, Curtis Granderson, Jon Jay, Cameron Maybin, etc).