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The Colorado Rockies and Their 2020 Outlook: Stocking Stuffer
The good news is I think last year is as bad as it gets with this roster. You saw a blister that derailed Freeland’s entire season and threw the rotation completely out of funk. You saw some growth out of younger guys in the bullpen (Diaz, Estevez) and Oberg got his extension, but you saw the implosion of Wade Davis and anyone else besides Diaz/Estevez/Oberg who took the mound late in the game. You saw Murphy hit well for a short stretch but then crumble apart after that. You saw the entire team forget how to hit in the months of April and July.
There’s no mincing it up: 2019 was pretty terrible overall.
But 2019’s conceivably their floor. This roster had a Winning Percentage of .574 in the months of May and June and is capable of performing at a high level (a season long record with that type of winning would have put them at 93-69) . The flipside, though, is this same roster had a Winning Percentage of .370 outside of May and June with a larger sample size (would be a season long record of 60-102).
The optimist in me tells me that they’re likely closer to being a competitive team than they are being a potential 100 loss team, but not enough to the point where the current roster is likely to get over the hill and be a threat in the playoffs.
We’re going to see another stretch of banking on the young guys to produce. There’s worthy talent with Dahl and McMahon to continue their stay in the starting lineup and Sam Hilliard‘s time in the majors last year was extremely promising. Rodgers will likely get another chance to prove himself worthy this season and hopefully last year’s struggles change him for the better.
We should also see a decent bounce-back on the mound from Freeland and ideally Daniel Murphy will get back to his normal self at the plate and hit with a wRC+ around 110 like he did in 2018 instead of his underwhelming 86 in 2019. Another solid bat and arm, both of which are already on the roster, would greatly benefit the Rockies.
We’ve gotta keep expectations in mind, though. I’m not in line with the Front Office’s thinking that this team can honestly compete in the postseason, but I do think they’ll rebound back into being a team that can compete for a Wild Card. I don’t think they’ll necessarily win it, but I’d expect that they’ll at least be in consideration for one late in the season.
Currently, I project a record around 84-78 for the Rockies in 2020 with the roster that’s presently constituted. It won’t be anything overwhelming, but the Rockies should at least have a lot fewer moments where they appear to be the most incompetent team in the National League that isn’t deliberately trying to tank. They still need to make moves that truly improve them, but picturing them being around .500 shouldn’t be out of the question.
With that said, Happy Holidays to everyone out there and may Chuck Nazty Claus bring you everything you asked for!