Spring training is officially underway and we are one day closer to the Colorado Rockies 2020 season opener on March 26 in San Diego against the Padres.
Of course, I don’t need to catch you up on everything that has (Nolan Arenado vs. Jeff Bridich) and hasn’t (spending zero dollars on acquisitions, going the distance in arbitration with Tony Wolters, etc.) happened this offseason. While there has been little to talk about in terms of new faces or free agency, there has been plenty of analysis on why a franchise coming off a 71-91 mark believes it can absolutely turn things around in 2020.
What about you? Do you believe the Rockies can turn it around? That’s the question I asked to Rox Pile’s team of writers.
I asked each of our writers to give me (and subsequently, you) his projection for the upcoming season and also why he is picking the record he chose. I also asked each of the writers to give me one bold prediction for the upcoming season.
Since I asked each of Rox Pile’s writers to go out on a limb, it’s only fair I step out there first.
This year, I am predicting the Rockies will go 79-83. It’s an improvement over last year but will still feel like a disappointing season with all of the talent on this team.
So why a losing record? At this moment, I don’t have much faith at all that the back end of the rotation can be a strength or that a much-maligned trio of relievers (Wade Davis, Jake McGee, and Bryan Shaw) will bounce back from their poor showings last year. They may, as a unit, fare better than last season … but that’s not saying much.
Yes, I believe pitching will be the downfall of this team in 2020. I have faith that German Marquez will improve and Jon Gray will take the next step in his development. I also believe that Kyle Freeland will fall somewhere between his 2018 and 2019 numbers. After that, outside of a hopeful continuation of Chi Chi Gonzalez‘s September surge, I don’t know that I can say with a lot of confidence this team can get outs on a consistent basis in the opening and middle parts of the game.
My bold prediction? Jairo Diaz will develop into the Colorado closer as Davis falters early in the season. Scott Oberg will transition back into becoming the set-up man and will find success in that role. The duo will become a formidable one-two punch when the Rockies can hand them a late lead.