Ben Macaluso (@Ben_Macaluso)
Last year, I had a prediction that the Rockies would regress after their first back-to-back trips to the postseason. A bold prediction last year would have been to predict that the Rockies would backslide 20 games. I predicted they would be around .500 and maybe the record was around 83-79.
That number feels about right this year. They made zero significant changes and The Athletic ranked Colorado’s offseason only better than the Astros and Red Sox.
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I still think that the team wasn’t as bad as their record indicated in 2019. They had some brutal stretches, especially in April and July, but showed they could come together and rebound in September even when there was nothing to play for. I think that shows the true character of this team and they can rally much earlier and benefit from a few breaks this year.
I also think the pitching can’t be nearly as bad as last year and they find some of their groove back. Getting an even average Kyle Freeland this year will improve their record. My less than bold prediction is similar to last year that they will finish just under .500 at 80-82.
My bold prediction for the season doesn’t involve Nolan Arenado. It is seemingly less and less likely he will be with the club for the entire season and I predict a trade to happen at the end of July.
Murphy at least had a positive WAR at 0.2 last season but never really fully recovered from an early season fluke fractured finger injury. Before his 2018 and 2019 seasons, he had never finished below 1.0. Look for him to rebound this season.
Now seeing Desmond even with a positive WAR this year would be a substantial upgrade. Every year he has been in Denver, he has finished with a negative WAR (with his worst season coming last year). I predict this positive WAR will come with a changed mindset of his role with the team. Desmond is a tremendous presence in the clubhouse and, if he can become even more of a mentor coming off the bench and being a platoon player, he could benefit with less playing time.
That may be a stretch but these are bold predictions. Something has to change, right? That just might be the motto for the entire 2020 season.