Analysis: Some bold predictions here so let’s dive in.
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Yes, I think Jimenez gets the fifth starter role to begin the season. I think the Rockies are looking for some consistency in that five spot and they’re not going to get it to start the season with Jeff Hoffman, Peter Lambert, or Chi Chi Gonzalez. I believe Lambert and Gonzalez will start the season at Triple-A and the Rockies will finally pull the plug on Hoffman and DFA him rather than carry him into the season.
Do I think this rotation will stay intact the whole season? No, I think Lambert and Gonzalez will be a part of the rotation’s story before the season is over. Consistency has to come out of all parts of the rotation for the Rockies to have a shot at a winning campaign.
In the bullpen, the Rockies are backed into somewhat of a corner with high-priced veterans (Davis, McGee, and Shaw) and those players without options (Almonte, Diaz) as virtual locks for the roster.
However, like the offense, if Davis, McGee, and/or Shaw can bounce back from last season and Oberg can continue to be a force, the back end could be a plus. If Diaz and Estevez can harness their potential, it makes some of the veterans expendable if they can’t perform this season.
Pazos makes the roster as the only other left-hander in the bullpen besides McGee.
Note: We will update our predictions next week from Rockies spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz.