Colorado Rockies: The surprises within 2020’s Opening Day roster

The Colorado Rockies released their Opening Day 30-man roster for the 2020 season on Thursday morning and it included a few surprises.

With the Colorado Rockies having 30 players on this year’s Opening Day roster, there was a possibility of some surprise moves. The announcement certainly provided those. However, before we dissect some of the names and reasons why they were or were not on the roster, here is the complete roster who will be available on Friday for the season-opener in Arlington against the Texas Rangers.

As a note, we missed two names from the list below on our recent 30-man roster projection.

Right-handed pitchers (12): Yency Almonte, Daniel Bard, Wade Davis, Jairo Díaz, Carlos Estévez, Chi Chi González, Ashton Goudeau, Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman, Tyler Kinley, Germán Márquez, Antonio Senzatela

Left-handed pitchers (3): Phillip Diehl, Kyle Freeland, James Pazos

Catchers (3): Drew Butera, Elias Díaz, Tony Wolters

Infielders (7): Nolan Arenado, Josh Fuentes, Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon, Daniel Murphy, Chris Owings, Trevor Story

Outfielders (5): Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl, Sam Hilliard, Matt Kemp, Raimel Tapia

Let’s start with a look at some of the names on the list who might be a bit of a surprise.

That begins with the Rockies carrying three catchers to start the season. One will likely fall off when the roster has to sliced to 28 players in two weeks, but having Wolters, Butera, and Díaz available gives the Rockies the ability to play the “hot hand” at the plate. Lately that has certainly been Butera, who went 2-for-3 with 4 RBI in Wednesday’s exhibition finale against Texas.

Colorado manager Bud Black said that Butera’s ability to also play first base did not factor into the decision to have three catchers, so Black, even with the designated hitter, will have plenty of options for pinch-hitting and substituting in behind the dish if needed.

Making the Opening Day roster for the first time is Goudeau, who impressed in his Tuesday night start in Texas. He’s riding a roll on the mound ever since last season at Double-A Hartford and the Rockies are liking what they are seeing from the 27-year-old rookie.

Top prospect Brendan Rodgers not being included on the Opening Day roster could well be a sign that the infielder still has some work to do in his development (along with continuing to gather strength after last year’s labrum surgery), as well as the versatility provided by Hampson and Owings could have squeezed Rodgers into the satellite camp to open the campaign. Rest assured that Rodgers will likely play a role for the team this season. However, it won’t be on Friday.

Rodgers was not named as part of the three-man taxi squad, which will include right-handers Ryan Castellani and Joe Harvey, as well as catcher Dom Nuñez. Castellani and Goudeau were part of Colorado’s Arizona Fall League team last year and the 24-year-old participated in his first Major League spring training this year as well after recovering from elbow surgery to clean up some bone fragments. Harvey and Nuñez saw limited time with the Rockies last season.

Next: What jumped out to us about Colorado's 2020 schedule

Also, there was a surprise on the injury front with the news that right-hander Peter Lambert has undergone Tommy John surgery. Lambert was dealing with what was termed a forearm injury since spring, which had slowed his progress. However, the 23-year-old right-hander, who made 19 starts for Colorado last season, will now officially miss the 2020 season.

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