The Colorado Rockies will, for the third straight season, field largely the same team when they take the field at Coors Field against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 1.
However, for the first time since 2013, that Opening Day lineup will not feature Nolan Arenado penciled in at third base. (Trivia: Can you name the Rockies last three Opening Day third basemen before Arenado? Answers: Chris Nelson, Ty Wigginton, and Ian Stewart.)
Other than him and Ian Desmond, who announced on Sunday that he is opting out of the 2021 season “for now”, the team is, by and large, the same. After all, the Rockies have not signed an MLB free agent to a guaranteed contract in both of the last two offseasons.
So, here are our predictions on who will make the Rockies MLB team on Opening Day.
Rockies catchers (2): Elias Diaz and Dom Nunez
One of the Rockies other bigger moves this offseason is non-tendering Tony Wolters. Wolters was well below league average at the plate and average, at best, defensively, by the numbers so that move wasn’t completely unforeseen. The Pirates signed him to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training.
So, in a sense, he and Elias Diaz traded places as Diaz was with the Pirates before the shortened 2020 season. He looks like he will be the Rockies primary catcher. Both defensively and offensively, he has seen mixed results but in 2020, in limited playing time, he was about league average defensively and well below league average offensively, but he was still the Rockies best offensive catcher.
Nunez didn’t see any playing time in 2020 with no minor league season and the Rockies having three catchers last year. He spent the entire season on the team’s “taxi squad”