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Official Colorado Rockies Spring Training Predictions

March 3rd, 2015 at 9:59 PM
By Joe Lemere

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The Cactus League begins play Wednesday, and the Colorado Rockies kick things off with a game against their Salt River Fields training partners, the Arizona Diamondbacks. With actual baseball games upon us, let's make some wild guesses with very little reasoning behind them. In other words, it's time for some official spring training predictions.

Jon Gray will struggle at first, then impress

Even in spring training, making your Major League debut is still one heck of an experience. Because of that, and the generally low expectations for Gray this spring, his first couple of outings may not be all that impressive. Once in the flow of things, though, his talent will shine through and he'll impress coaching staff and fans alike.

No major injuries will occur

Fingers crossed, right? There will be guys who get banged up every spring training as they get back into baseball shape, but the injury that causes someone to miss extended time won't happen this go round. But, as the intro said, there's little reasoning for thinking this.

Carlos Gonzalez will have a huge Cactus League

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Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez Take Important First Steps in Returns

March 2nd, 2015 at 10:52 PM
By Joe Lemere

For the second day in a row, there is good news coming out of spring training for the Colorado Rockies. And since spring training is a time for optimism all over baseball, let's touch on the biggest source of pessimism for Rockies fans — injuries. The two biggest injuries last year were to Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, but the pair of them made an important stride back to health on Monday.

Both of the players ran the bases. Yes, I know that isn't as exciting or as important as, well, pretty much anything else baseball related, but the big thing to remember is that it is baseball related. First steps are always small, but that doesn't make them any less monumental. And if the Rockies have any hope of even trying to compete this season, the returns of Tulo and CarGo are surely monumental.

The good news isn't actually the two of them aimlessly rounding the bases; the good news is that both players reported no problems after aimlessly rounding the bases. The importance of these two players to the Rox cannot be overstated. While CarGo wouldn't be as big a blow as Tulo missing a part of yet another season, neither are really replaceable.

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John Axford May Be the Key to the Colorado Rockies Bullpen

March 1st, 2015 at 10:27 PM
By Joe Lemere

Usually no news is good news out of spring training. This is especially true of the Colorado Rockies, where news means that someone was injured more often than not. The news out of Scottsdale could actually be good news, though. Newly signed relief pitcher John Axford was added to the 40-man roster in place of starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood, who was added to the 60-day DL and may stay there for some time. This roster move may seem insignificant, but it boosts the chances of Axford making the squad and that could be a good thing for the Rockies bullpen, and thus the Rockies.

Axford doesn't have the greatest statistics in the world, though his numbers at Coors Field are actually decent. In his 14 career games played at 20th and Blake, he has a 1-1 record with a 4.05 ERA and 2.67 K/BB ratio. The Rox didn't go after Axford this offseason for stats, though, they think he can be a LaTroy Hawkins type player for the team. If he can provide leadership and consistency out of the 'pen, they'll get their money's worth.

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Colorado Rockies Addressing Unfinished Offseason Business

February 28th, 2015 at 4:13 PM
By Joe Lemere

The Colorado Rockies, by all accounts, had a poor offseason. There is no doubt that they had plenty of opportunities to make a big move to drastically alter the fate of the team, but the decision makers proved to be too timid and lacking in creativity to do such. But, according to the Denver Post's Patrick Saunders, the Rockies are looking to trade either Wilin Rosario or Michael McKenry before the start of the season. This trade should have taken place months ago, but is it a case of better late than never?

Since any potential deal involving either catcher would take place during spring training not the offseason, the possible return on any deal will not be what the team is looking for. Whereas they may have gotten a player in return that could contribute immediately at the big league, now they most likely won't get anything close to that.

Manager Walt Weiss seems hesitant to have three 25-man roster spots designated for catchers, so one — most likely Michael McKenry — will start the season in AAA if no trade is pulled off before opening day. The thing is, though, the Rockies knew there would be a logjam at catcher as soon as they starting going after Nick Hundley, but they still did nothing to ease that jam.

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Colorado Rockies Bounce Back Candidates: Position Players

February 27th, 2015 at 4:21 PM
By Joe Lemere

The first full squad workouts of spring training are in the books for the Colorado Rockies. Pitchers and catchers reported last week, but now all players with spring invites are in Scottsdale. Position players don't have as long a way to bounce back as the pitching staff, but there are still a few guys out there who could really use a good season in 2015.

Injuries played a mighty substantial role in how poorly the previous season went for the Rockies. Studs like Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado missed bug chunks of the season, and all that will be needed for them to bounce back is health. Easier said than done for those guys, though.

The first individual player in need of a bounce back campaign was actually an All-Star last season. Charlie Blackmon proved to be the best leadoff hitter in baseball last season, but he was down in the dregs in the second half. He hit .264 with five home runs and 20 RBI after the break last season. His average was 41 points lower than the first half, his homers down nine and RBI down 32. If his 2015 is like the first half of last year, look out opposing pitchers.

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