With the holiday season wrapping up, we thought we’d make a wish list for the Colorado Rockies into the new year.
The Colorado Rockies are coming off of back-to-back playoff appearances, for the latest season advancing to the NLDS before bowing to the Milwaukee Brewers. It was a great season, one that saw Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu secure Gold Glove Awards. Silver Slugger trophies went to Arenado, Trevor Story and German Marquez.
The Rockies were late-inning warriors, pulling many of their games out after trailing. It was very entertaining to watch but ultimately led to their demise as their bats fell silent in the playoffs. So, what could a pretty successful team wish for?
Well, some small things for starters like health, happiness and continued success to Carlos Gonzalez. One of the if not THE greatest Rockies player of all time, CarGo is unlikely to return to the Rox for the 2019 campaign. If Gonzalez has truly taken his last swing in a Rockies uniform, we should count ourselves lucky to have been along for the ride.
Other players we should be prepared to say thank you and goodbye to include DJ LeMahieu, Matt Holliday (again) and Gerardo Parra. Adam Ottavino is also a free-agent but we’d like to believe that Jeff Bridich finds a way to keep the slider king in purple.
The big three wishes we have for the Colorado Rockies are:
Sign Nolan Arenado. There are just too many big teams with deep pockets out there to let Arenado hit free-agency. We mentioned above that CarGo might be the Rockies best player, historically but if Nolan stays for his whole career, he will take that mantle. Nolan is a postseason award magnet, winning gold gloves and silver sluggers every year. No less than Mike Schmidt, the Philadelphia Phillies great has labled him the best hitting third-baseman of all-time. For his part, Nolan disagrees, he’s not even sure he’s the best of this era. Humble but wrong, the numbers Arenado has put up speak for themselves. It is imperative for the Rockies future to secure Arenado long term. It’s going to cost a lot but the return is immesurable.
Figure out The Gray Wolf. Jon Gray had an inconsistent season. He had periods of dominance and periods where he couldn’t get out of the first inning. The Rox former first-round pick (3rd) is entering his fourth season in the Show. 2017 had injury issues, 2018 was marred by inconsistency. Our wish for Gray and the Rockies in 2019 is for him to find the groove that could propel him to the top of the NL starting pitcher ranks. The 6’4″ Oklahoma native certainly has the tools, using a fastball-slider combination to rack up big strikeout numbers. Like we’ve said, when it’s on, it is something to behold. Gray turned 27 this fall, the optimal age for an athlete and one in which the Wolf needs to break out. With Kyle Freeland coming off of a Cy Young-nominated campaign, it’s all-the-more important for Gray to re-establish himself.
Healthy Story. Of course the Colorado Rockies want all of their players to be healthy and productive. There’s one guy that we’d like to see a full season from and that is Trevor Story. While he missed just five games in 2018, Story was hobbled by a variety of injuries. He missed 65 games in 2016, 18 in 2017. Last season, his return from injury sparked an incredible offensive run for Story, including a three home-run game that boasted a MLB season-best 505-foot shot. We think Story could join Nolan Arenado as a perennial Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner. Story captured the Silver Slugger and an All-Star nod in 2018, who knows where the ceiling when he’s healthy.
Happy New Year everyone, see you at Spring Training!