The Miami Marlins will open the 2019 campaign against their natural enemy and expansion cousin, the Colorado Rockies.
Just because the Miami Marlins and the Rockies are enemies, doesn’t mean that Marlin Maniac is at odds with RoxPile. I got to ask resident Colorado Rockies expert Kevin Henry a little bit about the Rockies in anticipation of the season-opening series. All block quotes in this article are courtesy of Kevin Henry, co-expert over at Rox Pile.
Over the last five weeks of Spring Training, we’ve become conversant with the Miami Marlins Opening Day rotation, but are sadly ignorant about what’s going on around the rest of the National League. What can we expect from the four starters we’re about to see?
"Kyle Freeland and German Marquez both have Cy Young aspirations this season. No, I’m not kidding when I say that. Freeland finished fourth in the Cy Young balloting last season and he and Marquez are both young arms with plenty of room for improvement. Both were keys to Colorado’s run to the NLDS last season and they both believe the Rox can go deeper in 2019 … but a lot of that rides on their arms."
"After that, it gets interesting. Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson both have been inconsistent and Anderson has struggled again with the home run ball in spring training after tying for the NL lead in homers allowed in 2018. Gray was Colorado’s Opening Day starter last season, then was shipping to Triple-A in May and left off the postseason roster after a rough performance in a game against the Nationals at Coors Field that could’ve given the Rockies the NL West title. He comes into this season with a better outlook mentally and a lot more muscle on his frame. If he can solidify the rotation behind Freeland Marquez, this could be a special season."
We’re looking at the second season of a rebuild here under Jeter & Co. What is the mood in Rockies Country regarding the 2019 season?
"In a word, excitement. The Rockies lost Game 163 to the Dodgers last season for the NL West title and many believe this could be the season the Rox win their first-ever NL West crown. Nolan Arenado is signed long-term and the rotation could be the best in franchise history. Add in Daniel Murphy to help the offense and Trevor Story’s maturation at the plate and in the field and there is a thought that this could be a magical season in Denver.Of course, the Rockies will need to stay healthy and the pitching will have to stay at the high level we saw from last season. There are question marks in the bullpen with Adam Ottavino‘s departure and if young players like Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson and David Dahl can contribute in big ways. If it all comes together, very good things will happen.Many are predicting the Rockies to only win 81 or 82 games this season. We’re taking the over on that bet, if we’re in Vegas any time soon."
What’s your thoughts on the departure of Carlos Gonzalez?
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"CarGo’s attitude in the locker room will be missed and he’ll go down as one of the best players to ever don a Rockies uniform. However, the franchise was ready to give David Dahl and Raimel Tapia a chance in the outfield and that meant that Gerardo Parra and CarGo were expendable.There is no sweeter swing in the game than CarGo when he barrels a baseball. Unfortunately, that was becoming fewer and fewer times in the season.We hope he thrives in Cleveland but we’re very excited to see what Dahl and Tapia can do when given a chance in the outfield and at the plate."
We’d like to thank Kevin for his insight into what makes the Colorado Rockies tick, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to root for the Miami Marlins to sweep those purple clad numbskulls. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep up with the Miami Marlins.