Diving into the depths: Colorado Rockies

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Colorado Rockies
Rotation
1. Ubaldo Jimenez
2. Aaron Cook
3. Jorge De La Rosa
4. Jason Hammel
5. Jeff Francis
6. Jhoulys Chacin
7. Greg Smith
8. Tim Redding
9. Franklin Morales
10. Greg Reynolds
11. Samuel Deduno
12. Chaz Roe
13. Christian Freidrich
Colorado’s rotation is a strength, even though neither De La Rosa nor Hammel can be counted on to be as effective again. I really like the depth. If Chacin’s command improves a bit, he’ll fit in nicely as an injury replacement, and Smith, who was effective for the A’s as a rookie in 2008 before arriving in the Matt Holliday trade and missing most of last year, could prove to be pretty good insurance.
Bullpen
1. Huston Street
2. Rafael Betancourt
3. Manuel Corpas
4. Franklin Morales
5. Matt Daley
6. Matt Belisle
7. Juan Rincon
8. Tim Redding
9. Justin Speier
10. Jhoulys Chacin
11. Randy Flores
12. Casey Weathers
13. Jimmy Gobble
14. Shane Lindsay
15. Al Albuquerque
16. Esmil Rogers
The Rockies made an attempt to sign free agent Kevin Gregg, but they should be OK as is in the bullpen. Five spots appear to be locked up, and there are plenty of veterans around to battle for the two openings. Plus, Taylor Buchholz could return from Tommy John surgery in June.


Catcher
1. Chris Iannetta
2. Miguel Olivo
3. Paul Phillips
4. Paul Lo Duca
5. Michael McKenry
First base
1. Todd Helton
2. Jason Giambi
3. Brad Hawpe
4. Ian Stewart
Second base
1. Clint Barmes
2. Melvin Mora
3. Eric Young Jr.
4. Omar Quintanilla
Third base
1. Ian Stewart
2. Melvin Mora
3. Omar Quintanilla
4. Jonathan Herrera
Shortstop
1. Troy Tulowitzki
2. Clint Barmes
3. Jonathan Herrera
4. Omar Quintanilla
Mora was an interesting choice as the new utilityman, given that he’s 38 and he hasn’t started a game at a position other than third base since 2003. Still, he’s a nice complement to Stewart, and the Rockies do have the option of going to Barmes at shortstop in the event of an injury to Tulowitzki. If that happens, they’d probably be better off with Young at second than with Mora.
Left field
1. Carlos Gonzalez
2. Seth Smith
3. Ryan Spilborghs
4. Eric Young Jr.
5. Jay Payton
6. Matt Miller
Center field
1. Dexter Fowler
2. Carlos Gonzalez
3. Ryan Spilborghs
4. Eric Young Jr.
5. Jay Payton
Right field
1. Brad Hawpe
2. Ryan Spilborghs
3. Carlos Gonzalez
Rather than trade Hawpe or Spilborghs, the Rockies opted to keep all five of their outfielders. My suspicion is that the Rockies would be better off with Gonzalez in center and Smith in left against right-handers, but Smith will probably take a backseat initially. They’ll probably go with a bench of Smith, Spilborghs, Olivo, Mora and a second utilityman. Quintanilla could be the choice, since the Rockies won’t want to carry someone who would be better off getting at-bats in Triple-A.

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

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Tigers’ center fielder Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching, according to comments made by manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday. Gose is poised to start the year in Triple-A Toledo after receiving a midseason demotion to Double-A last summer following an altercation with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon.

While the experiment won’t detract from Gose’s outfield work in Triple-A, the 26-year-old is expected to take on additional bullpen sessions throughout the year. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the left-handed hitter last took the mound in high school, where his fastball was clocked as fast as 97 m.p.h. Gose ultimately rejected the idea of starting his professional career as a pitcher, despite receiving favorable assessments from scouts.

Ausmus said the idea first surfaced at the end of the 2016 season. It appears to be a fallback option for the outfielder, who has struggled at the plate over his five-year career in the majors. Via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Doolittle in Oakland did it and he was in the big leagues a couple of years later,” Ausmus said. “It’s going to take some time. He’s going to have to be a sponge and catch up on experience fast. But we feel it’s worth investigating.

Stephen Strasburg is the Nationals’ Opening Day starter

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Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the club on Opening Day, manager Dusty Baker said on Sunday. The news is hardly surprising given Max Scherzer’s questionable status this spring, though it had yet to be confirmed by the club.

Strasburg is approaching his eighth run with the club in 2017. He went 15-4 in 2016, finishing the year with a 3.60 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 in 147 2/3 innings. This will mark his fourth Opening Day assignment with the Nationals.

Scherzer, the Nationals’ Opening Day starter in both 2015 and 2016, is scheduled to make his season debut sometime during the first week of the season. The right-hander is expected to take things more slowly this spring as he finishes rehabbing a stress fracture in his finger.

The Nationals will open their season against the Marlins on April 3.