The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The Colorado Rockies roster and schedule:
ROCKIES ROSTER (projected)
When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.
In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Rockies roster to begin the season:
As always seems to be the case, the Rockies are going to hit the ball. Their offense starts and ends with five-time All-Star Nolan Arenado at third base. Last season, Arenado posted a .962 OPS, blasting 41 homers with 118 RBI. Not to be forgotten are Charlie Blackmon (32/86) and Trevor Story (35/85). Outside of these three, however, the Rockies didn’t get much production. They will need Daniel Murphy to hit like he used to, Raimel Tapia to take a step forward, and David Dahl to have a full, healthy season if they are going to compete for a Wild Card.
The top-four of the Rockies’ rotation is set, led by German Márquez and followed by Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, and Antonio Senzatela. Chi Chi González and Jeff Hoffman could both pitch out of the No. 5 spot. Márquez has tons of potential but is limited by his home ballpark, the most hitter-friendly in baseball. Last season, Márquez averaged exactly five strikeouts for each walk, but posted a 6.26 ERA at Coors Field and a 3.67 ERA everywhere else. The non-believers in Kyle Freeland were proven right last year. After posting a 2.85 ERA and finishing fourth in NL Cy Young balloting in 2018, Freeland followed up with an ugly 6.73 ERA while battling blister issues. Jon Gray had the opposite experience, bouncing back from a rough 2018 with a solid 2019. If everyone can get on the same page, this can actually be a solid 1-2-3 punch.
The Rockies’ bullpen has a lot of experience, but interestingly, its upside won’t come from closer Wade Davis. Rather, Carlos Estévez and Scott Oberg (who’s currently battling a back injury) represent the potential. While Davis posted an 8.65 ERA over 42 2/3 innings last season, Estévez and Oberg put up respective marks of 3.75 and 2.25 with good swing-and-miss stuff. One imagines the leash isn’t long for Davis. If he falters, Estévez or Oberg, or even Jairo Díaz could find themselves closing out ballgames.
Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.
- July 24-26: @ Rangers
- July 28-29: @ Athletics
- July 31-August 2: vs. Padres
- August 3-6: vs. Giants
- August 7-9: @ Mariners
- August 10-12: vs. Diamondbacks
- August 14-16: vs. Rangers
- August 17-18: @ Astros
- August 19-20: vs. Astros
- August 21-23: @ Dodgers
- August 24-27: @ Diamondbacks
- August 28-31: vs. Padres
- September 1-2: vs. Giants
- September 4-6: @ Dodgers
- September 7-9: @ Padres
- September 11-13: vs. Angels
- September 15-16: vs. Athletics
- September 17-20: vs. Dodgers
- September 21-24: @ Giants
- September 25-27: @ Diamondbacks