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3 ROCKIES

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OVERALL RANK 8

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP COLORADO

You can put this offense up against any in the league. It's going to be dangerous.... When he gets back [from a broken hand], Ian Desmond will bring out-of-the-box thinking, a different dynamic to the team.... Nolan Arenado is as good as there is. The plays he makes on defense, I haven't seen in 30 years. He's continuing to grow offensively, too. He's got a way better two-strike approach than when he came into the league.... Trevor Story has a loud barrel. The power is always going to show up, but there are consistency issues. If you look in the minors, you see the history with strikeouts and errors.... DJ LeMahieu can manipulate the bat well. You could almost put an opposite shift on him. He has the ability to shoot the ball past first. With fastballs, he's content to get his hits to the opposite field. He's also underrated defensively.... Jon Gray is close. He has two top-of-the-scale pitches in his fastball and slider. He was electric at times down the stretch. That 16-strikeout game against the Padres last September was huge. He can grow into an ace.... I saw Tyler Chatwood throw at 91, 93. His secondary stuff isn't overwhelming, but he's got guts.... Jeff Hoffman can grow into a No. 2 type. He'll start, though, as the No. 4 or 5.... Antonio Senzatela is at 94--97, with a power breaking ball. He's pushing Hoffman and Germán Márquez. He was a rising star last year. Now he's a known name.... Adam Ottavino has looked good. He has nasty deception from a low slot. He could close for them.... This team has a chance to make things interesting. It'll probably finish third in the division.

MANAGER BUD BLACK

1ST SEASON WITH COLORADO

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

CF CHARLIE BLACKMON [BARGAIN]

L-L .324 .381 .552 4.4

2B DJ LEMAHIEU [BARGAIN]

R-R .348 .416 .495 5.2

3B NOLAN ARENADO [TEAM MVP] [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

R-R .294 .362 .570 6.5

RF CARLOS GONZÁLEZ

L-L .298 .350 .505 2.2

1B IAN DESMOND [NEW ACQUISITION] [INJURY RISK]

R-R .285 .335 .446 2.7

LF GERARDO PARRA [DECLINING]

L-L .253 .271 .399 -2.8

SS TREVOR STORY [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

R-R .272 .341 .567 3.1

C TONY WOLTERS

L-R .259 .327 .395 1.0

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

C TOM MURPHY [ROOKIE]

R-R .327 .361 .647 - [MINOR LEAGUE STATS]

IF MARK REYNOLDS [DECLINING]

R-R .282 .356 .450 1.5

UT ALEXI AMARISTA [NEW ACQUISITION]

L-R .257 .295 .271 -0.6

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

RH JON GRAY [BARGAIN] [RISING]

10--10 4.61 9.9 2.3

LH TYLER ANDERSON

5--6 3.54 7.8 3.5

RH TYLER CHATWOOD [DEFENSIVE STAR]

12--9 3.87 6.7 3.5

RH JEFF HOFFMAN [ROOKIE] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

6--9 4.02 9.4 - [MINOR LEAGUE STATS]

RH GERMÁN MÁRQUEZ [ROOKIE]

11--6 3.13 8.4 - [MINOR LEAGUE STATS]

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH GREG HOLLAND [NEW ACQUISITION] [INJURY RISK]

32 3.83 9.9 0.2 [2015 STATS]

RH ADAM OTTAVINO [BARGAIN]

7 2.67 11.7 1.0

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

*MINOR LEAGUE STATS

(R) ROOKIE

†2015 STATS

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

Injuries have eroded the Rockies' optimism this spring. Ian Desmond will miss at least a month with a broken left hand after he was hit by a pitch. Catcher Tom Murphy broke his right forearm and is out until May. Outfielder David Dahl, who raked as a rookie last year, has a rib injury that could cause him to miss Opening Day. It's time to reassess the plan for 2017. Rather than push for a wild-card slot, Colorado can take this chance to shop Carlos González and Charlie Blackmon again, in an effort to add to what could be one of the game's best homegrown corps in '18 and '19.

BOTTOM LINE

Despite some dispiriting injuries, the team's potent offense could pave the Rockies' road.