With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com takes a look at a different aspect of this year's Rockies squad each day this week. Today's topic: Predicting the 25-man roster.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's time to predict the Rockies' 2017 roster, but keep in mind this is fun. The first muscle pull or "dead arm" issue or, heaven forbid, injury that costs part or even all of the regular season, renders this out of date. That's when this goes from a pre-Spring Training exercise to a challenge for new manager Bud Black.
Also, this time last year, no one was sure about shortstop Trevor Story. All he did was set records throughout April and -- although a left thumb injury limited him to 97 games -- finish with a National League-rookie record of 27 home runs.
First base (2):Ian Desmond, Mark Reynolds
Desmond begins the first phase of a five-year, $70 million contract by seeing how a crash course at first pays off, after years at shortstop with the Nationals and last season in the outfield with the Rangers. Who knows if he'll stay as the years go by. Reynolds, last year's regular at first, has value because he's a righty bat who last year hit righty pitchers -- meaning he's an option against closers -- and can play the infield and outfield corners. Their presence gives potential power-hitting corner infielder Ryan McMahon time.
Second base (1):DJ LeMahieu
He'll follow up on a last season's batting title and years of solid defense.
Shortstop (1): Story
Not only did he hit, but he finished with an above-average 4 defensive runs saved in 823 defensive innings.
Utility (1):Alexi Amarista
With the Padres last season, Amarista did not take off when given a shot at the shortstop role. But he handled the middle of the infield and outfield with range as a utility man. His left-handed-hitting presence puts the squeeze on switch-hitting Cristhian Adames, who is out of Minor League options. Righty-hitting Pat Valaika offers depth, and has all his options.