Rockies fan favourite DJ LeMahieu is now a New York Yankee, having agreed to a two-year, $24 million contract on Friday. He’s going to face a brand new sort of strain when he performs within the Large Apple.
However right here in Denver, another individuals are additionally going to really feel the squeeze. Both Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson or Brendan Rodgers, all candidates to exchange LeMahieu at second base, are going to have to supply massive time if the Rockies are going to make it to the postseason for his or her third season in a row.
And you understand who else is on the recent seat? Basic supervisor Jeff Bridich.
Final season, LeMahieu advised me repeatedly that he needed to return to Colorado. Nevertheless, Bridich and his entrance workplace determined to let LeMahieu take a look at free company, selecting to go along with the promise of youth and spend proprietor Dick Monfort‘s cash in different methods.
To date, the Rockies’ solely main offseason transfer has been to signal veteran, slugging infielder Daniel Murphy to a two-year, $24 million deal to play first base. That’s the identical deal the Yankees gave LeMahieu. So you possibly can add Murphy to the strain cooker.
McMahon, Hampson and Rodgers have a mixed 132 video games and 240 at-bats on the big-league stage. Rodgers, the membership’s high prospect, has but to make his major-league debut.
The Rockies are asking quite a bit from their baby-faced trio. They need to exchange LeMahieu, who’s a two-time all-star, a three-time Gold Glove winner, the 2016 Nationwide League batting champ and the perfect second baseman in Rockies historical past. He’s been a rock within the lineup. LeMahieu’s 877 video games at second (849 begins) have been greater than twice as many as the subsequent participant — Eric Younger (413; 389 begins).
And, oh sure, LeMahieu was one of many most-respected and well-like gamers within the Rockies clubhouse.
That is no knock on the youngsters, however they’ve a variety of show for a workforce that’s on the file saying that its objective is nothing lower than the World Collection.
McMahon,24, hit .232 with 5 residence runs and 19 RBIs in 91 video games as a rookie final season. It wasn’t till later within the season, when he started tweaking his lengthy swing, that he earned the belief of supervisor Bud Black.
Garrett Hampson, 24, confirmed wonderful pace on the bases and a variety of maturity throughout spring coaching final yr. He hit .275 in 40 at-bats in his big-league debut. Rodgers, 22, a first-round select of highschool in 2015, superior to Triple-A Albuquerque final season, however hamstring and shoulder accidents value him an opportunity to make his big-league debut.
Throughout final month’s winter conferences, Bridich expressed confidence that the Rockies can fill the void at second base.
“It’s troublesome to say (what’s going to occur) proper now, as a result of none of these guys have a ton of expertise on the major-league stage, (however) they’re athletically all in a position to do it, and do it effectively,” he stated. “They’re all completely different than the incumbent, and the incumbent is completely different than commonest second basemen. He does issues that match him due to his massive physique and his pure instincts.
“Perhaps we have now to place in a different way or we’re going to have to determine what these guys are going to do effectively defensively if they’re the individuals which can be going to be manning the place. We’ll should learn to greatest try this.”
And do it beneath strain.