SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A lot has changed since the last round of Rockies' Opening Day roster predictions.
Three key pieces — Brendan Rodgers, Lucas Gilbreath and Sean Bouchard — are now injured and potentially out for the rest of the season. Others — like Randal Grichuk, Jake Bird and Gavin Hallowell — are on the comeback trail but it's still not known if they'll be ready for Opening Day.
With two weeks to go until Colorado opens the season in San Diego on March 30, here's where things currently stand:
Starters: Germán Márquez, Kyle Freeland, Austin Gomber, José Ureña, Ryan Feltner
Injured: Antonio Senzatela (ACL, expected return: May), Ryan Rolison (shoulder surgery, expected return: May)
Nothing has changed here since the last round of roster predictions. These five are still set to go, with Peter Lambert, Connor Seabold and Noah Davis likely heading to Triple-A as depth pieces. Senzatela should take his spot back when he is healthy.
Bullpen: Daniel Bard, Dinelson Lamet, Brent Suter, Brad Hand, Justin Lawrence, Pierce Johnson, Ty Blach, Logan Allen
Injured: Tyler Kinley (elbow, expected return mid-season), Jake Bird (oblique, expected return soon), Gavin Hallowell (back, expected return soon), Lucas Gilbreath (Tommy John, out for season)
And this is where things get complicated. The first six spots are set, but the last two are pretty open still. If Bird is healthy, he'll be on the team. Hallowell also has a shot if he can get enough innings in. Both will be cutting it pretty close for Opening Day, but aren't expected to be far behind if they aren't ready for March 30. Seabold, acquired from the Red Sox in the offseason, has been primarily a starter but is also under consideration for the bullpen. They are still evaluating, though, if he'll be able to make the transition to a new role. Davis could also make the team has a long reliever role. The last two weeks will be very interesting for this group.
Catchers: Elias Díaz, Brian Serven
The duo will be back for another season, with Díaz as the starter and Serven backing him up.
Infielders: CJ Cron (1B/DH), Ryan McMahon (2B), Ezequiel Tovar (SS), Alan Trejo (2B/SS/3B), Mike Moustakas (1B/3B), Elehuris Montero (1B/3B)
Injured: Brendan Rodgers (shoulder, likely out for season)
Rodgers' injury has forced the Rockies to do some shifting. McMahon is back to second, a position he held earlier in his career when Nolan Arenado had ownership of third. The Rockies are impressed with Montero's defensive progress and intend to give him a shot at third. Moustakas, a left-handed hitter who was signed to a minor league deal, has shown well in camp and will also get some reps on the corners and in a designated hitter role.
Outfielders: Charlie Blackmon (RF/DH), Kris Bryant (LF/DH), Yonathan Daza (LF/CF/RF), Nolan Jones (RF/3B), Harold Castro (UTL)
Injured: Randal Grichuk (sports hernia surgery, expected return April), Sean Bouchard (bicep, likely out for season)
Grichuk has ramped up activity but a return in time for Opening Day will be cutting it pretty close. Castro makes the team because of his versatility, while Jones, once a top prospect in Cleveland's system, makes it because of his potential. Michael Toglia is also in contention for an outfield spot and has started to show some power at the plate recently.