There are teams we see so often during a season we feel like we know them almost as well as the one we cheer for. The players and the lineup become familiar, and we quickly latch on to villains — anyone who is especially good at hitting home runs against the Tigers — and plucky guys you find it difficult to hate.
Things get a bit more interesting with interleague play when we see clubs that the Tigers only face every couple of years, and we don’t know as well. That’s especially true following offseason shakeups to many major league rosters. So with the Rockies coming to town this weekend, we wanted to ask the pros at Purple Row to give us a little insight into this new-ish Rockies lineup. Mac Wilcox was kind enough to answer a few of our burning questions.
BYB: We’re now over two weeks into the new season and things are starting to take shape, in your opinion how are the 2022 Rockies looking?
PR: Not bad! 8-4 is a solid start to the season, especially for a team that wasn’t expected for much.
BYB: Which player has surprised you most, either for good or bad?
PR: C.J. Cron is off to a blistering start, leading the MLB with six home runs. The Rockies’ bullpen has also been a high point, as they’ve consistently (barring a recent rough game on Wednesday) shut down opposing lineups this season. On the other hand, Brendan Rodgers is off to a very slow start as he’s currently hitting .095, having struck out 16 times in 42 at-bats.
BYB: Possibly on the same note, but which of the Rockies’ offseason pickups is shaping up to be the best (looks in Kris Bryant’s direction hopefully), and who do you perhaps wish they’d gotten that they didn’t?
PR: Kris is looking strong out of the gate thus far. He’s hitting .349 with four doubles and four RBI, and has shown himself to be a strong presence at the top of the lineup.
BYB: The Tigers don’t see the Rockies often, are there any fun inside jokes we should keep an eye on in the dugout, or is the team still finding its footing with the fresh faces?
PR: Not as yet, really. The new-look Rockies appear to still be getting to know each other and aside from Rockies’ fans own inside jokes and memes, the team itself doesn’t appear to have made any new ones just yet.
BYB: Are there any hot prospects waiting in Triple-A that you’re most excited to see this year?
PR: Definitely. Ryan Rolison is currently on the 60-day IL with shoulder issues, but should appear in the bigs this season once that’s cleared up. Elehuris Montero and Ezequiel Tovar impressed many in Spring Training, and seem primed for their major league debut shortly.
BYB: If you had to place a bet right now, which Rockies will be repping the team in the All-Star Game in July?
PR: Gotta be C.J. Cron. He’s taken many a trip to the “Cron Zone” to open the season, and if the season were to end today you’d have to consider him in the MVP conversation!
BYB: Which Tigers player do you think will be the biggest thorn in the Rox side this weekend?
The obvious answer is Miggy and his final hurdle to 3000 hits. Other than Cabrera, Javier Báez could return to Detroit’s lineup as early as Saturday if the swelling in his thumb subsides. His is an impact bat, and one the Rockies would do well to avoid.
Huge thanks to Mac for taking the time to chat with us. If you want to read more of his work head over to Purple Row!