|Opening Day is a time for excitement.|
The Colorado Rockies open their season in Miami against the Marlins on Monday night. They have their ace, Jorge De La Rosa on the mound, facing the reigning Rookie of the Year in the National League, Jose Fernandez.
Rockies fans had every reason to by cynical this winter. After years of struggle and failure, the club's ownership acted as if nothing was wrong and made no changes in the decision-making members of the club. Those who bleed purple and black, those who saw a window of opportunity in 2007 and 2009 that seemed to be putting the Rockies on the map. Instead, constant failure put the Rockies back into a familiar position the past few Septembers, playing meaningless baseball games.
The beauty of Opening Day is exactly when it is timed. It comes after a cold winter, right when the grass is pushing it's way through the ground and the weather is getting warmer. It's timing reminds us that we are about to have the greatest game in the world back for the next six months.
Opening Day is the day when baseball fans can throw away reality. They can look at the positives of their club instead of the negatives. They can be excited about the Double-A prospect who had a great spring training, and the depth that exists in the minors. It is a time when fans can look at a 0-0 record and figure that their team has as good of a chance as anybody else.
For the Rockies, fans can look at an improved starting rotation--even with Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood on the disabled list--and figure that there is a shot that they can be good enough to allow the offense to win games on it's own.
The addition of Brett Anderson seems like it may have been a steal for the Rockies. The lefty has ace stuff, and though he has dealt with injury, he has the potential to make the staff very good. With De La Rosa and Anderson, the Rockies rotation is very good. When Chacin and Chatwood return, the rotation is good enough to give the Rockies a chance.
If Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez stay healthy, and if Michael Cuddyer can resemble even close to the player that he was in 2013, the Rockies offense will score plenty of runs. Add in a potential 30-home run hitter in Wilin Rosario, production from Nolan Arenado with a year under his belt and a former MVP in Justin Morneau and Colorado's lineup is even better than it was a year ago, when they had one of the better offenses in baseball.
On top of the starting pitching and a healthy lineup, the Rockies boast two pitching prospects that could fill holes in the rotation if things don't go perfectly. Jon Gray and Eddie Butler walked into spring training with scouts impressed, when spring ended, everyone knew what they were talking about. If they can continue developing they could fill some holes that are left open if a starter goes down to injury.
Thinking the Rockies could be competitive in 2014 isn't just lip service. This team has a legitimate chance to turn some heads. They have the talent on both the offensive side and the pitching side. They have prospects to fill the gaps if need-be.
The beauty of Opening Day is that it is the time when fans can forget about the issues within an organization. It is a time when fans can forget the prior seasons and can focus on the future. It is a time when Rockies fans can put on the purple-colored glasses and root for their team again.
Opening Day is a time for excitement, and even with issues and past failures, the Rockies still give their fans a reason to hope.
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