Weekly Updated: Roster Projections -- Bullpen Remains a Focal Point
The next two weeks will lead up to decision time. Teams will pretty much have their rosters lined up for the regular season by March 21. The season opens five days later, and that time will be spent fine tuning the alignment of rotations, bullpens and batting orders.
The biggest challenges facing the Rockies are on the pitching staff -- the fifth starter in the rotation, and what to do with the bullpen. Do they keep the veterans on guaranteed contracts -- Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw both have $9 million guarantees -- or do they eat the contracts if they can't work a trade and go with the younger arms coming up through the farm system?
Peter Lambert and Chi Chi Gonzalez, the two leading candidates for the fifth starter spot, both have options. Jeff Hoffman, however, is out of options. If he doesn't make the rotation, do the Rockies stash him in the bullpen, trade him, or take a chance of putting him through waivers to go to the minor leagues?