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Projecting the Colorado Rockies’ 2024 opening-day 26-man roster

With the Rockies’ season set to begin March 28 at Chase Field against the NL West rival D-Backs, here is The Post’s projection for Colorado’s opening-day 26-man roster, from the no-brainers to the bubble picks.


3B Ryan McMahon: After GM Bill Schmidt declared he wants McMahon to become more than just an “average player,” 2024 will be a big litmus test for RyMac. An uptick in power from last year’s 23 homers is possible, as is a better average (.240 in 2023), less strikeouts and more consistency at the hot corner.

2B Brendan Rodgers: Rodgers is still in purple pinstripes despite being the subject of trade rumors over the past couple of seasons, so the Rockies need the Gold Glove infielder to produce. Rodgers was limited to 46 games last year after tearing his labrum diving for a ball in spring training.

SS Ezequiel Tovar: After a promising rookie season in which Tovar slashed .253/.287/.408 with 15 homers in 153 games, showcasing his defensive prowess and durability, there are big expectations for the Venezuelan in 2024. If Colorado makes a leap, he would likely be one of the reasons why.

1B/3B/DH Elehuris Montero: The versatile, powerful corner infielder is out of options, and that works in his favor as a bubble candidate to make the opening-day roster. Montero has 17 homers across two partial seasons in the bigs, with a lot more untapped power in there, especially if he can cut down on K’s (111 in 85 games in ’23).


INF Alan Trejo: Trejo gives the club depth at shortstop, second base and third base, even if his bat is a little light (.243 average, nine homers over three partial seasons in Colorado). He played a career-high 83 games last year. A higher average and on-base percentage would help him stick around in the bigs.

1B/LF Kris Bryant: After missing extended time last season with lower-back and heel injuries, plus a fractured finger, Bryant’s played only 122 games in his first two seasons with the club. He’ll be playing primarily first base but will also play right field and be a designated hitter. The Rockies need more power from him after only 15 homers across ’22 and ’23.


LF Sean Bouchard: After appearing sparingly in the big leagues over the past two seasons (36 games), Bouchard appears primed for an expanded role this season. He has power potential, an on-base approach in the box and a low K rate. He’ll provide outfield and bench depth.

CF Brenton Doyle: Doyle’s speed and flash in the wide Coors Field outfield earned him a Gold Glove last year, becoming the first Rockie to accomplish that feat as a rookie since Nolan Arenado. He also can rack up stolen bases, but this season is about proving what he can do with the bat after hitting just .203 with 151 K’s in 2023.

CF Bradley Zimmer: After the Rockies traded for utility prospect Greg Jones on March 21, and correspondingly DFA’d Sam Hilliard, that cleared a roster spot for Zimmer. A first-round pick by Cleveland in 2014, Zimmer has a career slash line of .213/.298/.333, and the six-year MLB vet spent all of last season in the minors.

RF Nolan Jones: Colorado’s breakout star of 2023, Jones looks to continue that trajectory this summer. His range in left field improved throughout last summer and he proved he has one of the top outfield arms in baseball, in addition to base-stealing ability. If he builds upon his 20 homers last year, he could be an all-star.

RF/DH Charlie Blackmon: The Rockies re-signed the mainstay to a one-year, $13 million deal, setting Blackmon up for his 14th year in LoDo. Blackmon’s power has dropped off — he hit only eight homers last year — but he can still be a decent high-average hitter and a strong clubhouse presence. He turns 38 in July.


C Elias Díaz: Diaz turned in a monster 2023 campaign that saw him elected as the first all-star catcher in franchise history. While highly touted prospect Drew Romo waits in the wings, the Rockies hope to get another productive season out of Diaz after he hit .267 with 14 homers and 72 RBIs last year.

C Jacob Stallings: The Rockies signed Stallings, who previously played for the Marlins and Pirates, as Diaz’s backup. Stallings doesn’t have much power (24 career homers). His best season came in 2021, when he hit .246 with eight homers and 53 RBIs in 112 games for the Pirates.

Starting Rotation

LHP Kyle Freeland: The Thomas Jefferson High School graduate and opening day starter will need to be a pillar in the rotation as German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela work their way back from Tommy John surgery. Freeland got off to a dominant start in 2023 before tailing off, finishing with a 5.03 ERA in 29 starts.

RHP Cal Quantrill: The Rockies picked up Quantrill in a trade with the Guardians. He battled a sore shoulder for much of last year, posting a 5.24 ERA in 19 starts. But the Padres’ first-round pick in 2016 was 15-5 with a 3.38 ERA with the Guardians in ’22 and can pile up groundball outs if he stays healthy.

LHP Austin Gomber: After starting 2023 in the gutter, Gomber straightened out to post career highs in starts (27) and innings (139) while becoming the Rockies’ most reliable starter in the second half with a 3.86 ERA. Colorado needs that trend to continue and for Gomber to avoid back issues that nagged him in the past.

RHP Ryan Feltner: After getting hit in the head with a line drive last May and suffering a skull fracture, Feltner returned to post a 5.82 ERA in 10 starts. He has a big-league makeup and the pure stuff to make an impact in the rotation, but he’ll need to harness all that to achieve his potential in 2024.

RHP Dakota Hudson: After showing promise as a Cardinals youngster, Hudson’s time in St. Louis finished with a 4.98 ERA in 18 starts (12 games) last season. Like Quantrill, he was acquired with the idea that the veteran could help a bare-bones rotation, but had career-highs in WHIP (1.500) and HR/9 (9.7) last season.


RHP Peter Lambert: Though he’ll likely end up in the rotation at some point, Lambert’s also proven he can be effective out of the ‘pen, especially as a long reliever. After missing 2020 and most of ’22 due to injury, he’s fully healthy and posted a 5.36 ERA in 25 games (11 starts) last year.

RHP Tyler Kinley: Projected as a late-inning reliever, Kinley was nearly untouchable in 2022, posting a 0.75 ERA in 25 games before season-ending elbow surgery. His return came with speedbumps, as he had a 6.06 ERA in 18 games in ’23, and the Rockies hope he reverts to his 2022 self after a strong spring.

RHP Justin Lawrence: The hard-throwing sidewinder came into his own last year with a 3.72 ERA in 69 games, including 29 games finished and 11 saves. There were still blips of inconsistency, but he’s one of Colorado’s best bullpen arms, and remains the favorite to start the season as the closer.

RHP Anthony Molina: The Rockies took Molina in the Rule 5 draft in December, and he was a starter in the Rays organization over the past couple of years. In 2021, Molina posted a 4.37 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) for Triple-A Durham; for the Rockies, he projects as a high-powered, back-end bullpen piece.

LHP Evan Justice: Justice made his debut last year and struggled to a 8.59 ERA in nine outings, but the Rockies see potential, especially in a bullpen in need of effective southpaws. The 2021 fifth-round pick pitched well in Hartford last year, with a 3.38 ERA in 15 games. His big-league learning curve will continue this season.

LHP Jalen Beeks: With Lucas Gilbreath still on the mend from Tommy John surgery, Beeks projects as the Rockies’ best southpaw out of the pen. He spent most of his career with the Rays prior to this season, including a solid 2022 season in which he posted a 2.80 ERA in 42 games (seven starts).

RHP Jake Bird: Bird was a workhorse last season, appearing in 70 games and even starting three of them, with a 4.33 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He was a lot better on the road (2.82 ERA) than at home (5.84), and in the first half (3.42) than the second half (5.82). Consistency across the season is key.

RHP Nick Mears: Mears has a 5.81 career ERA over four seasons between the Pirates and Rockies, including a 5.68 ERA in seven appearances for Colorado last year. He’s done a good job limiting homers in his short time in the bigs, allowing just two in his career, and had a decent 2.67 K/BB rate last year.

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