Goods news fellow lovers of our nation’s pastime. You just made it through the last weekend without major league baseball teams playing each other in some capacity until after the World Series concludes. Despite the 30-40 inches of snow sitting on the ground outside my window (I can’t even tell exactly how much is out there anymore), we’re just a touch over a month away from opening day and only days away from all 30 teams getting spring training games underway.
Everybody rejoice!!!
First order of business, the Rockies made a little move yesterday. As discussed in Eric Garcia McKinley’s post,┬áthe Rockies added John Axford to the 40 man roster and placed Tyler Chatwood on the 60 day disabled list. As Sage pointed out in the comments, this purchase came long before the Rockies had to make the move, and considering it’s going to cost the club over $2 million no matter what now, we can probably glean information from the transaction.

Here’s the three most likely reasons Sage points to:

1. The Rockies are simply already super impressed with Axford’s work so far and have pretty much given him a spot.2. Axford has a really unusual out clause that allowed him to leave near the beginning of Spring Training instead of the usual last week or so.3. Axford hasn’t necessarily made the team yet but the Rockies are willing to pay that money to keep him in their system no matter what.

If this is a sign of Axford breaking camp on the 25 man roster, the bullpen is already taking shape. LaTroy Hawkins, Boone Logan, Rex Brothers, Adam Ottavino, and Tommy Kahnle are all likely to be in the mix, and if you add in Axford you’re already up to six guys.
Assuming the Rockies go with a seven man pen (they’ve flirted with eight guys from time to time), that leaves just one open spot for the likes of Brooks Brown, Yohan Flande, Christian Friedrich, Jorge Rondon, Jairo Diaz, Chris Rusin, and potentially David Hale depending on what role (starter or reliever) the Rockies decide to slot him into.
Another story line to watch here is the battle of the lefties. If Rex Brothers doesn’t figure out the demons that wrecked his 2014 campaign fast, he might be off the 25 man roster very early in 2015 with all the southpaws sitting in line behind him.

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