With Colorado Rockies new and old reporting to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Monday, Spring Training is now officially in full swing. Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are a few of the players to return to the roster this year. After an eventful offseason of trades and signings, Ian Desmond, Mike Dunn and Greg Holland are eager to join the roster. The biggest surprise of the offseason signings though was that of Desmond.
Desmond signed a five-year, $70 million contract back in December. This is the biggest free-agent deal the Rockies have ever signed, and they had to give up their first round draft pick to do so. Although some fans are saying this is the worst transaction in the 2017 offseason, Manager Bud Black and GM Jeff Bridich are confident that Desmond will be fine.
Desmond, not a first baseman by trade, is naturally a shortstop. Last year he played left field and center field for the Texas Rangers, hitting .285 with 22 home runs and 86 RBIs in 156 games. Desmond is making daily strides to become more comfortable in his new position. He has been working on fine tuning his footwork and positioning at the plate according to Black. Teammate Nolan Arenado says that he brings a grinder’s mentality to the team and that he thinks it will be good for the team.
Desmond is excited to be able to play for the Rockies and that he gets to play with players that he thinks will be able to help him get better. He said he is working getting used to fielding with one hand and getting used to the angles at first base, which is the hardest part. He also said the most feedback he is getting from other first basemen is that he really needs to learn the angles.