Prior to the start of the Colorado Rockies-San Diego Padres series in Denver on Monday, Padres manager Andy Green touted the Rockies’ clubhouse as one of the most stealthily dangerous in the National League.

“[The Rockies] are a very good club,” Green said. “I think when you look at them and the Diamondbacks, I think they come into the season two of the most underrated baseball clubs in the major leagues right now. They can hit up and down the lineup, they’re very good.”

The offense, generally a much greater threat at Coors Field, is not the only weapon in Colorado’s arsenal in this season’s infancy. In a complete U-turn from last season, the bullpen and starting rotation have greatly improved across the board, as Adam Ottavino has regained his edge post-Tommy John and Greg Holland, Antonio Senzatela, Kyle
Freeland and Mike Dunn are donning Rockies unis for the first time.

“The difference for me is the good, young pitching they’ve added to the team,” Green said. “You look at guys starting on days two and three, Freeland was really good in the start against the Dodgers. Senzatela looked really good in the start against the Brewers. They’re live arms. They’re guys that know how to pitch; they’re athletes.”

While that’s certainly been a bane to many of Colorado’s opponents thus far this season, as evidenced by its 5-2 record during week one, Green said he hopes his team can play into the Rockies’ newfound strength when his players step up to the batter’s box.

“They’re very good arms. It’s live-on relievers coming at you hard – fastball-slider combos pretty much up and down,” Green said. “They’re going to pitch aggressively, they’re going to attack the zone, they’re going to get you to change their slider. For us, the goal has been quite simple all year: force people into the strike zone, force people into our strength. The game forces that, and if you don’t allow that, you do something different. Our chasing has been our Achilles’ heel, so our ability to shrink the strike zone is going to make all the difference in the world.”

Either way, the Padres will have their work cut out for them this week in the Mile High City if they have any hope of claiming the series.

“It’s a good club,” Green said. “It’s going to be a real challenge for us here.”