SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies will start 2018 with a lineup quite similar to the one they went with in '17. That's not bad, considering the Rockies made their first postseason appearance since '09.
If Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado turn in more All-Star years, Carlos Gonzalez and Trevor Story rebound from slumps and Ian Desmond (hand, right calf) and Gerardo Parra (right quadriceps) avoid injuries, the Rockies could be even more potent.
Projected Opening Day lineup
1. Charlie Blackmon, CF
2. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
4. Carlos Gonzalez, RF
5. Trevor Story, SS
6. Ian Desmond, 1B
7. Gerardo Parra, LF
8. Chris Iannetta, C
9. Jon Gray, RHP
• Gonzalez's return means the Rockies can continue having Blackmon in the leadoff spot, where he hit 37 homers and led the National League with a .331 batting average last year. However, keep an eye on Gonzalez and Parra. Gonzalez signed late and was around for just half of Spring Training, and Parra missed the early part of spring because of right hand surgery. Both feel caught up, but they're going into the regular season with fewer at-bats than in normal years.
• A former batting champ at No. 2 in LeMahieu and a threat for the home run and RBI titles at No. 3 in Arenado is not bad.
• Don't sleep on Iannetta, who had 17 home runs for the D-backs last season. That total was one fewer than his career high, which came in 2008 during his first run with the Rockies. Coming home to Coors Field shouldn't hurt.
• Right-handed starter Jeff Hoffman suffered right shoulder soreness early in camp, and the Rockies were careful with him. He threw a bullpen session on Saturday, and he is expected to play in Minor League games sometime in April.
• Righty reliever Carlos Estevez suffered a left oblique injury early in camp, and he had a relapse later.