The Colorado Rockies have chosen second-year left-hander Tyler Matzek to start their home opener on April 10 against the Chicago Cubs, according to Nick Groke of The Denver Post.
Colorado initially pegged Jorge De La Rosa as the starter for that contest, which will begin at 2:10 p.m. MT on a Friday. But the veteran southpaw has made only one appearance this spring and is expected to begin the season on the disabled list with a groin injury.
Matzek is a logical choice for De La Rosa's replacement. The Rockies' first pick in the 2009 MLB Draft posted a 3.61 ERA in eight starts at Coors Field during his rookie campaign, walking fewer than three batters per nine innings.
The club previously announced Kyle Kendrick as its Opening Day starter, likely leaving Jordan Lyles as the starter for Game 2 in Milwaukee. With injuries to rotation options David Hale and Eddie Butler, the Rockies are left to decide between Christian Bergman, Jon Gray and Chad Bettis to fill their No. 3 and No. 5 spots.
2015 Positional Power Rankings: Starting Rotations (#16-30) | FanGraphs Baseball
The Rockies are projected to have the worst starting rotation in baseball. We know this. But one thing catches my eye here: Gray (1.0 projected fWAR) is expected to outperform all but three other starters in the team's pipeline. Two of those -- Lyles and Matzek -- are also projected to accumulate 1.0 fWAR. De La Rosa is the only starter with a higher projected fWAR (1.1). Hale, Bergman, Butler and Bettis are all projected to be replacement level or just a tick or two better.
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Simply put, the Rockies as a team need to exercise more patience at the plate in order to be more successful on the road. An aggressive approach doesn't hurt them at home because Coors Field is kind to hitters who put the ball in play, but that doesn't always work away from Denver. I'll have more on this soon.
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