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Chris Rusin is trying to show the Colorado Rockies why he should stay in the rotation

Chris Rusin made his eighth quality start in 13 tries on Tuesday night. Will it be enough to keep in the rotation in 2016?

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

In a shocking development, the Colorado Rockies lost a baseball game on Tuesday night. Their 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Matt Harvey and the New York Mets dropped them to 47-64 on the season, 15 games out of a playoff spot. Knowing this, the remaining 51 games of the 2015 season should be less about winning and losing and more about finding things to build on for 2016 and beyond. Every time he takes the ball, Chris Rusin hopes to show that he can be one of those building blocks.

When I say "Chris Rusin" and "building block" in the same sentence, I don't mean that he's someone the Rockies should be expecting to be a shutdown arm at the top of their rotation. He does, however, have the makings of a solid, back of the rotation kind of pitcher who will take the ball every fifth day and keep his team in the game. Considering some of the arms Rockies fans have seen take the hill for them over the past five seasons, someone like that sounds like a welcome addition.

After allowing just one run on eight hits with one intentional walk and five strikeouts in six innings on Tuesday, Rusin now has a 4.43 ERA on the season to go with a 4.28 FIP and 3.73 xFIP. Those numbers encompass 81⅓ innings that have spanned 15 appearances and 13 starts, eight of which have been quality starts. Those numbers certainly don't blow you away, but they do represent the numbers of a starting pitcher who at the very least will make you feel like the team can win when he takes the ball. A few other things to like about Rusin are his 2.43 walks per nine innings and his 2.64 strikeout to walk ratio. These obviously aren't the only relevant things, but they are important, and so far, Rusin has done both of them better than any other Rockies starter in 2015.

The real question here is where does all this leave Chris Rusin as we head into the 2016 season? For starters, we can probably pencil in Jorge De La Rosa and Jon Gray as members of the opening day 2016 rotation. Jordan Lyles and Chad Bettis are also pretty safe bets to be in the rotation. That leaves us with just one rotation spot for Rusin, Eddie Butler, David Hale, Tyler Chatwood, and any other starting pitchers the Rockies acquire either via trade or free agency between now and opening day 2016. With the Rockies presumably in rebuilding mode, there's a good possibility that there will be at least one trade that changes the landscape here between now and opening day, though it's anyone's guess what trade or trades that might be. Injuries are obviously a concern as well, as any of those guys could go down for a year with a torn UCL at any time -- except Chatwood, who is already recovering from his second Tommy John surgery -- but that leaves Rusin as someone who is at worst a very strong depth option to start the season at Triple-A Albuquerque.

If I had to guess, Eddie Butler is probably the frontrunner for the fifth and final rotation spot moving into 2016 due to his prospect pedigree, though if the team is making decisions based on performance, Rusin is clearly the better option. However, as with a lot of things in Rockies-land right now, all of that is far from being set in stone. Assuming he stays healthy, Rusin should be in line for roughly 10 more starts between now and the end of the season. If he continues to pitch the way he has so far, he will make it awfully difficult for the Rockies to leave him out of the rotation next season.