Multiple sources have confirmed that Jorge De Le Rosa will be the Rockies opening day staring pitcher for the 2016 season. Chad Bettis and Tyler Chatwood will likely follow him in the opening series against the Diamondbacks.
This makes it fairly safe to assume that Jordan Lyles will get the honor of starting the home opener at Coors Field on April 8th. Due to Jon Gray's strained abdomen and Chris Rusin's finger inflammation preventing them from being part of the rotation at the beginning of the season, the Rockies will have to decide whether to go with a four man rotation until April 18th, or fill the spot with another candidate like Christian Bergman or Yohan Flande.
As the all-time career wins and strikeouts leader for the Rockies, De La Rosa is easily the most deserving Rockies pitcher to receive the opening day honors. Since joining the Rockies in 2010, De La Rosa has demonstrated a mastery of Coors Field that few other pitchers have and may be one of the underrated pitchers in baseball due to Coors Field inflating his stats
Chad Bettis hopes to build on his impressive season in 2015 when he finally lived up to the lofty hopes that many had for him in his earlier prospect days. Now Bettis needs to prove that he can maintain that level while also completing 30+ starts for a team that is desperate for starting pitching.
After missing all of last year due to Tommy John surgery, Chatwood has looked healthy so far this spring while also showing some of the magic that made him a weirdly successful pitcher in 2013. Despite less than desirable strikeout and walk ratios, Chatwood has shown an ability to prevent runs by making it extremely difficult for hitters to square up his pitches.
After a second straight season derailed by non-pitching relate injuries, Lyles is once again ready to show that he can be a key piece of the Rockies rotation. Despite this being Lyles sxith year in the majors, he is still only 25 years of age and looking to take that next step forward in becoming the innings eater that many expected he would become.