Nick Kosmider has a great article about the top of the Colorado Rockies rotation and it might not be about who you think it is. When I first saw the title, I assumed that he was talking about Jon Gray and the recently called up Jeff Hoffman who will be starting tonight’s game against the Washington Nationals. Both rookie pitchers have clear front-of-the-rotation stuff and makeup and will hopefully give the Rockies two true aces. Considering that the Rockies have spent most of their franchise just wishing for one ace, we’re entering into a new reality as Rockies fans. However, Nick is discussing Jon Gray and the Rockies other rookie phenom pitcher, Tyler Anderson.
Prior to the season, Tyler Anderson was seen as part of the Rockies pitching depth and there were some who thought he might make his debut this season. Despite his injuries, when Anderson had been healthy he’d shown the kind of polish that made a quick path to the majors likely. However, I doubt anyone was expecting the kind of debut season that Anderson has had. While lacking the pure stuff of Hoffman and Gray, Anderson has combined pinpoint control with a solid pitch mix and a Clayton Kershaw-like hiccup in his delivery to stake his claim to the front of the Rockies rotation.
Anderson’s ERA- of 74 places him among the top 30 starters who have thrown at least 80 innings. And it’s not luck either, his 3.69 ERA lines up nicely with a 3.65 FIP and 3.40 xFIP and an opposing BABIP of .302 puts him right at league average. As long as Anderson continue to maintains a 8+ K/9 and 50+ GB%, while walking only two per nine innings, he should be considered a front of the rotation starter. Combined with Gray, Hoffman and a hopefully healthy Tyler Chatwood, who has a very solid 75 ERA- as well, the Rockies rotation next year could be a formidable beast.
Speaking of Jon Gray, Thomas Harding has a cool piece on Gray’s Native American ancestry and his passion for preserving the language and culture of the Cherokees.
In a bit of surprising news for an off day yesterday the Rockies optioned Ben Paulsen to AAA, while no corresponding move was made yet, Purple Row’s Isotopes beat writer, Chris Jackson has his educated guess that will hopefully be verified later today.
If it’s indeed true, that’s been quite the journey this year for that unnamed right-handed first baseman and outfielder who has made the journey from Indy ball to hopefully MLB in a single year.
As always, Purple Row will have more on the roster move as things unfold today.