Gray cemented his role as the team’s ace last season when he struck out 185 batters in 168 innings. While there were some inconsistencies last year for Gray, those can be attributed to it being his rookie season. With a solid year of experience under his belt, the Rockies are counting on Gray to dominate hitters on a much more regular basis.
Gray had a 4.61 ERA last year. But his FIP—which is a much better predictor of future performance—was 3.60. Gray continued to show improvement through last year as well as his second half was even better than his first.
Gray has had a very impressive spring training with 19 strikeouts against only four walks in 15.1 innings. His last start brought some concerns, as he was pulled early due to a sore toe. Thankfully, it was minor and Gray appears ready to lead the Rockies’ young and talented rotation into 2017.
With Gray starting Opening Day, the rest of the Rockies rotation appears to be Tyler Anderson, Tyler Chatwood, Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela. If it pans out that way, the four-game opening series against the Brewers will result in the Rockies sending Senzatela, their fifth starter and rookie, to the mound for the home opener.