There are so many reasons to be excited about the start of the 2019 season. One of them is the way Freeland is firmly positioned as the top starter and face of the rotation. It’s fun to see and listen to this interview with CPR in which he discusses the pressure on him and the lofty expectations for the Rockies this season.
I’ll say this: Freeland answers a question from Vic Vela about reaching the playoffs by saying it should be realistic with the talent this team has. They might even be able to shoot higher than just a playoff berth given the situations around their division and the depth this team has, especially in the starting rotation.
As for what makes Freeland a bona fide number one starter, it certainly starts with talent. Freeland’s pitches have a ton of moment, and he is able to throw those nasty pitches from a unique delivery that’s hard to pick up.
But Freeland’s success also has to do with his makeup. That’s a hard thing for us to measure as outsiders, but Iannetta seems like a good source. In this interview with Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro, he discusses the mindset and competitiveness that set Freeland apart. Iannetta also predicts a long, successful career for Freeland. Let’s hope he’s right, starting with the game in Miami on Thursday.
Fun fact: Chad Bettis makes the most money in the projected Colorado starting rotation. Freeland will lead a rotation that makes less than $10 million combined. That’s wild. If they continue their success they will eventually get more expensive, but for now that cost-effectiveness puts this team in the sweet spot to succeed.
Jack Etkin lays out the previous success for each starter as he looks ahead to what could be a strength for the Rockies once again in 2019. This group is essentially all homegrown, if not guys who have developed into big league starters while with the organization. Count that among the reasons to be even more excited for the upcoming season.
This is a national rundown of all the games that will kick off this season. In the Rockies bit linked here, there is an awful lot of optimism for where this team can go. Nolan Arenado will lead this team as they try to win the division for the first time. Of note - Jeff Passan passes along some industry insider type knowledge about guys who might emerge. These names might be obvious to those perusing the pages of Purple Row - guys like Ryan McMahon and German Marquez - but it’s still noteworthy to see that there’s buzz around them entering the season.
The Rockies have their eyes on a World Series title and it’s not crazy. They’re positioned to contend in 2019 and beyond thanks to a plan laid out by Dick Monfort and Jeff Bridich in this article. Thomas Harding outlines the team’s commitment to depth in the farm system and picking their spots for the big moves.
“Pick where to spend” and “careful with the big decision” might be the interrelated pieces that depend on how far the Rockies can go. Say this: the team’s commitment to keeping their own looks a lot better when it’s spending big for Arenado or potential future extensions for Kyle Freeland or German Marquez.
But they also chose to spend on Ian Desmond and some clunkers in the bullpen. They can’t whiff on those decisions as they pick their spots as a contender in the seasons to come. Hopefully this 2019 club is in position to win the division and force some of those decisions in the middle of the season.