There is still serious hope for the immediate and long-term future of Colorado pitching.
“The Rockies ranked last in the National League last season in team ERA, and their rotation didn’t do them any favors.” This Fansided article by Mark Powell ranks Colorado’s starting rotation as the worst in the National League, which suggests the only direction from here is up. Several pitchers are poised to make that ranking improve.
Kyle Freeland is optimistic he can return to his 2018 successes that ranked him fourth in the NL Cy Young voting. This year he’s had “more time than he ever expected to tinker.” Antonio Senzatela is excited about avenging some 2019 hardships, speaking well of his current stuff: “This year is going to be good.” These two players taking a leap forward would help the entire rotation, and would reason for an improved review of the collective staff.
Last week, Patrick Saunders wrote how the Rockies’ ‘to-do list’ at summer camp includes finding a fifth starter. Chi Chi Gonzalez, Jeff Hoffman and Peter Lambert are presumably in line for that spot; in an ideal team situation, all three dominate and can solidify an improved rotation for years to come.
The Dodgers rank second on this Fansided list, and they have loaded up on a “group of young arms.” Four of their top six prospects according to MLB.com—Dustin May, Josiah Gray, Brusdar Graterol, and Tony Gonsolin—are pitchers. Three of those four prospects are listed at ‘MLB’ level. (Colorado has two players with that listing in their top 10: Brendan Rodgers and Sam Hilliard.)
Of the other divisional opponents on this NL starting rotation list, San Diego ranks 9th, Arizona is 10th, and San Francisco is 13th.
The Rockies do manage to have several young arms of their own with starter experience. Ryan Rolison is the highest ranked pitching prospect in the Rockies’ system, and his arrival into the big leagues is looming. Jose Mujica is returning from Tommy John surgery and is also set to make his MLB debut with his first Rockies appearance. Both are listed in Colorado’s 60-man player pool, among a handful of young relievers that could further bolster the pitching staff.
The Nationals are listed atop the NL starting rotation rankings. “With Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin at their disposal, there is no tougher postseason matchup.”
This FiveThirtyEight article details the recent divisional success of the Dodgers, to the dismay of Rockies fans everywhere. One such detail in Robert O’Connell’s article comes to the dismay of Dodger fans, however: “Their streak of consecutive division titles stands as the longest of all time without a championship.”
O’Connell points out how “L.A.’s window of contention is unlikely to close anytime soon,” but he also mentions how that window can inevitably close. “Every year, Kershaw is a little more removed from who he once was. The font of elite prospects can’t flow forever.”
Colorado may have landed the 18-year-old Cody Bellinger in the draft this year. It can be crazy to expect one player to push forward an entire franchise, but Bellinger has done more than just substantiate Dodger successes since his 2017 debut. Maybe Zac Veen can do the same for the Rockies, and the team can pair it with the successes of young pitchers. If that indeed happens, a bigger window of contention could be opening in favor of the Rockies within a few years.
On July 6, the Rockies released a statement saying they hope to allow a “limited number of fans to attend 2020 home games.” Doug Ottewill of Mile High Sports details the specifics that go into the decision: “According to 9News, the team and the state are working together on a plan.”
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And something you don’t get to see every day:
We've got those video game views pic.twitter.com/S14hTDxcEa— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) July 13, 2020
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