It’s been clear for months that the Rockies don’t have playoffs in their 2022 future. This is now the fourth straight season without realistic postseason hopes.
Since the All-Star break when the Rockies still had slim chances of competing for the Wild Card, the Rockies have suffered injuries that are challenging the pitching depth (Chad Kuhl and Antonio Senzatela to name a few) and have benched Kris Bryant since July 31.
After going 3-8 in their last 11 games and 8-15 (.347) in August, the Rockies have fallen farther into the depths of the NL standings at 33.5 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West and 14 back in the Wild Card race.
Tankathon puts the Rockies remaining strength of schedule at .544, which is the third hardest in MLB. With a tough schedule remaining — one that includes 23 of 36 remaining games on the road and playing 27 of those games against teams with better records than Colorado — a new, depressing question is starting to arise: Where will this Rockies team rank when it comes to worst winning percentage in franchise history?
With a 54-72 record after Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the Mets, the Rockies .429 winning percentage ranks seventh worst in team history. Outside of the 2020 squad, whose .433 winning record ranks eighth worst, every team in the worst top-10 list has at least 90 losses.
10 Worst Teams in Rockies History
|2012||162||64||98||.395||5th of 5||30||758||890||2,630,458||28.1||28.2||49||27||R.Betancourt (2.6)||J.Tracy (64-98)|
|2014||162||66||96||.407||4th of 5||28||755||818||2,680,329||27.4||28.5||49||26||T.Tulowitzki (5.7)||W.Weiss (66-96)|
|1993||162||67||95||.414||6th of 7||37||758||967||4,483,350||27.7||27.1||46||25||A.Galarraga (3.5)||D.Baylor (67-95)|
|2005||162||67||95||.414||5th of 5||15||740||862||1,914,389||27.2||27.3||54||27||T.Helton (4.6)||C.Hurdle (67-95)|
|2004||162||68||94||.420||4th of 5||25||833||923||2,338,069||30.4||28.8||47||25||T.Helton (8.3)||C.Hurdle (68-94)|
|2015||162||68||94||.420||5th of 5||24||737||844||2,506,789||28||28.7||51||30||N.Arenado (6.3)||W.Weiss (68-94)|
|2022||126||54||72||.429||5th of 5||33.5||568||695||2,201,163||29.4||29.2||39||23||B.Rodgers (3.6)||B.Black (54-72)|
|2020||60||26||34||.433||4th of 5||17||275||353||28.7||27.3||40||24||T.Story (2.6)||B.Black (26-34)|
|2019||162||71||91||.438||4th of 5||35||835||958||2,993,244||28.2||27.3||50||31||N.Arenado (7.3)||B.Black (71-91)|
|1999||162||72||90||.444||5th of 5||28||906||1028||3,481,065||29.7||28.9||44||18||P.Astacio (5.9)||J.Leyland (72-90)|
Entering the series against the Mets, FanGraphs predictions have the Rockies going 15-22 over their final 37 games to end with a 69-93 (.426) record. If that prophecy comes true, the 2022 squad will hold onto seventh place in the losingest team category in the organization’s 29-year history.
The more you look at the schedule, which includes games against seventh teams with better records — the Braves (3), Mets (3), Diamondbacks (3), White Sox (2), Giants (7), Padres (3), Dodgers (6), only one series against a team with almost the same record (the Cubs, 3 games), and only one a series against a team with a worse record (the Reds, 3 games) — the more a 15-22 record seems foolishly optimistic.
Currently, the Rockies are 18-40 (.310) on the road and 36-32 (.529) at home. If you apply those percentages to the remaining schedule, the Rockies would go 7-17 on the road and 7-6 at home for a 14-23 (.378) run down the final stretch. That would put the Rockies at 68-94, which would tie with the 2004 and 2015 squads for fifth worst.
Not a lot of losses separate the worst teams in Rockies history as the top three have 98, 96, and two have 95. The 2012 Rockies hold the record for most losses in one season and are the only squad to dip below .400 (.395). Jim Tracy resigned as manager after the season. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the Rockies front office, vocalized by Bill Geivett, the team’s director of major league operations. had this reaction, according to the Associated Press:
“I was surprised. I wanted Jim to come back. That’s how we began our conversation on Friday, that he was the manager. But he called, informed me today he was resigning.”
Regardless of how bad the Rockies finish, Bud Black is under contract through 2023. And while the Rockies have shown they are willing to ship out homegrown talent and let stars walk into free agency, they haven’t shown much willingness to bring in new faces to the coaching staff or front office.
The good news is that the Rockies would have to go 9-26 to earn the title of worst of the worst. It could happen. Several hitters are in slumps and the starting rotation is unsteady. But a small winning streak or sweeping the Cubs or Diamondbacks at home, or maybe the Reds on the road, could help this team not make bad history.
The bad news is that the 2022 Rockies could become the title holder or runner-up in a very bad category: team with the fewest runs ever scored in a full season. Taking out COVID-shortened 2020 season and the strike-shortened 1994 season, the Rockies fewest runs in a season came in 2013 when they scored 706 (4.36 runs per game). Right now the Rockies have 568 runs (4.51 runs per game). As long as the Rockies score an average of about 3.9 runs per game, they can stay out of the cellar, but they’ll have to slightly bump up their current pace to catch 2011’s 735 (4.54) runs to avoid second worst.
At this point, outside of achieving shameful records, the Rockies don’t have a lot to lose. Playing younger guys and starting to plan on who should be on the 2023 roster might be the best use of the remaining 36 games since a top-10 worst finish seems very probable.
★ ★ ★
We’ve reached the top of Jeff Aberle’s mid-season rankings and you need to look no further for the spot-on detailed breakdown of who sits atop the Rockies prospects as voted by you, the amazing Purple Row community. With the young stars providing the most excitement in Rockies fandom, this is a fun one to read.
Chad Kuhl has been activated from the IL and will start in Friday night’s game against the Mets and Chris Bassitt. Kuhl last pitched on Aug. 3 before being put on the IL with a right hip flexor strain. Noah Yingling writes about how the Rockies need Kuhl to return to his early-season self when he had the best arm in the starting rotation. However, the majority of this article focuses on the Rockies DFAing 29-year-old Robert Stephenson to make room for Kuhl on the roster. Stephenson pitched a beautiful three-up, three-down seventh inning against the Rangers on Wednesday, but then gave up a three-run homer in the eighth to be more on track for his 10.38 August ERA. Stephenson first came to the Rockies in the 2020 trade with the Reds along with Jameson Hannah for Jeff Hoffmann and Case Williams.
★ ★ ★
On The Farm
When D.J. Peterson hit a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning, he tied the game up and shifted the momentum in the Isotopes favor. But then Ty Blach (0-4) gave up a two-run double in the seventh, an error by Alan Trejo allowed another run to score, and Joel Peguero and Jordan Sheffield each surrendered two more runs in the eighth and ninth respectively as the bullpen struggled for the second straight night. Michael Toglia hit his fourth homer of the season in a two-hit, two-RBI night for Albuquerque, while Jonathan Morales doubled and singled, and Trejo, Coco Montes, and Ryan Vilade all posted a hit and scored a run.
While the Rockies will have to wait until June 12, 2023 to face Trevor Story for the first time since he left the team when Colorado heads to Boston for a three-game series, the Yard Goats got to see Story on Thursday night and it didn’t go very well for Hartford. The former Rockies shortstop hit a homer, double, and single, driving in three runs and leading the Sea Dogs to their second straight shutout win against the Yard Goats. Story is rehabbing a wrist injury after being on the IL since July 13.
What a Story!— Portland Sea Dogs (@PortlandSeaDogs) August 25, 2022
Trevor Story adds a home run and is now 3-for-3 with a single, double, and home run in his second game with the Sea Dogs on a MLB rehab assignment. pic.twitter.com/HsZo4sViJs
The Yard Goats managed eight hits, led by Zac Veen’s two singles and Daniel Montano’s double, but went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Hartford surrendered three homers in the game and Brian Kilkenny took the loss after throwing 2 2⁄3 innings, giving up seven runs (but only three were earned due to a throwing error by Grant Lavigne) on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Despiting finding themselves trailing 6-0 after two innings, Spokane slowly started to chip away at the lead when Hunter Goodman hit a two-run single in the third and Drew Romo followed with another two-run single in the fifth to cut Everett’s lead to 7-4. Then the long balls came. Robby Martin Jr. hit a two-run blast in the sixth and Goodman smacked a solo shot in the seventh to tie the game at 7-all. Later in the seventh, Martin Jr. hit an RBI double to put the Indians ahead. In the eighth, Goodman gave Spokane some insurance with another RBI, this time in the form of a single and Mateo Gil hit a solo homer of his own to make it 10-7 in the ninth. Adam McKillican and Blake Goldsberry each had scoreless performances out of the bullpen, but Anderson Bido gave up a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to make things interesting. Bido then locked down the win by ending the game with a strikeout.
The Grizzlies slammed three homers on a 14-hit night for a big win over the Ports. Juan Brito homered and doubled in a three-hit performance that included two RBI and two runs scored, Braxtoned Fulford also homered and doubled, driving in two runs and scoring two more, and Zach Kokoska homered and scored two runs to lead Fresno. Benny Montgomery and Adael Amador each added a double, a single, and an RBI. Brayan Castillo improved to 3-4 on the season after holding Stockton to two runs on six hits with five strikeouts despite four walks in 5 2⁄3 innings.
★ ★ ★
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