Early Guesses At The Colorado Rockies’ 2016 Starting Rotation

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Aug 5, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher C. Rusin (52) pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

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Chris Rusin

Rusin wasn’t on anybody’s radar one year ago (in fact, about 11 months ago, the Rockies picked him up after the Cubs unceremoniously dumped him!), but he’s now earning himself a shot with the Rockies for much longer than this year’s fill-in work.

It depends on how he finishes this season, and on if/when/how the Rockies approach free agency this winter, but Rusin is absolutely in the conversation for a starting rotation spot next year. All things being equal, if he keeps throwing the ball like he has this year, he’d actually make a pretty decent fifth starter. (Now, um, about those first four…?)

Jordan Lyles

The return in the Dexter Fowler trade to Houston, Lyles was injured in another freak accident this year (his toe) after breaking his non-throwing hand last season. Before the injury, Lyles had shown flashes of consistency, despite ending his season with pretty pedestrian numbers.

Nevertheless, despite the weird injuries, his throwing arm has been exceptionally healthy and he’s done more than enough to be a quality back-end starter. Let’s hope 2016 is the year where luck is on his side.

Jon Gray

This will depend on how Gray does to end the season, but now that he’s up in Denver, with the stuff that he has, I can’t imagine Gray going back down to AAA unless the wheels really fall off at some point in the next month.

He isn’t ready to be the ace yet (hell, maybe, but I doubt it), but Gray will get plenty of chances to develop into the Rockies’ frontline starter in 2016.

Chad Bettis

The third time was the charm for Chad Bettis this season, and only an elbow injury has slowed him down lately, though he’s rehabbing that now and will likely return soon. Bettis is going to get a long look in the spring to be sure, and will likely have a rotation spot to start the year assuming, well, the very next option below this paragraph doesn’t come to fruition.

A Free Agent

This probably should come to fruition, only so that the Rockies can hedge their bets with depth.

No, we aren’t talking Johnny Cueto or David Price, but more guys with a profile similar to the Giants’ Mike Leake (about whom our own Connor Farrell is extremely high on) and other mid-rotation starters that the Rockies can pick up for a year or two, for a few million bucks, without breaking the bank or altering the development plan.

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