Do you remember the last time the Colorado Rockies made the playoffs? Well, the year was 2009 — that’s roughly six years ago. The 92-70 Rockies ended up losing to the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 in the National League Division Series.
Flash forward to the offseason of 2015 — I can’t remember the last time I have been less optimistic about a Rockies’ club since who knows when, even prior to the 2012 season which was pretty bad. Many of us Rockies’ faithful have been stating the obvious over the last few seasons: “If Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki stay healthy, we will be competitive.” Wrong.
CarGo and Tulo stayed relatively healthy for the most part during the 2015 season, yet it didn’t make that much of a difference for a Rockies’ club desperately lacking pitching. Colorado finished out the season with a dreadful 68-94 record, sitting in the cellar of the National League West yet again. Colorado used 30 pitchers this past season, tying the franchise record from 2007 except this time, it didn’t work out for them.
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It’s still early in the offseason, which is understandable, yet the Rockies weren’t very aggressive during the Winter Meetings. The team went out and signed a couple of veteran relievers, Jason Motte and Chad Qualls, to fill the void in a bullpen that was the worst in the majors, followed by signing a platoon first baseman/outfielder in Mark Reynolds. If that doesn’t get you excited I don’t know what does.
Jeff Bridich made the bold move to trade the face of the franchise, Troy Tulowitzki, during the trading deadline at the midway point of the season. From that point on you had to know the team was in somewhat of a rebuilding mode. The team even dabbled in the idea of trading outfielder Carlos Gonzalez during the season as well, but instead held onto the former All-Star which was good as his trade value only increased throughout the remainder of 2015 campaign.
The one thing Colorado currently has going for them is their farm system, which is perhaps a top-three system in baseball. Names such as Brendan Rodgers, Trevor Story, Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman, Raimel Tapia, Ryan McMahon, Forrest Wall, Kyle Freeland, David Dahl and Mike Nikorak come to mind when talking about the loaded system.
Gray has already cracked the big club in which I believe Story will do the same in 2016. However, players such as Hoffman, McMahon, Wall, Dahl, Freeland and Tapia are players who can see action as early as 2017. So realistically, this team can be pretty competitive in 2017 if all pans out.
As for now, the outlook for this current Rockies’ roster is blurry as we look ahead to 2016. The rotation has been inconsistent and injury-prone for the most part, but we have seen flashes from pitchers such as Gray and Chad Bettis. Not to mention Jorge De La Rosa putting up solid numbers season after season. Pitchers Tyler Chatwood (Tommy John) and Jordan Lyles look to bounce back from injury and prove themselves once again.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado is the cornerstone of this team moving forward, and the new face of the franchise for that matter. His 2015 season was jaw dropping and one for the ages — he should have been considered for MVP voting.
It’s premature to look at the outlook of the 2016 roster, considering we are a few months away from Spring Training, but it’s never too early to speculate or discuss.