Colorado Rockies: Current Long Stretch of Schedule Will Test Pitching
By Kevin Henry
Take a look at the Colorado Rockies schedule. Go ahead. Click here to take a look at it and see what jumps out at you about the first month of the season.
What you’ll notice, and what the Rockies are noticing more as each day passes, is that the team started the season with 14 consecutive games to open the 2017 campaign. After starting the season on April 3 in Milwaukee, the Rockies will not have their first off day until April 17. In between that time, they will have completed four games in Milwaukee, six games in Denver and then four games in San Francisco.
The 14-game stretch to open the season is the longest of any Major League Baseball club. That plays into the strategy that Colorado manager Bud Black must employ early in the season with his bullpen. Detroit was scheduled to have the same long stretch to open the season but two of their first three games were postponed by weather.
"More from Rox PileA Colorado Rockies ThanksgivingColorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the seasonColorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers seriesColorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?“It’s awful nice to have a day in there to give guys a full day,” Black told reporters on Monday afternoon before the Rockies took on the San Diego Padres. “This is a little unique to have 14 straight days to start the season. You don’t see that often, especially early in the year. Those two day off days coming next week will be much needed. We have to get through this week and hopefully we get some good starting pitching to take a load off those guys (in the bullpen).”"
Mike Dunn says that an off day early in the season could be a blessing or curse, depending on the team’s health and how they’re playing at the moment.
"“An off day would be great. This is the first time I think I’ve started a season with 14 straight but outside of that, you get your off days,” Dunn told Rox Pile. “We know when they are. Sometimes we don’t want them early in the season. You want to just be able to ride it out. You’re coming out of spring training and everyone is jelling together. It depends on the health of your team coming out of spring training. An off day can sometimes fall when you want to just keep grinding it out.“I think right now the team is going well and everyone is going strong. The off day will be nice when we get it but, at the same time, I don’t think we’re missing it.”"
Next: Predicting Colorado's Offensive and Pitching Leaders in 2017
The Rockies have just two off days in each of April and May, so being able to keep the bullpen from becoming too taxed too quickly could be a key for the Rockies moving forward. Right now, Colorado is playing against the schedule just as much as they are any of their National League West competitors.