The Colorado Rockies are historically good in April before falling apart later in the season. So far in 2017, they have been good in April leading the division and tied for most wins in baseball at 13 after sweeping the San Francisco Giants on Sunday. It’s hard not to get optimistic, but at the same time there is always lingering doubt secondary to the Rockies falling apart later in the season. Is 2017 different? My answer is yes for multiple reasons.
The Bullpen: Improving the bullpen was Jeff Bridich’s biggest challenge of the offseason. Many thought after Mark Melancon chose the Giants he would be unsuccessful. However, Bridich went out and got Greg Holland on an incentive-laced deal. With Holland joining Mike Dunn, the Rockies bullpen had a new look.
So far in 2017, not only has the bullpen improved but it has been the strength of the team. Going into Sunday’s game, the Rockies bullpen ranked 5th in baseball and best in the National League with an ERA of 2.85
Part of the success has come from Bud Black’s usage of relievers, picking any combination of Adam Ottavino, Dunn and Jake McGee to hold leads for Holland. Ottavino and Dunn both boast ERAs under 2.5 and are averaging over 11 Ks per 9 innings. Scott Oberg has also provided the Rockies with great production, allowing only 2 runs over 9 innings pitched.
Perhaps the most exciting thing for the Rockies is they seem to have found a shutdown closer in Holland who is a perfect 9-for-9 in save chances.