Is this the best Colorado Rockies’ rotation in franchise history?

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 17: Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 17, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 17: Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 17, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

To the surprise of some, the Colorado Rockies starting rotation has thrived in 2018 but is it the best in Rockies franchise history?

On Tuesday, our own Luke Mullins wrote an excellent article on whether Colorado Rockies left-handed starter Kyle Freeland is having a better season as a starter than Ubaldo Jimenez’s 2010 season where his 2.88 ERA and 19 wins are still franchise bests.

This got the hamster wheel spinning and to take the conversation a little further, is the Rockies’ current starting rotation better than the 2009 rotation, which is considered to be the Rockies best rotation in franchise history?

That ’09 rotation had phenomenal numbers by Rockies’ standards.  The staff, consisting of mostly Ubaldo, Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Marquis, Jason Hammel, and Aaron Cook, had a combined ERA of 4.10 (7th in MLB that season), going 69-50 with 94 quality starts, with all five starters reaching double digit victories and the highest ERA at only 4.38 (De La Rosa).  This helped lead the Rockies to a franchise best 92 regular season victories and a playoff birth.

Colorado Rockies 2009 Starters
Ubaldo Jimenez15123.4733218.0183878413856198101.229
Jason Marquis15134.0433216.0218104971580611541.380
Jorge De La Rosa1694.3032184.017093881982319291.370
Jason Hammel1084.4530168.019492831640612691.393
Aaron Cook1164.1627158.01757673194727821.405
Jose Contreras101.8629.212221401001.655
Franklin Morales103.3828.0733310901.000
Jhoulys Chacin0113.5012.2144060102.625
Josh Fogg0118.0013.0466340312.667
Esmil Rogers004.5014.0322020301.250
Team Total69504.10162971.19674694428935123735351.357

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On the surface, the obvious answer is absolutely not.  But when digging a little bit deeper, the answer isn’t as clear.

2018 Starters
Kyle Freeland1172.9625152.013250501456212961.237
Antonio Senzatela223.60635.028141411302421.171
German Marquez1194.4225142.214075702048415161.318
Tyler Anderson664.4526147.213377732651013921.246
Jon Gray974.7623134.113575711538115751.288
Chad Bettis525.4219106.11066464174437541.411
Jeff Hoffman008.1013.1833010202.700
Team Total44334.30125721.16823583459325110677251.293

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Before entering play on Wednesday, the Rockies’ rotation has a combined ERA of 4.30 for 20th in the ML and 60 quality starts.  That number is not the greatest but since the All-Star break, the staff has been much better.

It is a small sample size, but in 29 second half games the rotation has a 4.04 ERA.  A lot of this has to do with the resurgence of Gray, who has a 2.57 ERA since being recalled from AAA Albuquerque, but it shows how much they have improved so far.

2018 Starters Second Half

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The lack of consistency is also hurting this staff.  In games that they have won, they have a ridiculous 1.93 ERA, but when they have lost, they have been lit up on the scoreboard with a 8.02 ERA.  This is one of the reasons why the team has a -13 run differential.

And of course, the first inning woes damages any argument for this staff to be considered a great rotation.  Including the 2 runs Tyler Anderson gave up in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Padres, the Rockies have now given up 109 runs in the first inning for a dismal 7.70 ERA.

dark. Next. Is Freeland's 2018 season better than Ubaldo's 2010 season?

If the Rockies’ rotation could find a little more consistency and quit giving opponents early leads, this staff could go down as the best rotation in franchise history.  However, we are stuck not knowing what to expect day to day from the starter.  Until they figure things out, 2009 will still be the best Rockies’ rotation in franchise history.