I have said many times that Kyle Freeland will be Colorado’s Opening Day starter when the 2019 season opens on Thursday, March 28, in Miami against the Marlins. After being in camp and watching German Marquez and talking to some other players, I now think Marquez may draw the Opening Day nod.
Trust me, the Rockies are going to fine with either Freeland or Marquez on the mound, even in the house of horrors that Marlins Park has been for the Rockies in recent years. However, I like how Marquez has seemingly grown in his confidence over the winter. He even talked about a Cy Young Award possibility with us after a start … right before dominating with nine strikeouts in a three-inning outing in his next time on the mound. Here’s just how impressive that feat was.
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Freeland and Marquez are going to be very, very good this season. But what about the rest of the rotation?
Jon Gray impressed, both on the mound and in the locker room. He looks stronger physically and I think the new haircut is also an expression that he believes he is a different player. He certainly flashed his abilities against the Angels with five strikeouts and one hit allowed in four innings of work.
I think there are still some questions to be answered when it comes to Tyler Anderson, Chad Bettis and Antonio Senzatela filling in the back of the order … and maybe even what Jeff Hoffman and Peter Lambert can bring in those spots later in the season.
One pitcher I am worried about is Bryan Shaw. What I saw in Arizona gave me little belief that he will turn things around this season. I know it’s spring and I know Shaw has a history of bad springs … but his velocity was down and batters were having their way with him at the plate. That’s not good, no matter the time of year.