Figure out the rotation
Colorado’s Opening Week rotation consisted of Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Tyler Anderson, Jon Gray and Chad Bettis. Three of those pitchers (Anderson, Gray and Bettis) are done for the season after suffering various injuries.
The two who have remained off the season-ending injury list have been inconsistent. Freeland, Colorado’s Opening Day starter, spent some time in Triple-A and has struggled to a 3-11 record and 6.98 ERA. Marquez has posted 12 wins in his 28 starts as one of the bright spots so far.
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Throw in dashes of Peter Lambert, Jeff Hoffman, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Antonio Senzatela and Tim Melville and you’re looking at a rotation that was anything but what we expected this season. As our friend Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post pointed out on Twitter, after Senzatela’s Sunday meltdown where he lasted just 1.2 innings and gave up six runs, Colorado’s starters’ ERA is currently at 5.79. That’s the third-worst mark in franchise history with only 1999 (6.19) and 2012 (5.81) being higher. Last year’s starter ERA? 4.17.
Yes, the injuries have hurt Colorado but so have just simply subpar performances. So has the lack of depth in Colorado’s Triple-A level that was so evident when the Rockies needed a pitcher to step in and step up this year.
Colorado must improve its rotation heading into 2020, and that will likely be through some kind of offseason move. If Freeland, Marquez and Gray can bounce back to form, Lambert can learn in this season of hard knocks and the Rockies can solidify the back end of the rotation, things will be much better in 2020. If they can’t or do nothing to bolster the rotation in the offseason, not much of what is discussed after this will matter.