The 2019 Colorado Rockies season was one of the most disappointing in recent memory thanks in large part to the starting pitching staff … or lack thereof.
Over the course of the the season, manager Bud Black trotted out 11 different starting pitchers to the bump and received varying degrees of stink. A cumulative 45-62 record and an outrageous 5.87 ERA means that the Colorado Rockies will need a whole lot of improvement from their starting staff if the they have any hope of reaching Rocktober again in 2020.
The Rockies’ front office has high hopes that Jon Gray and German Marquez will build off their success and Kyle Freeland will bounce back from an awful ’19 campaign. However, the back end of the rotation still remains a huge question mark as discussions are being had during Winter Meetings.
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During an extended media session in San Diego (that included Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry), GM Jeff Bridich was asked about the rotation including his thoughts on Chi Chi Gonzalez making the rotation.
"“I’m confident that he (Gonzalez) has put himself in that mix. I think that he showed certain intangibles in coming back from his surgery and his rehab and getting back to where he’s at. Certain strike-throwing, certain mentality, certain pitching and figuring things out with his arsenal. pitch mix. There are certain things that I thought he did very well for us….He found ways to keep us in games and give us chances to win games. Ultimately that is the job of the starting pitcher and certain guys do that in certain ways. With the way that he did that last year, I think he’s earned the consideration for some part of the back of our rotation.”"
As for the other contenders:
"“I like the guys we have. I think there are certain guys we have that are arriving at a certain part of their career where it’s necessary for them and necessary for us that they take the next step up in major league proficiency. Yeah, I think all of that is said with the understanding that last year was a very curious year to be a pitcher in a lot of ways. It was not always simple or predictable. We are trying to have common sense and be level-headed about that. There are certain guys who have arrived at the major league level. They have been up and down, they have pitched, and if they haven’t pitched it’s time to become established and become more consistent and more consistently reliable in giving us a chance to win.”"
In an interview Wednesday, Bud Black also shared his thoughts on the rotation:
"“Yeah. I was encouraged by Chi Chi late in the year. It was good to see him throw the ball like he did. Peter (Lambert) I think with an offseason to reflect on it, his first go at it, Hoffman, Senzatela. Those guys come to the forefront of what you’re talking about.“Kyle needs to bounce back, but we feel good about Kyle. Those four guys comprise, right now, an opportunity to make a rotation. Castellani is sort of on the fringe of that group. He’s getting closer. He’s getting closer, and we had a good talk in Arizona in October.“You know, he’s motivated to be in that group, right? He’s been around a while now. Maybe the performance hasn’t been as expected, and he was hurt last year, but, you know, he’s at a point now where he feels as though he’s been to Big League camp, been around, signed out of high school. He has enough time as a professional to feel as though, hey, I’m close.”"
It was no big secret that the Rockies weren’t going to make any splash free agent pitcher signings this offseason and this confirms it. To the disappointment to the fans, the Rockies will be banking on a huge turnaround from a group that failed in ’19 to get them back into the playoffs.