USA Today released their projections for the 2021 season and, like the other publications that have published their projections in recent days, they are not fans of the Colorado Rockies and the prospects of getting to the playoffs.
They are projecting that the Rockies will be in last place in the NL West.
They are projecting that the Rockies will finish in last place with a record of 66-96, which is ten games less than the San Francisco Giants, who are projected to finish in 4th place with a record of 76-86.
As you may expect, the reigning World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers are the cream of the crop in both the NL West and National League. In fact, they are projected to have a record ten games better than the next team, which is the San Diego Padres, who have improved upon their 2020 playoff team with the likes of Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, among other moves.
If the 2019 playoff structure remains with the division winners and two Wild Card teams, the Rockies would be 20 games out of the second Wild Card spot. If the 2020 playoff structure remains in 2021, the Rockies would still be 17 games out of the playoff picture.
For the Rockies, here’s how they describe them.
"“Competent pitching may save the Rockies from a disastrous season, but the morale-killing of the Arenado trade and pending loss of Trevor Story can’t be measured.”"
More from Rox Pile
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
If the Rockies are that bad, they will likely will (or at least, should) trade Trevor Story before the trade deadline. Charlie Blackmon may even be traded too since he has a player option for 2022. Whether or not the Rockies believe that he will exercise the $21 million option, they may look to trade him to a) get something for him in return if they believe that he will hit the open market in the offseason or b) they want to dump his salary if he indicates that he will exercise the option.
Jon Gray is also a free agent at the end of the 2021 season so the Rockies may be looking to trade all three of them in the next five months. If all three are traded or leave, that would mean that four of the six top Rockies in WAR in 2019, per Baseball-Reference, will no longer be on the team (those three plus Arenado). The other two in there were German Marquez and Scott Oberg, who has been having the nagging blood clot issues in his arm.
Seventh was Tony Wolters, 10th was Tim Melville, and 12th was James Pazos, all three of whom are no longer with the Rockies either. And that team only won 71 games. So, unless some younger players really step up, the 96 losses might actually be on the high-end for a team that, regardless of individual projections, looks like one of, if not, the worst teams in the National League and MLB, in general.