The Colorado Rockies have named German Marquez as the Opening Day starter when the Rockies kick off the 2021 season at Coors Field on April 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Manager Bud Black made the news official during Sunday morning’s media get-together. This will mark the second consecutive season that the right-hander has opened the season on the mound for the Rockies. Marquez took the mound on July 24 of last year on the road against the Texas Rangers and allowed just two hits and one run while striking out six in 5.2 innings of work. Despite the solid outing, Marquez earned the loss in a 1-0 Texas win.
Marquez becomes the sixth pitcher in Rockies history to earn consecutive Opening Day starts. The others are Jon Gray, Mike Hampton, Ubaldo Jimenez, Darryl Kile, and Kevin Ritz.
Marquez’s 2020 Opening Day outing was part of a workhorse-like 2020 for Marquez, who paced the National League with 81.2 innings pitched and tied for the Major League lead by facing 344 batters.
The 26-year-old Marquez went 4-6 with a 3.75 ERA in 2020, marking the second time in the last three years he has finished the season with a sub-4.00 ERA.
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Marquez has faced the Dodgers nine times in his career and has held the NL West rivals to a .194 batting average while posting a 2.54 ERA.
An interesting note is that Marquez and catcher Elias Diaz have worked well together in the past and could form the Opening Day battery against the Dodgers. If that’s the case, they will build upon 20 previous innings of work where Marquez has posted a 1.35 ERA with Diaz behind the plate. That’s by far the lowest ERA Marquez has working with any catcher during his five-year career.
Meanwhile, Marquez and Dom Nunez (expected to be the other catcher on Colorado’s Opening Day roster) have never worked together in an MLB game.
With fellow starting pitcher Kyle Freeland out of the lineup for at least a month with a shoulder strain, Marquez and the rest of the Rockies rotation will have plenty of pressure on themselves to perform, especially starting the season against the defending World Champion Dodgers, who will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound for his ninth Opening Day start.