3) The Colorado Rockies must have more depth in nearly every area
One of the biggest strengths of the Atlanta Braves is that they had a lot of depth and every person who has watched the Colorado Rockies has not had any depth in their organization for years.
The Braves outfield depth was thin after the accusations against Ozuna and the injury to Acuna, Jr. so they got Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, and Adam Duvall but that was one instance. They had much more depth in the minors and, specifically, good depth.
Braves ace Charlie Morton suffered a fractured fibula during Game 1 of the World Series and starter Huascar Ynoa was removed off the roster in the NLCS due to injury. They didn’t have a starting pitcher the caliber of Morton or Ynoa to turn to but they were able to add Dylan Lee and Tucker Davidson to the roster.
Lee, 27, only had two MLB appearances in the regular season but he had an ERA of 1.54 in 35 relief appearances in Triple-A.
Davidson, 25, was injured for most of the season but he appeared in eight games (all starts) during the regular season (four in Triple-A and four in the majors). He had an ERA of 1.17 in Triple-A and an ERA of 3.60 in the majors.
They also had:
- Kyle Wright (10-5, 3.02 ERA, 24 starts in Triple-A)
- Jacob Webb (4.19 ERA in 34 regular season relief appearances)
- Kyle Muller (4.17 ERA in 36 2/3 IP in the majors and 3.39 ERA in 17 starts in Triple-A)
- Touki Touissant (MLB.com’s #50 overall prospect who had a 4.50 ERA in 50 MLB innings in 2021)
- Sean Newcomb (4.73 ERA in 32 relief appearances in the majors who was one of their best relievers in 2019 and had a 3.90 ERA in 164 innings in 2018)
There were even more pitchers who could have replaced them, like Josh Tomlin and Tanner Roark (both former big league starters with seven or more years of MLB service time).
The Braves also had numerous position player options like
- Orlando Arcia (nearly 600 games played in the majors)
- John Camargo (more than 350 MLB games)
- Top prospect Christian Pache
- Top prospect Drew Waters
- Two-time All-Star Jason Kipnis
- Former Gold Glove winner Yolmer Sanchez
- Two-time All-Star Stephen Vogt
- Terrance Gore (who was added to the roster when Soler was placed on the COVID-IL in the postseason. He has been a “pinch-runner” for winning teams for years. He has 3 World Series rings now and a total of 67 MLB PA’s)
- Chadwick Tromp, who has played in the majors in parts of the last two seasons
All of those players were contributors to the Gwinnett Braves, who went 71-58 (.550 winning percentage) in 2021 and, with the exception of Pache and Waters, all of the players had at least one year of service time in the majors and many of them with more as well as postseason experience.
Triple-A Albuquerque, the Rockies Triple-A affiliate, went 58-72 (.446 winning percentage).
Every team suffers injuries and, often, they are big injuries. It’s how teams weather those injuries. Teams like the Atlanta Braves have enough depth to win. The Colorado Rockies have consistently shown that they do not. That’s why Ryan Feltner, who was in Double-A, was called up when the Rockies lost two starters in September and not somebody in Triple-A. Teams that have organizational depth usually don’t have to do that.