The San Francisco Giants had five coaches working with pitchers including Andrew Bailey (pitching), Brian Bannister (director of pitching), Craig Albernaz (bullpen coach as well as catching coach), J.P. Martinez (assistant pitching), and Brant Whiting (bullpen). The Colorado Rockies should have something similar to that on both the pitching and hitting fronts.
The Rockies have a director of pitching in Steve Foster, who just accepted the role after leaving the role of pitching coach and the retirement of Mark Wiley. Darryl Scott is the new pitching coach, who was promoted to the spot after Foster was promoted. The Rockies do have a “coordinator of pitching strategy” in Flint Wallace as well. But they still have to hire a bullpen coach and they do have manager Bud Black (a former pitcher and pitching coach himself) but they could use another pitching mind (like an assistant pitching coach).
We all know that the Rockies always have to have help in the pitching department in creating consistency. Fortunately for them, they have the best starting rotation in the team’s brief history. But they had a more glaring issue in 2021: pitching on the road.
In 2021, Rockies pitchers had an ERA of 4.67 at Coors Field and opponents hit .256/.326/.427 against them. On the road, the Rockies had an ERA of 4.99 and opponents hit .264/.339/.443.
Here’s a look at the Rockies five primary starting pitchers at Coors Field in 2021:
- Germán Márquez: 8-3, 3.67 ERA, 18 starts, 1.175 WHIP
- Jon Gray: 5-5, 4.02 ERA, 14 starts, 1.149 WHIP
- Antonio Senzetela: 3-3, 3.97 ERA, 15 starts, 1.212 WHIP
- Kyle Freeland: 4-3, 4.83 ERA, 11 starts, 1.475 WHIP
- Austin Gomber: 5-1, 2.09 ERA, 9 starts, 0.951 WHIP
And here are those same pitchers on the road in 2021:
- Germán Márquez: 4-8, 5.38 ERA, 14 starts, 1.403 WHIP
- Jon Gray: 3-7, 5.22 ERA, 15 starts, 1.528 WHIP
- Antonio Senzetela: 1-7, 5.05 ERA, 13 starts, 1.515 WHIP
- Kyle Freeland: 3-5, 3.84 ERA, 12 starts, 1.361 WHIP
- Austin Gomber: 4-8, 6.22 ERA, 14 starts, 1.441 WHIP
So, ironically enough, the Colorado native (Kyle Freeland) was the only Rockies starting pitcher who wasn’t better at Coors Field.
Another pitching coach, one especially who specializes in analytics, may be able to help that.
As for a third (and possibly, a fourth) hitting coach, the Rockies need to be able to find someone that specializes in analytics and help the Rockies be able to figure out their hitting woes on the road.
Here are the offensive splits for the Rockies at home and on the road:
- Coors: .280/.341/.475, 764 hits, 171 doubles, 25 triples, 104 homers, 443 RBI
- Away: .217/.291/.352, 574 hits, 104 doubles, 9 triples, 78 homers, 266 RBI
Those away numbers are better than they were before their road games in September. In the month of September on the road, the Rockies hit .244 and averaged 5.23 runs per game on the road.
But in addition to being able to find a solution to those issues, the Rockies (and other teams) are behind the Giants in diversity in their coaching.
In addition to diversity in their baseball backgrounds and a few Spanish-speaking coaches (primarily, their quality control coach Nick Ortiz and assistant pitching coach J.P. Martinez), the Giants have a coach (Taira Uematsu) who is a native Japanese speaker. He is the first MLB coach to be born in Japan. They also have a female coach in Alyssa Nakken, who had been in the Giants baseball operations department since 2014.
The Rockies NL West rival, the Arizona Diamondbacks, are hiring coaches with proven experience. They hired former Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister as bench coach, they hired former Cincinnati Reds assistant hitting coach Joe Mather (who will have three assistants, two of which will be in the majors and one in the minors but they will rotate for that), and they have reportedly hired Brent Strom to be their pitching coach. Strom had been the Houston Astros pitching coach since 2014. He was one of the key figures behind turning them from one of the worst pitching teams in baseball to one of the best in the last half-decade.