Kyle Freeland had the exact opposite issue of his fellow starting rotation mate, Germán Márquez, for the 2021 Colorado Rockies: he was much better in the latter part of the season.
Freeland, who turns 29 during the 2022 season, had a rough start the season in a few ways. Toward the end of spring training, Freeland suffered a left shoulder injury, which delayed his start for the regular season until the final full week of May.
In his first five starts of the season (through June 16), Freeland was not good as he had an ERA of 9.58 and a FIP of 9.56. Batters hit .400/.471/.767 against him in that span. But in his final 18 starts of the season, Freeland was more like the Freeland of old.
He had an ERA of 3.24, a FIP of 3.61, and batters hit .256/.309/.401 against him in that span. Overall, he had a 7-8 record with an ERA of 4.33 (which was his exact ERA in 2020 as well), a FIP of 4.63, a 2.3 rWAR, and a 1.5 fWAR.
Colorado Rockies starter Kyle Freeland has similar numbers in 2022 projections
Heading into 2022, Kyle Freeland will be one of the four main starting pitchers that the Colorado Rockies will rely on and, most likely, he will be the no. 2 starter.
Overall, he was their second-best pitcher in rWAR after Márquez in 2021 but he was fourth in fWAR behind Márquez, Jon Gray, and Antonio Senzatela, who was actually highest in fWAR.
ZiPS projects that Freeland will go 9-8 with a 4.85 ERA, a 4.65 FIP, and a 1.6 fWAR. With fWAR, it is a slight uptick for him but the ERA and FIP are a bit higher than he had in 2021.
Considering how well he pitched after toward the end of the season, I would think that Freeland will pitch better than those numbers, especially if the Rockies can get him some run support.
In his eight losses, the Rockies scored more than three runs in two of them. In his three no-decisions that the Rockies ended up losing, they scored fewer than two runs in two of the three.
Overall for Freeland, he has to be healthy and just have some more consistency in his seasons in order to be close to the same caliber he was at in 2018. He showed glimpses of that in 2021 but now, he has to continue it.