The Colorado Rockies begin the 2022 season against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 8th. With less than a week until Opening Day that can only mean one thing: predictions. Here are my four bold predictions for the Rockies in 2022.
Colorado Rockies 3B Ryan McMahon ends Nolan Arenado’s Gold Glove streak
Former Colorado Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado’s stranglehold on the National League’s third base Gold Glove should finally come to an end after nine straight seasons and it should come at the hands of his replacement Ryan McMahon.
It streak should have ended last season as RyMac led the NL in fielding percentage for third baseman (.979) and also led the majors in Defensive Runs Saved with 22. The problems were he started 44 of his 139 games at second and Arenado’s reputation. More starts at the hot corner should earn him some gold hardware and ending Arenado’s historic streak.
Austin Gomber is a 15-game winner
Speaking of Arenado, one of the players the Rockies acquired in that trade debacle was starting pitcher Austin Gomber. In his first season in Denver, the now 28-year-old lefty went 9-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 115.1 innings over 23 games started.
The Rockies tried to keep his workload light considering he only had 15 career starts entering 2021. If he is able to get a full 30-plus starts this season, a 15-win season is easily attainable.
A diminished role for Charlie Blackmon by the end of the season
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the sun is getting close to setting on Chuck Nazty’s career. Blackmon is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career hitting only 13 home runs and a .270 batting average which are the smallest numbers in those categories he has posted when playing in 100 or more games.
The additions of Kris Bryant and Randal Grichuk to an outfield that already includes Conner Joe, Sam Hilliard, Yonathan Daza, and Garrett Hampson could cause Blackmon’s playing time to diminish even with the introduction of the designated hitter to the NL.
If Hilliard finally has that breakout season the Rockies have been hoping for and Connor Joe plays as well as he did last season, there will be little room for the 35-year-old Blackmon in the lineup if his numbers continue on their downward trajectory.
Fourth place in the NL West with an 80-82 record
A fourth-place finish in the NL West is not surprising but 80 wins would be a shocker, especially to the people in Vegas. Most sportsbooks have the Rockies’ win total at 70 or below (our friends over at WynnBET have their over/under number at 70.0). The Rockies are coming off of a 74-win season and even with the departures of Trevor Story and Jon Gray, they seem to have a better team entering 2022.
Getting to 80 wins for the Rockies will likely come down to how well they play in their 76 games against their division foes. The Dodgers and Giants both won 100+ games in 2021 and it is hard to see the Giants doing that again.
It is also improbable that the Diamondbacks will lose an astronomical 110 games again but if the Rockies can continue to rack up the wins against the D-Backs and scratch out a few more wins against the others, an 80-win season is on the table.