Colorado Rockies: What Bud Black is watching for as season winds down
Things have not panned out the way that the Colorado Rockies planned in 2022. The club has had its fair share of injuries but there were two things that truly caused the demise of the team: the regression of much of their starting pitching staff and the denial of the team’s front office that they had enough talent to make it to the postseason (or even have a .500 record) in the first place.
However, while the team may be out of contention, it doesn’t mean that Colorado manager Bud Black is keeping an eye on some things that he is hoping to see happen before the season comes to a close, as he told Rox Pile earlier this week.
Bud Black on what he’s looking at as the 2022 season winds down for the Rockies
"“I think wins are the most important thing,” Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black told Rox Pile. “You have to keep winning and keep trying to win. I’d like to see more than anything progress from a lot of our younger players. That’s important. We have some lesser service time players and some rookies who are trying to establish themselves, so I think that’s important. I would like to see a lot of our position players finish the season strong with their performances. I think that’s important as well for guys like (Brendan) Rodgers, (Ryan) McMahon, guys who are becoming solid everyday players.”"
One major thing for the “lesser service time players” and rookies is the endurance and stamina of a 162-game season. For example, Brendan Rodgers has never played in more than 114 games in a season. Friday’s game against the Mets will tie that record for Rodgers. It’s even more important with no minor league season in 2020.
"“For me, there’s something about the 162-game season and being able to withstand the rigors, being durable, and not wilt, per se, to the long season,” Black said. “I think (Rodgers), (McMahon), (Brian) Serven, (Elias) Diaz, I think it’s important for those guys. It’s also important for older players like (C.J.) Cron and (José) Iglesias to finish strong for their own confidence and their careers so that they can they can say, ‘Hey, 2022, I had a good season’ because both of them are having good seasons. Cron is an All-Star and Iglesias is the fourth-leading hitter in the National League."
As we mentioned earlier, one of the main pitfalls of the team has been their pitching, which has taken a big step back in 2022. Bud Black is looking to see how they finish off their season as well.
“I’d like to see our pitchers continue to make their starts,” Black said. “That says something for their durability. Our relief pitchers, the same, to finish the season strong and maybe change some of their numbers from where they are to looking better as they go into the winter looking to improve from last year.”
In September, there will roster expansion (from 26 to 28 players) and Bud Black is expecting to see some new faces.
“We’ll have a couple of new players in September,” Black said. “We don’t know who they’re going to be yet, but we’re hoping that there might be a new face or two here to evaluate.”
The club may have telegraphed that they could have more than two new faces as the club DFA’d reliever Robert Stephenson on Thursday. If the club is willing to DFA veterans like Stephenson, there could be a flurry of new faces on the team in the coming weeks.