Colorado Rockies notebook: Kris Bryant, Bill Schmidt, Bud Black
The Colorado Rockies have their final home game of the 2022 season this afternoon against the San Diego Padres and entering the game, the state of the Rockies for the rest of the season and heading into 2023 is a bit clearer after hearing from Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant and GM Bill Schmidt.
Kris Bryant will not be returning to the Colorado Rockies in 2022
After progressing closer to a return from plantar fasciitis, Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant confirmed to Thomas Harding of MLB.com that he will not be returning this season.
He received platelet-rich plasma in his foot on August 24, which has a longer recovery time than a cortisone shot but, long term, it helps heal better than cortisone.
“If we were in the playoff hunt, I probably would have pushed through and got a cortisone shot,” Bryant told Harding. “The PRP is more healing, while cortisone masks the pain.”
“I’ve handled it as best as I could,” Bryant said. “It is a little depressing, just not playing baseball. Coming to a team and signing a deal, it sucks not being out there … And for the most part this year, I’ve been watching.”
He is excited about next season and he has enjoyed seeing some of the younger players play, though.
“I’m totally excited for next year. I know what to expect and I’m comfortable with the guys. It’s been really cool to see the younger guys getting an opportunity. [Shortstop Ezequiel] Tovar and all these guys are getting an opportunity.”
Rockies GM Bill Schmidt on the upcoming offseason, Bud Black, more
Colorado Rockies GM Bill Schmidt also spoke to the media prior to Saturday’s game and he gleaned a lot of information on where he thinks the team stands and where they will be heading.
For this year, “[n]eedless to say, this season hasn’t met our expectations,” Schmidt said Saturday “But at the same point, a lot of good things happen that don’t show up every day. And I say that in terms of our minor leagues and some of the foundational pieces that we are going to need going forward.”
As for what went wrong with the team, Schmidt thinks their defense and situational hitting have been a problem.
“We didn’t play defense to the standards that we normally play,” Schmidt said. “And our situational hitting left a lot to be desired, at times.”
The problem with the latter statement is that the Rockies have actually hit better with runners in scoring position than otherwise. In general, they had a team OPS of .719 entering Saturday. With runners in scoring position, they had a .759 OPS.
Neither mark is exactly glowing (11th and 12th) for a team that plays in such a hitter-friendly park.
As for the other half of their games, that has been the biggest issue. The club has continued to be a massive disappointment on the road. At home, they entered Saturday averaging 5.7 runs per game at Coors Field. They are averaging exactly three runs per game on the road. In addition, their road OPS is more than 180 points lower on the road (.804 at Coors and .621 on the road).
“We have to play the game better than we do, and that really comes back to situational hitting,” Schmidt said. “That means getting on base, getting the guy over, and getting the guy in.”
Schmidt also officially revealed that manager Bud Black will return in 2023. “Buddy came here right when we were ready to be good,” Schmidt said. “He led us to some playoffs. He’s very capable of doing it again. It’s not for lack of effort.”
At least for the foreseeable future, Black, 65, will be “on a rolling year-to-year contract,” which will allow for the flexibility on both sides to move on, if they so choose.
After the club’s final home game today, the Rockies will go to San Francisco for three games and six games in Los Angeles to end the regular season.