4 Rockies players who have stood out after the first week

Even though it's been a tough start, these 4 have carried the weight
Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
2 of 3

These 2 relievers might need more opportunities

With all of the struggles the Rockies pitching has faced so far this season, there have actually been a few bullpen arms that have looked really good. The bullpen was expected to be carried by Justin Lawrence and Tyler Kinley with Peter Lambert holding down the long-relief role. With about a weeks' worth of games under their belt, there are two names that have really stood out and have looked solid.

Did the Rockies find a potential high leverage arm?

The Rockies aren't going to face a lot of high-leverage situations this year; the team won't contend enough to seriously consider an option, but having a solid reliever is certainly nice to have. The Rockies didn't think that they would have much in their bullpen, but Vodnik has looked overpowering, with improved control.

In three appearances this season, he leads the relievers with 5.2 innings pitched without giving up a run. He has only surrendered three hits, while impressively striking out six and walking just two. Vodnik's fastball has been sitting in the upper 90's and looks overpowering as he relies on it heavily (60% of the time). Vodnik looks like he has found his footing and is going to become a very solid reliever for a struggling Rockies team this year.

Are the Rockies about to turn a waiver claim into a solid reliever?

Claimed by the Rockies after being DFA'd by the Rangers, Nick Mears has looked solid to start the 2024 season. Mears leads the team in appearances so far and has done a great job when called upon. A bad 2023 season seems to be in the mirror for the 27-year-old righty.

In his three appearances this year, Mears has worked 3.2 innings, allowing just one hit and one run. He hasn't allowed a walk and has surprisingly struck out five batters in that time, showing some strikeout potential. Relying heavily on his fastball (76.5% fof the time) has translated well for Mears, generating a solid 36.4% whiff rate on the fastball. His curveball has also been a really good pitch, throwing it just 14.7% of the time, but it has generated a whiff rate of 66.7%, providing a 16 mile per hour difference from the fastball. Mears has looked solid this year and should continue to get opportunities in a bad Rockies bullpen; he deserves it, he has looked really good so far.