Finally, after a long and miserable summer, the Colorado Rockies 2023 season has come to an end.
The 2023 season will definitely go down in the history books but not for good reason. The Rockies accomplished a team milestone that has never happened in franchise history by losing 100 games in a season.
Over the course of the year, the Rockies were decimated by injuries and terrible pitching. The team ended the year with their entire opening-day rotation and key veteran hitters on the injured list, leaving them with almost no chance to compete. Followed by staying healthy, the Rockies will also need a boost of production out of veteran and young hitters next year.
Going forward, I decided to take a look at this year's roster and highlight five players that will be key in the team's success next year.
1. Kyle Freeland need to return to his 2018 self
Just a few weeks into the 2022 MLB season, the Rockies announced that they agreed on a five year contract extension with veteran starting pitcher Kyle Freeland.
While it's only been two years since that extension, this deal is starting to look like one that might actually haunt the Rockies instead of being a steal as he signed for a $64.5 million contract extension.
Over the last two years, Freeland has yet to win 10 games in a season and has not been able to keep his ERA below a 4.00 This past year, Freeland finished with a 6-14 record with a 5.03 ERA, 94 strikeouts, 42 walks giving him a 2.2 strikeout to walk ratio.
In 2018, Freeland showed promise as a future ace of the staff for Colorado as he finished the year with a 17-7 record and a 2.85 ERA while striking out a career-high, 173 batters. Since then, Freeland has yet to replicate that 2018 season and is starting to look like he might be a one-hit wonder.
While Freeland might be a fan favorite as he is a Denver native and attended high school just 11 miles away from Coors Field at Thomas Jefferson High School, if he cannot step it up in 2024, he might have to be a name the Rockies should consider to cut ties with next season.