The Colorado Rockies won just 68 games in 2022, the fourth consecutive season in which the team recorded a losing season. A lot went wrong for the Rockies last season, from a series of injuries to Kris Bryant, to a starting rotation that ranked among the worst in all of baseball. But, it doesn’t look much from a personnel standpoint will change from 2023. Here’s a look at what the Rockies did this winter.
The two most notable pickups made by Colorado this offseason were the additions of Pierce Johnson and former Guardians prospect Nolan Jones. Right-handed reliever Pierce Johnson heads to the Rockies, after a solid three-year run in San Diego. The 31-year-old missed a good chunk of last season due to a forearm issue, but did come back to boost the Padres bullpen during San Diego’s playoff run. When healthy, Johnson’s displayed solid control, along with a very nice curveball and mid-90s heater.
Former top prospect Nolan Jones, meanwhile, will head to the Rockies after failing to get regular playing time in a loaded Guardians infield. The 6’4” third baseman has only received 94 plate appearances in the Majors, but did show good pop and plate discipline in the Minors.
Reliever Carlos Estevez and shortstop Jose Iglesias are among the notable names not to return to Colorado for 2023. Both ranked in the top ten in WAR among all Rockies players last season. Estevez performed quite well last season, as he pitched to the tune of a 3.47 ERA and was one of the few relievers aside from Daniel Bard that provided stability for the Rockies bullpen. Jose Iglesias batted .292 for the Rockies last season, the second-best batting average for the Rockies.
The Rockies also parted ways with starter Chad Kuhl and infielder Garrett Hampson. Kuhl provided less-than-stellar results in 2022, as the righty recorded a 5.37 ERA over 137 innings. As for Hampson, the speedy utilityman failed to make an offensive impact in Colorado. Across parts of five season, Hampson hit .235/.296/.370 with the Rockies.
A year after inking star third baseman Kris Bryant to a massive seven-year deal, the Rockies opted for a muted winter. It might not exactly be the kind of offseason Colorado fans had in mind, given the results from last season.
The Rockies are set to bring back most of its rotation from last season, one that didn’t perform particularly well in 2022. Every starter for the Rockies who accumulated at least 85 innings recorded an ERA north of 4.50 and K/9 rates south of 8.0. Given the nature of Colorado, it’s expected to see inflated ERA and FIP figures, but it’s not like the Rockies’ pitching staff helped the cause. The Rockies will return a solid offense, one that does include the aforementioned Bryant. C.J. Cron, Charlie Blackmon, and Ryan McMahon.
In a difficult NL West, it’s hard to see the Rockies significantly improve in 2023. However, the Rockies do possess some very interesting prospects in the farm, including Zac Veen and Michael Toglia, that could become regulars in the near future.