Colorado Rockies pitchers will always have a tall task ahead of them, and that’s no different in a tough NL West this year. The Rockies received less-than-ideal results from its rotation in 2022, but could that change in 2023? Let’s take a look at how the Rockies rotation may look come this March.
A Look at the Rockies Rotation Options
- RHP Germán Márquez (9-13, 4.95 ERA, 7.4 K/9)
- LHP Kyle Freeland (9-11, 4.53 ERA, 6.8 K/9)
- LHP Austin Gomber (5-7, 5.56 ERA, 6.9 K/9)
- RHP José Ureña (3-8, 5.14 ERA, 6.0 K/9)
- RHP Ryan Feltner (4-9, 5.83 ERA, 7.8 K/9)
Given the nature of Coors Field, one should expect interesting stats from Rockies pitchers. Out of the four starters who logged at least 100 IP for Colorado, not one had an ERA better than 4.50 and only one (Kyle Freeland) posted an ERA+ above 100.
After a quiet winter, the Rockies are set to bring back mostly the same rotation from last season. We’ll start with RHP Germán Márquez, who led all Rockies pitchers in innings pitched (181.2) last year. Márquez boasts a good heater and two solid breaking balls, and does do a fair job of inducing ground balls and weak contact. But to little shock, home runs proved to be a problem for the right-hander. The 28-year-old surrendered 30 home runs in 2022.
Left-hander and Team USA pitcher Kyle Freeland has produced steady results over the last three seasons. Freeland recorded ERA+ figures above 100 in each of the last three seasons, important context given the hitter-friendly confines in Denver. The lefty demonstrated good control and command yet again, attributes the Rockies will need again in 2023.
Márquez and Freeland were the Rockies’ two best pitchers in 2022, but Colorado will need more if this group wants to stay competitive in the NL West. LHP Austin Gomber saw his ERA balloon to 5.56 ERA in 2022, one year after he posted a 4.53 ERA and averaged almost a strikeout per inning. The lefty can beat hitters with two good secondary offerings, a mid-80s slider and a solid changeup. But, keeping both pitches down in the zone will be important.
Colorado brought back José Ureña for 2023, after the veteran right-hander went 3-8 with a 5.14 ERA. Those numbers weren’t great, but he does own a hard fastball and does a decent job of keeping the ball on the ground.
With RHP Antonio Senzatela set to miss the start of 2023, RHP Ryan Feltner seems to be a favorite to start the season with the Rockies. The 25-year-old saw his first extended action at the MLB level in 2022, but it could have went better. Feltner posted a less-than-stellar 5.83 ERA. Feltner showed promise in the Minors, thanks to a mid-90s fastball and a solid slider.
One name to keep an eye on in the Rockies rotation is former first-round pick Ryan Rolison. Rolison missed all of last season due to shoulder problems, but could push his way to the Majors this season if he stays healthy.