To best sum up the 2023 Colorado Rockies at their current state, I will submit this stat: By WAR, the Rockies' fourth best player right now is the 35-year-old former Diamondbacks and Brewers starter Chase Anderson, who was plugged in to help as several starters got injured. Anderson, through 4 starts, has pitched 21.2 innings, has a 2.08 ERA, has struck out 10 people and has given up 5 earned runs. That is the kind of dominance-by-inertia that not just any pitcher can pull off.
By doing essentially the bare minimum as a pitcher for 4 starts and Mr. Magooing your way through an appearance without getting a game decision, you get a better WAR than Ezequiel Tovar, Charlie Blackmon, and the entirety of the impressive bullpen guys I've talked about in Denver this year [Bird, Lawrence, Bard, Johnson, Suter, Hand]. That's where we're at. Chase Anderson is indispensable to this team solely because he hasn't let them down yet, like Trevor Story in April 2016 or Kyle Freeland in 2017. Seeing that he is Chase Anderson, and he is 35, the other shoe will drop eventually. But until then, he's up there with Elias Diaz, Kyle Freeland and Ryan McMahon as people who are crucial to this team's success.
Speaking of McMahon, he wasn't always near the top, and it definitely took til mid-May for him to take off and remind people of how versatile he can be. Right now McMahon is only hitting .258 with 9 homers and 34 RBIs, but his defense is the difference-maker, and keeping him at third base has made him even more important to this team. I think the lack of Brendan Rodgers at the helm of this team is palpable, and while someone like McMahon can still provide the same sense of multi-faceted leadership, I still think Rodgers is a better player than McMahon, even if McMahon has had more success.
It is somewhat heartening, though, to see the homegrown guys like McMahon, Brenton Doyle, Ezequiel Tovar and, when he comes back, Rodgers, are carrying the lineup even as the signed pieces like Kris Bryant, C.J. Cron, Jurickson Profar and Mike Moustakas continue to disappoint. The farm system is producing good people, and with pieces like Zac Veen, Coco Montes and Drew Romo still waiting in the minors, it will likely stay that way. Just...perhaps Noah Davis and Karl Kauffmann could use some more time in the minors apparently.
The Rockies are a flawed team with a lot out of sorts, but I don't think they're as bad as they could be, and there's still a lot of promise that could bring them to prominence in the future. Someone like McMahon helps, but I don't know how long they'll need him for.
Coming Tonight: Still one of the best young players in the league 5 or so years after his debut.