Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Rotation Had Other Plans


In 2017, the Colorado Rockies established a homegrown rotation consisting of Jon Gray, German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela and Kyle Freeland. After a certain point, knowing that these guys would be hot commodities, the Rockies signed three of them to long term contracts, and eventually let the fourth go after 5 or 6 years. So Freeland, Senza and Marquez are all still contracted by the Rockies organization, and will be for at least another year or three. 

Except, uh...none of them are pitching right now. They're all hurt. Senza and Marquez started the season on the IL, then Freeland joined them. And the pitching staff has consisted of one homegrown product, two Cardinals products, a Padres product and a Giants product. And, like...they're honestly doing fine?

Austin Gomber having a fantastic season was not something the team was expecting, as Gomber had limped along the past two years without having a great deal of success. But this season, the former Cardinals pitcher, who'd been dealt in exchange for Nolan Arenado, has been nothing short of fantastic. In 10 starts he has a 2.76 ERA and a 1.108 WHIP, both surprisingly low for someone who has to pitch in Coors Field a lot. Gomber isn't a flashy pitcher, and isn't exactly known for his strikeouts, but he's just a calculated, controlled pitcher that hasn't given up many hits this year. Compare that to Ryan Feltner, who leads the team in Ks but has a high ERA and a 1.500 WHIP. Sometimes throwing hard doesn't mean as much if they know where it's coming.

But people like Gomber, Cal Quantrill and somehow Ty Blach have been pleasant surprises for the Rockies this year, and while some, especially Blach, may seem like replacement-level options, they've been holding down opposing lineups and making the games close. If the Rockies were known for their run support right now it'd be a different story [and why should I believe a team with Kris Bryant and Ryan McMahon would be known for their run support?], but this team having more pitchers they can actually trust to keep things pinned down does help. Marquez, Senzatela and Freeland may not be what they were a few years ago, but they did infer a sense of stability, and Gomber and Quantrill have been stable, reliable options.

The Rockies still aren't great of course. Bryant's signing might be one of the worst in recent memory, and I say that keeping Javier Baez's in mind as well. Tovar, Diaz, McMahon and Doyle are hitting but there's so many holes in this team. They've given the ninth to Jalen Beeks, and it's not exactly going well [sidenote: between today and the start of June coming up, Beeks must be having a rough time]. It's still wild to me that Diaz/Stallings has been such a good catching battery, but there's so few working outfield options that Jake Cave is starting games. It's a rough time, even if some aspects are going well.

The Rockies get to play the Dodgers and Reds this week, and the best case scenario is no one gets injured this time. 

Coming Tomorrow- Someone I got to see go yard recently, and it is as wonderful as you might expect.

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