The Colorado Rockies were, at best, average in 2016. The club finished 75-87, and sat in the middle of the pack in the National League West. One would be hard-pressed to see them excel in the division, with the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in their way. However, the off-season has been somewhat good to the Rockies. Acquiring Ian Desmond, Greg Holland and Mike Dunn has given the team a dramatic boost. With a farm system full of talented prospects, this club has the ability to continue to acquire Major League talent throughout the season. The only question that remains about the Colorado Rockies is within their pitching staff. The rotation is young, and mostly unproven in the long-term. Will it be enough to top the Dodgers or the Giants? Here’s what the 2017 projected rotation looks like for the Rockies.
- Jon Gray
Jon Gray is the future of this franchise, in the truest sense of the phrase. At just 24 years of age, Gray has already made an impression on the Rockies fans and front office. He tossed one of the greatest complete game shutouts in Colorado history. Over 29 games in 2016, 168 innings pitched, Gray had a 4.61 ERA and a 1.262 WHIP. He enters Spring Training looking to improve on his pitching style while also developing his arm strength. The Rockies need him to pitch deep into games. They will hope he sees over 200 innings this coming season. Gray will be the leader of the rotation and must set the example for the entire Rockies pitching staff.[Blake]
- Chad Bettis
2016 was the best season Chad Bettis has had to date. He started the off-season with some terrible news, being diagnosed with testicular cancer. After surgery in November, Bettis was declared cancer-free in December. Things are looking up for him, and the Rockies need him to truly shine in the number two slot. Bettis had his own complete game shutout in 2016 and ended the year with a 4.79 ERA. He has room for development and growth and will look to compliment Gray as one of the leaders of this Colorado Rockies pitching staff.
- Tyler Chatwood
Tyler Chatwood is a prime example of the biggest concern for the Colorado Rockies. How can they get pitchers to become dominant at the high altitude of their home stadium? In 2016, Chatwood had a 1.69 ERA on the road (80 innings minimum) but had a grossly high 6.12 ERA while pitching at home. The young pitcher missed much of 2014 and 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Last season was his time to find a groove again. Now that 2017 is here, he has to solidify his position as the number three starter.
- Tyler Anderson
We have just a small sample size in 2016 in which to evaluate Tyler Anderson and his Major League ability. The lefty pitched in 19 games, had a 3.54 ERA and a 1.286 WHIP. Anderson has a poor track record with his health and hasn’t given much confidence to the Colorado Rockies. However, if he can manage to stay healthy in 2017, Anderson has some remarkable upside. His ceiling is high and just needs the right guidance to get there.[Kenny2]
- Jeff Hoffman
Just like with many teams at the onset of Spring Training, there is a battle to lock in the number five slot. Jeff Hoffman will be battling German Marquez and Chris Rusin for the job. The Rockies must have some belief in his ability, as Hoffman was crucial in the trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays. He ended 2016 on a good note, as his last start was his best. In that game, Hoffman had seven strikeouts and only gave up one run on two hits. Spring Training will be just as important for Hoffman as any of the Rockies players, as he needs to cement himself into the starting rotation.