Pitching is what wins the national league every year; the biggest part being the bullpen. Clearly the Rockies have always had the offense to contend, but their pitching hasn’t exactly performed above par. In years past the reason has been both lack of talent and execution, but over the past few years they have stock piled on young pitchers. One of the biggest acquisitions was reliever Jake McGee. But, McGee alone isn’t enough to hold down the bullpen. So, they signed Mike Dunn. However, at that point they still didn’t have a solidified closer.
Just days ago, the Rox singed Greg Holland to a one-year deal worth $7 million with another 7 in incentives and an option for 2018. Holland was one of the best closers in the game for four straight years with KC from 2012-2015. He also collected 7 saves in 11 innings of work with an ERA under 1 during the 2014 postseason. Over the last few weeks Holland has been working out on the mound. He himself has said the ball is popping out out of his hand like it was in 2014. If Holland can even be 90%, it could make the Rox serious contenders, at least for a Wild Card spot.
With the addition of Ian Desmond, the healthy return of Trevor Story, the rising of David Dahl, and other things, Colorado’s lineup should be lethal. Despite the lineup possibly producing 5+ runs a game, and having a good pen to close out the game, the starting rotation still needs to do their job. The Rockies may not have a legitimate ace, but the options are deep.
Firstly, Chad Bettis has made a remarkable transition from reliever to closer after winning 14 games in 2016. Tyler Chatwood also had a breakout 2016 producing an ERA of 3.87 in 158 innings pitched. Thirdly, Jon Gray logged 168 innings in his 2016 rookie campaign striking out 185. After those three starters, the Rockies have an abundance to pick from. The list includes former MiLB breakout star, #44 ranked prospect Jeff Hoffman, and young Venezuelan German Marquez. Other than those three, the list goes on as the Rockies has three pitchers ranked in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects.
Certainly, the Rockies have some question marks, but there are no holes. Colorado may not see a championship this year, but because of their depth everywhere, they will be a force to be reckon with for seasons to come. Who knows, if the new bullpen signings perform up to expectations, 3 or 4 starters show up, and the offense as lethal on the field as on paper, the Rox could shock the world.