MLB Offseason Preview: Colorado Rockiesby Jordan Leandre December 2, 2021 1 comment
The Colorado Rockies had a year of disappointment in 2021 for fans, players, and the front office. Longtime Rockies All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado was dealt to St. Louis. Trevor Story wasn’t moved at the trade deadline in July, neither was C.J. Cron, Raimel Tapia, German Marquez, or Daniel Bard. Overall, they finished 74-87 and 32.5 games back of first place in the National League West. They struggled mightily and failed to identify players to trade for prospects last summer. So what’s the outlook on the Colorado Rockies this winter?
Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Offseason Previews.
The goal is simple: add players that can help in the short term, but can be traded at the deadline next July. The Rockies are a solid few seasons away from competing, and keeping retaining Trevor Story in free agency doesn’t put them in the conversation of the NL postseason teams. Everything the Rockies do this winter should be with their future in mind.
Keys to the Offseason
Youth, Youth, and more Youth
It’s time for the Colorado Rockies to focus on the future. They saw good performances out of prospects like Connor Joe, but they need to open up the opportunity for more young guys to earn their stripes at the MLB level. Especially given the fact that, while still on the younger side, the average age of their roster is 28 years and change. They need to open up opportunities for the future of the organization to get a shot.
Reports include them in the mix to re-sign Story, or perhaps pursue another big fish like Kris Bryant. While it may be reassuring to a fan to know that the Rockies are going to try to keep star talent on the roster, it doesn’t fit the timeline of the remaining pieces on the roster.
Find More Strikeout Pitchers
The Coors effect is real in the sense that the ball flies all over the yard; differently from other ballparks. An easy way to counter the bad luck they’ve had––first in limiting fly balls and in a third-place tie for inducing ground balls, but allow the seventh-most earned runs––is to add more pitchers that simply miss bats.
There are ways for them to commit to adding more Strike 3 and fewer balls-in-play pitchers with this free agency class. The question is if they’re looking to add proven MLB talent to the roster, is it going to be in the rotation? Time will tell. So far, however, the indication is no they will not be doing that.
Rodón’s arm issues are well-documented, which makes his sudden drop in velocity down the stretch a bit alarming. However, he’s still a great pitcher when healthy, and a team like Colorado should be champing at the bit to sign him. In just 24 starts, the southpaw had a 2.65 FIP, a 2.96 SIERA, and a strikeout rate of 34.6%. Among starters with at least 130 innings in 2021, he was eighth in baseball with a 4.9 fWAR (third in the AL). For a team like the Rockies, it can’t hurt to take a flier on him for a year or two, see if he can sustain the success while staying on the field, and then trade him to a contender for a decent prospect haul. If you can pitch at Coors, you can pitch anywhere.
Like Rodón, Archer is snakebit by the injury bug in recent years. However, he’s also a proficient strikeout artist when healthy. Since the start of 2018, the right-hander has had a strikeout rate of over 26 percent, while walking just nine percent of batters faced. Again, injuries are prevalent with Archer, who didn’t pitch in 2020 after a season-ending injury in 2019. Then only pitched 19.1 innings in 2021. However, for one season, it could be a worthwhile gamble.
Archer brings excitement, energy and he does have talent, his only issue is that he’s allowed more than one home run per-nine innings every season since 2016. Having a home run problem should only be exaggerated by Coors Field. However, if he can limit them enough, stay healthy, and put up comparable strikeout numbers compared to his career, that could be another potential signing that creates a prospect haul at the trade deadline.
Follow Jordan Leandre on Twitter @JordanLeandre55
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images.