Why are the Colorado Rockies good?
We can squabble over the details all day and we will continue to for the rest of 2018 and well into 2019. Should they have gone after more offensive weapons? Could a more proactive approach have led to a more satisfying end to the season? Will the Rockies be content with simply making the postseason and not take the necessary steps to make themselves legitimate championship contenders?
But one cannot earnestly hold the position that the Colorado baseball club hasn’t taken huge strides over the last two years, taking them from afterthought to firmly in the mix.
And they’ve done it with a myriad of moves, though most of them come with questions marks. Did Jeff Bridich and company really get the best veterans to combine with their young players? Should they have trusted the latter a bit more than the former? And what in the world went on in the bullpen?
The one element of the team where there are more answers than questions (though still plenty of both) is the starting pitching.
This is well known by now. This group of Rockies’ starters just put together the best all-around pitching season in franchise history. Denver-native Kyle Freeland set a new mark for best ERA and while he gobbled up the headlines and attention required for covering a hometown hero, his running mate from Venezuela quietly began to dominate opposing hitters in a way we haven’t seen since Ubaldo Jimenez and Pedro Astacio.
And while clamoring for the kid from Colorado to pitch in the NLDS, an understandable disappointment for fans, it seems to have been a bit forgotten that German Marquez’ development, and embrace of Coors Field, was just as important to getting the club into the dance for the second consecutive year.