The Colorado Rockies can’t have any All Stars… can they?
I mean, we know every team gets at least one, but could they actually have a decent handful of candidates?
It’s been a bad season and just about all the guys who were slated to be the biggest producers have been anything but.
Their lone participant in the Midsummer Classic a year ago, German Marquez, has struggled mightily and been by the numbers one of the worst qualified starters in the National League. His last outing was promising, but even a dramatic turnaround that happens immediately won’t be enough to send him back to the big game.
Kris Bryant was a popular pick before the season began to be the Rox only representative but with only 17 games under his belt, that is a non-starter as well.
So if their presumed best pitcher and best position player are well out of the mix, who is in the mix?
We must begin with first baseman C.J. Cron who has spent most of the season near or even at the top of most offensive categories. He has slipped a bit lately but is still sitting at an impressive .286/.339/.531 slashline with 14 home runs and 41 RBI. Only six players in the NL have more homers and only five have more RBI.
His 131 OPS+ is consistent with where he was a year ago and, especially when you adjust it a bit for the Hangover Effect, is perfectly in line with being an All-Star hitter. He has also comfortably been the Rockies best hitter since midway through the 2021 season so it makes sense that he could be the one guy wearing Rockies gear for the All-Star Game.
Would be pretty fun to watch him in the Home Run Derby, too. This guy hits the ball a big long way.
Oddly enough, despite how bad the pitching has been overall, the Rockies actually might have a few more men from the mound make their way to LA.
Chad Kuhl will need to put together some great starts going into the contest and he will also need the voters to do something they rarely do; fairly include Coors Field in their analysis.
A 3.70 ERA puts him at 17th in the NL and a 127 ERA+ helps us understand that he has been much better than that number would traditionally suggest. If he can get it under 3.50, he should at least be able to make the case based on degree of difficulty. He might even get a few bonus points for being a great story of a guy who has been mostly OK at best to this point in his career but is clearly discovering a new version of himself. Voters love that stuff.
Daniel Bard has been pretty fantastic as a closer, recording 12 saves and posting a 2.31 ERA and 205 ERA+.
But the strongest case based on the numbers, and the guy most likely to be the biggest snub this year, is reliever Tyler Kinley.
Kinley has been almost impossibly good this season. He has pitched 24 innings and allowed just two earned runs, an ERA of 0.75. He has struck out 27 and walked just six. All of that equates to an ERA+ of 631 which is incomprehensibly huge.
But, he is a pitcher in Colorado and with Cron likely getting in and the general apathy around the team, Kinley will probably get caught up in Rockies Malaise.
It also might be worth keeping our eyes on Connor Joe who hasn’t put up the kind of numbers typical of a participant in the classic but he does have a pretty epic on-base streak to his name. Plus, Brendan Rodgers has been hotter than the sun since his freezing cold start and if he keeps it up that could become a really fun conversation.
There’s still a lot of time between now and July 19. A lot can happen. The best thing that can happen for any of these guys is for the Rockies to win enough games that the voting public doesn’t hold the futility of their team against them.
If they can, this weird year might well continues as the Colorado Rockies extremely disappointing pitching staff sends multiple representatives to the All-Star game.