The Colorado Rockies have sludged their way to an 8-27 start to the 2024 MLB season with nearly nothing going well.

For those inclined to diagnose the biggest issues, you’ll find an offense striking out an exorbitant amount, an apparent allergy to getting the key hit, and a bullpen in shambles. 

As far as the rotation goes, however, they’ve actually been comparatively decent. The Rockies have two starters above the league average with Austin Gomber (123 ERA+) and Cal Quantrill (108) while the younger Ryan Feltner (84) and Peter Lambert (83) both have shown growth and promise. 

Dakota Hudson has been disappointing as was Kyle Freeland before he got hurt but especially over the last several weeks, again when compared to the rest of the team, the rotation has arguably been a strength. Certainly not their biggest weakness.

Therefore, the Rockies should be focused on improving their offense, yes?

In the short term, yes. But in the long term, as history has shown, Colorado must remain hyper vigilant about acquiring and hoarding as much team-controlled pitching as possible.

Inside of this specific moment in time, as we look toward building for the next few years, there’s a clear path for improvement on offense which, make no mistake, is absolutely necessary.

It starts at the top where Nolan Jones needs to find his way out of his sophomore slump as soon as he can and continues down through needing more competitive MLB at-bats out of guys like Michael Toglia and Hunter Goodman. 

But if those types of players don’t figure it out, the good news for the future is that Colorado is stacked with exciting position player prospects, many of whom will be ready to storm the Bigs by the end of the year and join Jordan Beck in this next wave of the youth movement.

On the pitching side… there’s a few names to get really excited about. But they need more than a few names.

Last year’s first-round pick Chase Dollander is off to a fantastic start, tossing 19.1 innings so far and striking out a staggering 33 batters. He’s walked eight which isn’t great but isn’t terrible and has a 2.33 ERA.  He is still in High-A ball but has also been tabbed as a potential fast riser.

The Rox second-round pick has somehow managed to be even more impressive. Sean Sullivan has posted a positively ludicrous 33-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio which would be remarkable in little league. The 6’4 lefty should also be called up to Double-A before too long.

Already at that level with the Yard Goats is Carson Palmquist and his 2.00 ERA and 38 strikeouts to 12 walks in 27 innings pitched.

These three plus a few others (Zach Agnos, Isaiah Coupet, Jack Mahoney) harken back to a time when the Rockies had Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, Antonio Senzatela, Tyler Anderson… and Eddie Butler in their system.

And therein lies a lesson.

Some of those players panned out very nicely, some were ok, and one was a bust. It happens. That is why the club cannot simply look at the handful of pitchers they have (finally) producing exciting numbers on the farm and marvel at their improvement. They must seek to double or even triple their numbers.

During the time of Freeland, Gray, and Senza on the farm, with the MLB club stuck in the mire, they swung a trade that wasn’t very popular at the time, sending out fan-favorite heavy-hitter Corey Dickerson in order to acquire a Double-A pitcher named German Marquez. Therein lies another lesson.

Whether the media, the fans, or even the Rockies themselves want to admit it, this club is in the midst of a rebuild and the only way the future looks bright is if you commit to it now.

Marquez, Freeland, and Senzatela will return one day but they won’t save this year’s team.

Dollander, Sullivan, and Palmquist will arrive one day, but they won’t save that year’s team.

Well, not by themselves anyway.