The World Series is about to be played which means the Colorado Rockies have, as is their annual custom, been at home or on the golf course over the last several weeks. It has been their offseason for a while.

The whole of MLB will be joining them shortly once either the Astros or Phillies are crowned the champions of 2022 and the race for 2023 will be underway.

Naturally, it’s a time for seeking change, scouring the free agent market, haggling over trades, and looking internally to decide who is worth keeping for the long run and who has spent up their time in your organization.

Predicting few transactions for the Rockies over the next couple of months would be wise given the team’s recent history, though some on-the-record comments suggest they might change this up a bit.

But before we can begin talking about what the local club can add, we need to take stock of exactly what they have right now as much of the dynamic has changed already from the beginning of the season.

So, what would an Opening Day lineup in 2023 look like given absolutely zero changes? Probably something like this.

Starting Rotation

German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, Austin Gomber, Ryan Feltner, Jose Urena

This is – to use an in-depth and highly technical baseball term – not good.

Marquez and Freeland are both coming off down years and while there is plenty of reason to believe both can rebound there is also plenty of reason to worry that their best days are behind them. 

After them comes a cavalcade of confusion. Gomber is another interesting bet to recover from his sophomore slump and get back to realizing the potential he showcased in his rookie season. Perhaps Felnter’s quality stuff will allow him to improve and continue to outperform his pedestrian prospect status. Urena was acquired mid-season and has not inspired a ton of confidence moving forward.

Antonio Senzatela will miss the first month or two with a torn ACL and while his return should absolutely be a boost to the rotation, he has never proven to be a dramatic difference-maker. Though he is a solid starter and the Rockies need him as soon as possible.

Most of the top prospects, notably Peter Lambert and Ryan Rolison, spent most of the season injured and will hope to be ready for spring training to compete with a few others for depth spots but none of them have the shine of a top young player breaking down the door to MLB at this point.

This is an area that desperately needs improvement. 

The Bullpen

Daniel Bard, Justin Lawrence, Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

For better or for worse, and it’s hard to see how it could get much worse, the Rockies bullpen will look very different on Opening Day 2023 than it did Opening Day 2022.

Daniel Bard will be there, that is the one thing we can be sure of. He was tremendous this season and is a rock for the entire team, not just the ‘pen.

Justin Lawrence showcased excellent growth throughout the year and has all the peripherals that suggest much better results should be in store as he continues to tighten up his incredible arsenal.

Alex Colome and Carlos Estevez both had good seasons but are currently free agents. The Rockies need to get at least one of them back because the rest of the ‘pen doesn’t look any more promising than the rest of the starters did.

Jake Bird is… intriguing. Good stuff. Good approach. Maybe he locks into being a quality reliever, maybe he doesn’t. Chad Smith? Ty Blach? Noah Davis? Riley Pint? A bunch of new guys?

This is an area that desperately needs improvement.

The Lineup

  1. Yonathan Daza (CF)
  2. Charlie Blackmon (DH)
  3. Kris Bryant (LF)
  4. C.J. Cron (1B)
  5. Brendan Rodgers (2B)
  6. Ryan McMahon (3B)
  7. Michael Toglia (RF)
  8. Ezequiel Tovar (SS)
  9. Elias Diaz (C )

Toglia and Tovar along with the return of Bryant represent the Rockies greatest hopes for internal improvement and that is legitimate. Throw in Elehuris Montero who will be the first bat off the bench or the first person called into regular playing time in the event of an injury.

With these players, the Rockies should be able to add about 1,600 plate appearances from hitters with much higher offensive value than those who needed to take those at-bats in 2022.

So, assuming health and without doing anything else, the club should actually take sizeable steps forward at four positions.

This still isn’t a world-beating lineup. It is banking on health from Bryant and steady improvement from young and unproven players. It is also incredibly right-handed heavy which is less of an issue in modern baseball than it used to be but is still worth noting.

So, this is an area that needs improvement… but not desperately so.


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a team that finished last in their division needs to improve the starting rotation, the bullpen, and the lineup. There’s a lot of work to be done here and it is unlikely to unfold all over one offseason.

That noted, it is interesting to see how things have flipped in just a short span. This time a year ago, the Rockies starting pitching was clearly their strength, understood by anyone who knows how to read the metrics. But now the rotation is in the worst place it has been in for over half a decade. 

Meanwhile the offense that has been stuck in the mud for most of that time may finally be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Who knows what the future may bring.