Why are fans angry at the Colorado Rockies right now?

A long answer requires looking into a sea of poor decisions — some if which stretch back more than a decade — parsing front office philosophies, and diving deep into general complacency with substandard baseball.

A much shorter answer only requires you to look at the state of the current infield.

Just a few short years ago, the Rockies were stacked with All-Stars in the infield. Some of the very best players in the game roamed the dirt and set the team apart.

Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story are of course the most famous among them but don’t forget about DJ LeMahieu, who was a key cog the last time the Rox were competitive.

Now, none of those players have a spot on the roster and Colorado is looking to a new generation of talent to try to somehow make up for all that they have lost.

How can they do just that?

Let’s grade ’em out.

Rockies Infield: Incomplete

Ryan McMahon (3B)

RyMac has all the tools to be a star but just hasn’t quite put them all together yet. 

Despite splitting time between second and third throughout 2021, McMahon proved to be the single most valuable defender in MLB according to Defensive Runs Saved.

He also burst out of the gate with a hot bat and was getting All-Star buzz before the slugging suddenly left his game for a couple of months. Cooling off considerably, he ended the season as a league-average bat (98 OPS+), a steady improvement for his second full year of baseball but not quite what his skillset suggests he should ultimately be capable of.

Baseball Savant data reveals a player who makes harder contact more often than about 70 percent of the league and also has an above average walk rate. Like a lot of players, he needs to cut down on the strikeouts and improve his consistency in order to get to that next level.

Brendan Rodgers (2B)

B-Rod has all the tools to be a star but just hasn’t quite put them all together yet. 

Is there an echo in here?

Rodgers hasn’t had as much time in the Bigs as McMahon, largely due to injury and hasn’t yet cemented himself with any one elite skill the way RyMac has with his defense.

But he was the Rockies best hitter on the road last season, a year that amounted to his true rookie campaign. 

A high-end draft pick and prospect, Rodgers has long carried the pedigree to be a difference maker in MLB and has showcased it with phenomenal production at each step of the minor leagues, then hit 15 homers and put up a 102 OPS+ in 102 games in 2021.

Nobody on the roster has more potential to increase their output than Rodgers who, at age 25, could well end up being one of the best reasons to watch the Rockies in 2022.

C.J. Cron

If you checked out early on the 2021 season (understandable) you missed a few fireworks shows courtesy of C.J. Cron.

His 130 OPS+ comfortably led Colorado as did his 28 home runs and 92 RBI. That all came after a cold opening, so to speak, where he didn’t provide much over his first month in Denver.

Cron showed off exactly why so many, including yours truly, have long believed he would be a perfect fit for Coors Field and the Rockies. He brings a patient approach at the plate, gap-to-gap power, and enough experience and athleticism at first base that you don’t have to worry about those…Ian Desmond moments.

Inking him to a remarkably friendly contract was an underrated excellent move.

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine (SS)

This is why the Rockies get an incomplete for their infield. With Trevor Story out the door, Colorado is left with either veteran journeymen or low-ceiling prospects at short, unless they go outside the organization.

There’s a big difference between a young and unproven Alan Trejo, who is an excellent defender but hasn’t even shown an ability to hit minor league pitching, and a free agent like Andrelton Simmons. It seems unlikely the Rox will go big here, so how much production they get out of this spot — where they’ve had a star since 2007 — will come down to defense.

This is perhaps why the idea has been floated to play McMahon in this spot. You could end up with a decent bat and excellent defense, which may be the best they can do at short. Then you can tab a younger player like Colton Welker, Elehuris Montero, or Ryan Vilade (much more upside than Trejo) to take over at third.

There’s almost no way they get fantastic play at shortstop unless something truly wild happens.


Considering we still aren’t sure who will be manning one of the four positions on the infield diamond, it can be difficult to assess where the Rockies have depth.

They’ve got plenty in the corners with players like Welker, Montero, and Vilade around and ready to make their mark but much less excitement up the middle where everything after Rodgers remains in limbo.

It’s entirely possible that both McMahon and Rodgers break out and Cron keeps doing his thing, which would make Colorado’s infield a formidable one regardless of whoever takes over at short.

But it’s also entirely possible that those players stall out at league average and Cron takes a step back after a career year, leaving the Rockies with zero star position players to help aid their quality pitching staff.

Somebody in this group, maybe even two people, need to break out in a big way in order for the Rockies to claw their way back to relevance.