Pitching staff makes this the best Rockies team ever assembled

Mar 6, 2018; Peoria, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez (48) during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Due to the success attained in 2017, combined with the moves made this offseason, the Colorado Rockies appear poised for another trip to the postseason in 2018. It would be the first time in the franchise’s history to earn a playoff berth in consecutive seasons.

Tracy Ringolsby, a Baseball America columnist and founder, MLB Network insider, and founder of the website InsideTheSeams.com, has covered the Rockies since their inception and joined Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on Afternoon Drive to chat about the expectations for this year’s club.

With three returning All-Stars in Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado, plus this addition of All-Star closer Wade Davis and one of the top relievers in baseball over the past five years, Bryan Shaw, this has the potential to be the most-talented Rockies team ever assembled. Ringolsby reinforced that bold assertion, saying, “I think it is because of the pitching.”

In fact, Ringolsby says the Rockies pitching staff is the primary reason this roster is “easily the best in the franchise history.”

“There [are] only four rotations in history where rookies had more wins than last year’s Rockies, and these kids all have a chance to get better,” Ringolsby said.

Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela, and Jeff Hoffman combined for 38 wins last season. Because of the way that quartet was handled last year — they were not run into the ground with their innings workload — Ringolsby thinks they can even improve on last year’s performance. Plus, the Rockies expect to have Jon Gray and Chad Bettis for the full season after losing each, Gray to a foot injury and Bettis for cancer treatment, for lengthy stretches in 2017.

The Rockies have struggled developing starting pitchers for most of their history, but are finally blessed with plenty of homegrown talent on the mound. The Rockies will go as far as the young starters with live arms will take them. If the pitching holds up and the bottom part of the lineup produces, these Rockies could accomplish even more than their Wild Card appearance last season.

Ringolsby believes the Rockies can even be a World Series contender “if the pitchers come along.”

Click here to listen to the full interview with Tracy Ringolsby, including what he had to say about agent Scott Boras and free agency, or listen in the podcast below.

Catch Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on Afternoon Drive every weekday afternoon from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports Am 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup. Download the all-new free Mile High Sports Radio mobile app for Apple or Android.