The Colorado Rockies have one of the youngest starting rotations in the sport. With an average age of 24.8, the Rockies staff will certainly go through their fair share of up’s and down’s as the season progresses; however, if Colorado wants to have a legitimate chance at contending for a spot in baseball’s postseason their starters will need to find a way to get deeper into ballgames.

The Rockies have already played eight games this season, yet none of their starting pitchers have managed to eclipse seven innings pitched in a ballgame. This has forced Bud Black to use his bullpen more than he would like too.

“I think that’s going to be critical moving forward,” Black said of his starters needing to go deeper into games. “It’s so important for your starting pitching to pitch as deep as possible each and every night…The more that happens, the less strain it is on the bullpen. Our guys have been taxed a little here bit in this first week and they’ve responded. They’ve done a nice job of securing wins when we’ve had the lead…It’s going to be the challenge for our starters.”

The Rockies new-look bullpen has done a tremendous job early on in the season, but Black is right, Rockies starters need to start going deeper into ballgames. Let’s not forget that most, if not all, of the Rockies primary bullpen arms, are either coming off of serious injuries or are still becoming acclimated to the season.

Adam Ottavino and Greg Holland are in their first full seasons removed from Tommy John surgery, Jake McGee is bouncing back from a knee injury, Chris Rusin just returned from an oblique injury, Mike Dunn has never pitched more than 67 innings in a season, and guys like Carlos Estevez and Scott Oberg are still progressing their arsenal.

It may be working in the present, but the youthful rox starters are going to need to navigate their way deeper into ballgames to prevent the bullpen from getting taxed early into the season.

Rockies starters 2017: 5.31 ERA (28th), .272 BAA (27th) 

Rockies relievers 2017: 2.83 ERA (10th), .238 BAA (14th) 

“It’s baptism under fire for a couple of those guys, and some are still getting their feet grounded, but we feel good about the potential to do this,” Black said.

As it stands, the Rockies are in a very good spot. They are off to a solid start, compiling a record of 5-3. The new-look bullpen has been strong, and their youthful starters have shown promise. This mixed with the fact that Colorado’s offense has yet to kick into gear this season has the team feeling good about themselves. With that, in order to keep the good times flowing, it will be essential for the Rockies starters to develop a bulldog mentality to help drive this team forward as the season develops.