Why, in the world, would anyone want to watch the Colorado Rockies right now?
It’s a fair question.
The club has been well out of it ever since a semi-promising start and currently sit dead last in the division, 14 games under .500, and 13 games out of a potential postseason spot. Despite their publicly stated hopes that were matched a bit by a few offseason maneuvers, none of it has gone according to plan. So what’s left to watch?
Some just love baseball and will take in most games most years no matter what, but let’s get a little more specific than “for love of the game.”
Here is a quick rundown of on-field things for the discerning Rockies fan to keep their eye on down the final stretch of 2022.
If you’ve never followed minor league baseball closely, these next several weeks might be a good time to start. A lot of the Rockies future over the next few years is going to depend on players like shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, outfielder Zac Veen recently promoted to Double-A, and guys like Michael Toglia and the Return of Riley Pint now knocking on the doorstep.
Guys like Drew Romo, Brenton Doyle, and Adael Amador are a little further off but it’s never too early to start following along with these types of fun and intriguing young players.
If the MLB product has got you down, taking in a few games down on the farm may be a better use of your time.
Young MLB Guys
Just ahead of the prospects we just discussed are the guys playing under the lights right now who are just getting started.
The first that has to come to mind off his inspiring debut after a decade in MiLB is Wynton Bernard. He put up monster numbers in Triple-A despite not coming with a ton of prospect hype. We’ve seen this movie before with players like Joshua Fuentes who was the PCL MVP but the Rockies are also due for a longshot to pop and why not Bernard?
He sure looks like he will be fun to watch down the stretch. This may also be the case for reliever Jake Bird who is in a similar spot where his pedigree never screamed future star but his production demands that he continue to get as many chances as possible.
Elehuris Montero, on the other hand, may be a future star, indeed.
After an uneven first half of promotions and demotions, the team has committed to playing regularly and he has responded by hitting .342/.357/.537 in 11 games in August. He may be the best part of watching games right now.
On the other end of the youth spectrum though, is Brendan Rodgers, a reminder that progress is not linear and that everyone in this game walks their own path. It’s been a long time coming but it looks like he has finally settled into a consistent rhythm. A strong finish from him would be both encouraging for Rockies fans to see and quite a bit of fun to watch.
What About The Pitchers?
This one may not be especially fun but it is important.
There are a lot of questions about this team and their future but the vast majority of them will be answered, one way or another, by the performance of the current starting pitching staff.
It has been the death of the season that just about every member of the rotation is having one of the worst seasons of their career if not the worst altogether. The entire premise of this version of the Rockies was built around the notion that German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, Austin Gomber, and Chad Kuhl could regularly keep them in games.
If Colorado wants to be relevant again in the near future, something that they have stated over and over again that they do, then they need to make a myriad of moves over the next months and years. They need some new players. They need some new coaches. They need some new front office personnel.
But none of that will amount to much if this group of pitchers can’t find a much better version of themselves. If they can, the next few years have hope. If they can’t, the next few years are doomed.