The Colorado Rockies will be looking to improve on a bad season in 2022, where they finished bottom of the National League West with 68 wins and 94 losses. We will get a good feel of where the Rockies are in 2023 early on, with the team opening with a four-game series on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team that finished 43 games ahead of the Rockies in the division last year.
That series is followed by another on the West Coast, with the Rockies playing three games against the San Diego Padres before their opener at Coors Field. That game is on Thursday, April 6, the first game of a four-game set with the Washington Nationals. The Rockies also play April home series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Arizona Diamondbacks to begin the season.
Here are three questions for the Rockies ahead of the 2023 season.
Three Key Questions
Is Kris Bryant healthy?
When the Rockies spent $182 million on a seven-year contract with Bryant in March 2022, it was supposed to be the deal that swung them back into the conversation as a Wild Card-level team. Bryant is a difference-maker, but it is hard to make a difference when you are always hurt. A back injury in April ruined the start of his season, while a right foot injury in July took him out for the rest of the year. There were signs – Bryant hit .341 in July before his season-ender – and if he is healthy, this batting lineup looks more Major League-ready.
What does the starting rotation look like?
German Marquez and Kyle Freeland have been the two pitchers powering the Rockies since 2017. The two starters are 28 and 30, respectively, still in their pitching prime. Stats are skewed in the thin air of Denver, but trends still exist. Marquez had his worst year in the majors in 2022, with a career-high ERA of 4.95 and not passing the ten-win mark. Freeland was more consistent, but the two starters need help and a new, young core to emerge. Antonio Senzatela won’t be back until May from his torn ACL last season, so finding a third starter at the top of the rotation will be huge.
How soon does the prospect wave arrive?
This is something that is hard to project. On the pitching side, most of the Rockies’ top prospects will be starting the year at Double-A or below. Those players just need more time and seasoning, so they don’t flame out in the league. The position players, however, appear more ready. Look for Zac Veen – a talented outfielder with pop – to be one of the first to come through, with others like Benny Montgomery (outfield) and Adael Amador (shortstop) also likely to be knocking at the door near the end of the year.