The Colorado Rockies rode to the 2018 playoffs on the backs of their starting pitching. Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray had incredible stretches and helped a team with an anemic offense. That is not the case in 2019. Only Marquez and Gray have been reliable. Freeland has been demoted to Triple-A, and Anderson had season-ending knee surgery after his demotion. Filling the gaps, Antonio Senzatela has had decent stretches and Jeff Hoffman has been hit hard recently, while rookie Peter Lambert has given hope with two incredible starts to his career.
To make the playoffs again, General Manager Jeff Bridich will have to shop for starters to help an ailing rotation. With the offense clicking this season and the bullpen doing its part to hold leads, fixing the rotation will help make this a complete team, and could challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first division title in franchise history. Here are four starters that Bridich should take a look at that could do wonders for the Rockies.
Boyd should be given the highest priority, especially since the Tigers have made it clear he is available. Boyd has made great improvements each season, and is the only bright spot on the Tigers rotation. In 15 games, Boyd has struck out 112 and walked only 17. His ERA is 3.35, but his numbers would be aided by the defense of the Rockies. With the Tigers still rebuilding, Boyd would come at a price. The Rockies would need to give up a handful of prospects, something they have been reluctant to do in the past. His contract would be ideal for Colorado as he is not eligible to become a free agent until 2023, and would blend perfectly with the young rotation. To help their playoff push, the Rockies should start negotiations with the Tigers immediately.
A ground ball pitcher, Stroman is another who would benefit from the Rockies defense and could provide a needed boost to Colorado’s rotation. This season Stroman is 4-8 with 68 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.18. Another plus for Stroman is he would come with playoff experience and would provide a veteran presence to the rotation down the stretch. The Blue Jays are another team who are in the process of rebuilding and would ask for prospects as well.
A long shot, considering the interest of other teams and his cost, Scherzer would provide a great boost to the rotation. The three-time Cy Young winner would provide veteran leadership and be a no-brainer for the Rockies to go after. With the Nationals falling in the standings, they may be willing to give up the prized right-hander for prospects. Even with the Nats struggling, Mad Max is once again having a great season. He’s struckout 126 batters in 14 games, has an ERA of 2.83, and is once again in the Cy Young Award discussion. His salary would be a big hit the Rockies cap space, but his experience in the stretch and playoffs would offset any cost.
What a coup this would be, grabbing one of the top pitchers from within the division. The Giants may have to accept the fact that the run is over and may shop their prized starter. Bumgarner could provide a boost to the Rockies rotation much like Justin Verlander did for the Astros in 2017. Pitching in the same division, Bumgarner is very familiar with pitching at altitude. In 16 games at Coors Field, he is 6-6 with a 4.33 ERA and 77 strikeouts. He knows the division well, and may relish an opportunity to pitch for a team that would compete with his archrival the Dodgers for division supremacy. He would come at a price, but would only be a rental as he is expected to hit free agency at the end of the season. Like Scherzer, Mad Bum would bring experience in the playoffs and the stretch to a young rotation.
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