Despite finishing 15 games over .500 at home, the Colorado Rockies only wound up fourth in the NL West Division last year. The team’s home-road split was one of the largest in baseball history. An inability to win games away from Coors Field doomed the Rockies in the final MLB standings. Manager Bud Black will look to lead the franchise back to respectability in 2022. Colorado’s lofty goal this season will be attempting to end what is now a three-year postseason drought.
While the Rockies did make a few splashes in free agency, the team’s offseason was once again overshadowed by a star player’s departure. The following article recaps the most notable Colorado Rockies free agency and offseason transactions, looks at the team’s projected starting lineup and previews the roster’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of the 2022 MLB season.
Colorado Rockies 2021 Season in Review
Record: 74-87 (No. 4 in NL West)
Run Differential: -57
Team Batting Average: .249 (No. 8 in MLB)
Team Pitching ERA: 4.82 (No. 25 in MLB)
Postseason Result: N/A
Colorado Rockies Free Agency Transactions
- Kris Bryant, OF (from SF)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (from BOS)
- Chad Kuhl, SP (from PIT)
- Alex Colome, RP (from MIN)
- Randal Grichuk, OF (from TOR via trade)
- Jhoulys Chacin, RP
- Trevor Story, SS (to BOS)
- Jon Gray, SP (to TEX)
- Raimel Tapia, OF (to TOR via trade)
2022 MLB Season Preview | Colorado Rockies
On paper, the Rockies’ overall offseason actually doesn’t look that bad. Colorado largely replaced each of its key losses in an adequate fashion. While Jose Iglesias may not be the offensive threat that longtime Rockie Trevor Story was, he is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game today. Losing John Gray also hurts, but one could argue that the Rockies’ key pitching signings at least will ensure that they break even. In addition to bringing in Chad Kuhl, Colorado re-signed reliever Jhoulys Chacin, who is capable of spot-starting as needed.
Of course, the headline transaction of the Colorado Rockies free agency was signing Kris Bryant to a massive seven-year deal. Now, whether or not Bryant will still be a productive player throughout the duration of the deal which won’t expire until his age 37 season remains to be seen. The Rockies also traded for outfielder Randal Grichuk. A fly-ball hitter, he figures to be right at home playing at altitude and with the spacious dimensions of Coors Field.
Unfortunately, it remains difficult for many MLB analysts and Rockies fans to be optimistic about this offseason. The team’s stubbornness when it comes to trading superstars has now come back to haunt them two offseasons in a row. Watching Nolan Arenado, Story and Gray depart via free agency in the last two years definitely stings. The burn is only amplified when one considers that the Rockies could have garnered a substantial return package for both players had they been willing to move them at the trade deadline.
Projected Colorado Rockies Starting Lineup
Lineup and rotation projections reflect the latest update on RotoChamp.com
- Charlie Blackmon, DH
- Kris Bryant, OF
- Ryan McMahon, 3B
- C.J. Cron, 1B
- Brendan Rodgers, 2B
- Randal Grichuk, OF
- Jose Iglesias, SS
- Sam Hilliard, OF
- Elias Diaz, C
Projected Colorado Rockies Starting Rotation
- German Marquez
- Kyle Freeland
- Antonio Senzatela
- Austin Gomber
- Chad Kuhl
Colorado Rockies Roster Breakdown
Greatest Strength — Outfield
In reality, the Rockies enter the 2022 MLB season with a surplus of bats and talent in the outfield. While Bryant and Grichuk are locked into starting spots, many believe that Colorado will rotate between Sam Hilliard and Connor Joe for the final outfield spot depending on the opposing starting pitcher. The advent of the universal DH spot figures to benefit the Rockies who can slot veteran Charlie Blackmon into the starting lineup on a daily basis. Knowing that the 35-year-old can still contribute offensively without needing to take on the added physical demands of playing in the field every single game is a major plus.
Glaring Weakness — Starting Pitching Depth
Last year, Colorado Rockies starting pitching was among the worst in all of baseball in terms of ERA. While the Rockies’ pitching stats always tend to be ugly thanks to playing half of their games in Denver, improvements will be vital if the team hopes to improve in the standings in 2022. If all goes well, staff ace German Marquez has the stuff to be one of the best pitchers in baseball. However, the back end of the rotation is a major question mark. Southpaw Austin Gomber was solid enough as a rookie, but will he be able to maintain and/or improve in Year No. 2? Chad Kuhl can be penciled in as the fifth starter for now, but whether or not he performs well enough to hang onto that role is another story.
Colorado Rockies Season Outlook, MLB Betting Odds and Prediction
All MLB betting odds are taken from Bovada Sportsbook.
World Series: +15000
NL Pennant: +6000
NL West Division: +12500
To Make the Playoffs: Yes: (+900) | No: (-3000)
Regular Season Win Total: 69.5 — Over: (-140) | Under: (+110)
Needless to say, MLB betting oddsmakers aren’t expecting an awful lot from the Rockies in 2022. The fact that this year’s roster is not drastically improved from the past few campaigns certainly leads one to believe that the Rockies’ playoff drought will continue. It comes as no surprise that Colorado’s odds of even making the postseason are quite long. It will be difficult for the Rockies to keep pace in an NL West Division that also includes the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants.
Despite a bleak outlook overall, the Rockies certainly have enough offensive talent to surpass their regular-season MLB betting win total of 69.5. If the pitching takes a step forward, Colorado has a shot to linger in the NL Wild Card race into the latter portion of the season.
Colorado Rockies Season Prediction: Over 69.5 Wins (-140 at Bovada Sportsbook)