Journal: Rockies remain lone National League team with only five starting pitchers this season, but rotation must … – The Denver Post
SAN FRANCISCO — With perhaps the deepest and sturdiest rotation in the club’s quarter-century history, all five of the Rockies’ starting pitchers have shown enough flashes of dominance this season to inspire faith in even the most cynical fan.
But, as of late, the optimism surrounding that youthful rotation has soured as Colorado’s taken a tumble in the divisional standings and the bullpen continues to be kryptonite.
That souring is reflected in the stats, as Rockies’ starters possess a 4.87 collective ERA — second-worst in the National League — while also being the worst first-inning staff in all of baseball with a 7.85 ERA and 20 homers given up in that frame alone.
“Have they pitched how they’re capable, as a rotation? No,” manager Bud Black said. “Does that have to improve? Absolutely. But I like the mindset, the durability, the work in between starts, and their deliveries and their arm actions that are allowing them to go to the post every fifth day.”
The Rockies remain the lone N.L. team to have trotted out the same five starting pitchers all season, a stat they only share with the defending World Series champion Astros.
And while Black acknowledged there could “possibly” be a performance-based change in the rotation at some point this season, for the meantime it’s clear Colorado is banking on the combination of Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, German Marquez, Chad Bettis and Kyle Freeland to provide stability on the hill.
For their part, the Colorado starters believe their durability is related to a competitive mindset within the unit.
“We have a group of guys where everybody wants to take the ball every single day, and it’s never a matter of, ‘I’m a little banged up,’” Anderson said. “And even though we’ve had some guys struggle at times, everybody’s had