Quick Hits: Future Bright for Young-Armed Rockies

Jon Gray

Injuries forced the Rockies to take a more youthful approach than they wanted to with their rotation this year. Not that they are complaining. With injuries they wound up with four rookies in the rotation. More than that five of the eight starters they used were 25 or younger, according to Baseball-Reference.com — Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman and German Marquez.

They combined to make 113 starts, the most in franchise history for pitchers 25 or younger.  It breaks the record of 97 starts in 2012. But this year’s youth not only carried a work load, but they distinguished themselves. They were a combined 53-32, a .624 winning percentage, both the best in franchise history. Only five other times have starters 25 or younger combined for a winning record, but in none of those five years did the young arms started more than 50 games.

Rockies pitchers 25 or younger won 35 games in 2003, the second most in franchise history, but they also lost 36 games that season.

Rockies starters 25 or younger:

Year Starts W L W-L% ERA
2017 113 53 32 .624 4.55
2012 97 27 45 .375 5.14
2003 85 35 36 .493 5.25
2004 85 29 26 .527 4.76
2011 71 29 32 .475 4.66
1993 69 17 38 .309 6.36
1996 65 18 23 .439 6.08
1998 64 18 26 .409 5.35
2013 63 25 23 .521 3.48
2002 61 23 25 .479 5.24
1997 59 17 22 .436 5.61
2008 52 18 26 .409 4.98
2016 52 21 32 .396 5.51
2007 51 27 23 .540 4.38
2014 49 17 20 .459 4.65
2015 40 10 25 .286 5.19
1999 39 6 17 .261 6.75
2001 38 12 15 .444 5.33
2009 37 22 16 .579 3.58
2005 36 17 17 .500 5.49
2006 36 19 17 .528 4.13
1995 36 17 21 .447 5.6
2010 29 12 18 .400 4.26
1994 25 14 10 .583 5.37
2000 12 5 6 .455 6.32
Kyle Freeland
Antonio Senzatela

The evolution of the pitching staff is underscored by the fact that in the last two years — Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson last year, and the quartet of Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, German Marquez and Jeff Hoffman this year — have combined for six of the top 16 rookie win totals for a pitcher with 10 or more starts n franchise history.

Player Season W L Pct   Player Season W L Pct
Jason Jennings 2002 16 8 .667 Jhoulys Chacin 2010 9 11 .450
Jeff Francis 2005 14 12 .538 Bobby M. Jones 1998 7 8 .467
Armando Reynoso 1993 12 11 .522 John Thomson 1997 7 9 .438
Kyle Freeland 2017 11 11 .500 Shawn Chacon 2001 6 10 .375
German Marquez 2017 11 7 .611 Jeff Hoffman 2017 6 5 .545
Denny Stark 2002 11 4 .733 Tyler Matzek 2014 6 11 .353
Jon Gray 2016 10 10 .500 Tyler Anderson 2016 5 6 .455
Antonio Senzatela 2017 10 5 .667

The Rockies did have their late-season troubles. Among the 10 post-season teams they had the eighth worst record in September. The only teams with a worst winning percentage? The Twins, who were an AL wild-card, and the Dodgers, who had a best-in-baseball 104 wins.

Team W L Pct
Cleveland Indians 26 4 .867
Houston Astros 21 8 .724
New York Yankees 20 9 .690
Chicago Cubs 19 10 .655
Arizona Diamondbacks 17 11 .607
Boston Red Sox 17 11 .607
Washington Nationals 16 13 .552
Colorado Rockies 15 14 .517
Minnesota Twins 15 14 .517
Los Angeles Dodgers 13 17 .433
Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez is the only player remaining from the Rockies 2009 wild-card team that lost to the Phillies in the NL Division Series. The Rockies do, however, have nine other players with post-season experience — five other position players and four pitchers. Pat Neshek, a trading deadline addition from the Phillies, has appeared in the post-season four different times, the most of any player on the Rockies roster.

Pos. Players Season G Avg.
Mark Reynolds 2007 Ari 7 .154
Mark Reynolds 2012 Bal 6 .136
Mark Reynolds 2015 StL 3 .000
Ian Desmond 2012 Was 5 .368
Ian Desmond 2014 Was 4 .167
Ian Desmond 2016 Tex 3 .214
Ryan Hanigan 2010 Cin 2 .000
Ryan Hanigan 2012 Cin 4 .200
Ryan Hanigan 2013 Cin 1 .000
Jonathan Lucroy 2011 Mil 10 .250
Jonathan Lucroy 2016 Tex 3 .083
Gerardo Parra 2011 Ari 5 .056
Carlos Gonzalez 2009 Col 4 .588
Pitchers Season Sv SvOP ShO G ERA
Pat Neshek 2014 StL 0 1 0 8 2.35
Pat Neshek 2015 Hou 0 0 0 2 .000
Pat Neshek 2006 Min 0 0 0 2 9.00
Pat Neshek 2012 Oak 0 0 0 1 0.00
Jake McGee 2011 TB 0 0 0 1 0.00
Jake McGee 2013 TB 0 0 0 4 6.00
Mike Dunn 2010 Atl 0 1 0 3 .000
Greg Holland 2014 KC 7 7 0 11 0.82

 

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