The Rockies will be looking to improve their pitching this winter, either through free agency or a trade. Their major focus is the bullpen, which posted a major league-worst 5.13 ERA this year. Denver Post Rockies beat reporter Patrick Saunders offers a snapshot of the team’s current crop of pitchers and top prospects:
LHP Tyler Anderson: The 2011 first-round pick blossomed in 2016 into a crafty control pitcher with a solid 3.54 ERA. RHP Chad Bettis: Staff workhorse won 14 games and went 7-2 with 3.75 ERA over his last 14 starts. RHP Tyler Chatwood: Wonderful on the road (8-1, 1.69 ERA) but erratic at Coors Field (4-8, 6.12 ERA). RHP Jon Gray: Consistency is necessary next step for the Rockies’ strikeout king and most dominant pitcher.
RHP Jeff Hoffman: Product of the Troy Tulowitzki trade flashed talent but was uneven in six major-league starts. RHP German Marquez: Began his 2016 season at Double-A; a September call-up who shows promise as a starter or as a reliever.
RHP Carlos Estevez: Erratic flame-thrower who made 63 appearances this year but was only 11-of-18 in save chances. The rookie was erratic. RHP Jordan Lyles: Appears best suited as a middle reliever after going 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA in 35 appearances. LHP Jake McGee: Huge disappointment with a 4.73 ERA and diminished fastball velocity, due in part to an injured knee. RHP Jason Motte: Shoulder problems limited his workload; 4.94 ERA made his two-year, $10 million contract look like a bad deal. RHP Adam Ottavino: Returned from Tommy John surgery but struggled, blowing five saves in 12 chances. RHP Chad Qualls: Injury and illness limited Qualls to an ineffective 44 appearances and an ugly 5.23 ERA. LHP Chris Rusin: Versatile and reliable, he has become Colorado’s best long reliever.
RHP Eddie Butler: Former first-round draft pick posted an ugly 7.17 ERA this year. RHP Miguel Castro: Showed dynamite stuff early, but shoulder woes limited him to 14M big-league innings. RHP Jairo Diaz: Talented, hard thrower missed the 2016 season because of Tommy John surgery; figures to be late-inning reliever in 2017. RHP Scott Oberg: Suffered blood clots in his right arm; Rockies are hopeful he can make a full recovery.
ON THE HORIZON
RHP Yency Almonte: Has a 96 mph fastball, hard slider; projects as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter or as a long reliever. RHP Shane Carle: Moved to reliever in Triple-A and posted 3.60 ERA with 18 strikeouts, four walks in 15 innings. LHP Kyle Freeland: Posted a 3.91 ERA in 12 Triple-A starts and probably will make his major-league debut in 2017. LHP Sam Moll: Struggled at Triple-A, posting a 4.94 ERA. Projects as a left-on-left specialist in the majors. RHP Antonio Senzatela: Dynamic fastball-slider combination brought him to Double-A by age 21; lost most of the 2016 season because of shoulder inflammation.