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Colorado Rockies 2016 starting rotation: an early look

Marco Mamolen Avatar
December 2, 2015


The 2015 season was rough for the Colorado Rockies starting pitching. They lost starter Jordan Lyles in late May and failed to produce a 10-game winner. Not to mention free agent acquisition Kyle Kendrick giving up a MLB leading 33 home runs and sporting a dismal 6.32 ERA.

However, there were a few bright spots, Jon Gray made his MLB debut in early August and continued to pitch for the remainder of the season, and Jorge De La Rosa became the Colorado Rockies all-time Wins leader, surpassing Aaron Cook.

Sadly, these were the lone highlights of a season where the Colorado Rockies ranked dead last in nearly every pitching category, allowing a combined 799 earned runs and a team ERA of 5.04.

Rockies starting pitchers had an MLB-worst 54 quality starts in 2015, and pitched less innings (1426.1) than any team in baseball besides the Atlanta Braves.

Based on how poorly the Rockies have pitched the past several years, one would hope to see improvement in 2016.

The following is a brief look at what their rotation might look like on Opening Day of 2016.


Jorge De La Rosa– Not only did De La Rosa become the Colorado Rockies all time Wins leader, he also solidified himself as the most reliable starter and is expected to fill that role once again in 2016.

Jon Gray– Since his call up on August 4th, Gray pitched amicably in his 9 starts and based on the lofty expectations of being a top prospect in the organization, most anticipate he will continue to start for the Colorado Rockies for the forceable future.

Chad Bettis– The former top five Colorado Rockies prospect came back in a big way in 2015, pitching career bests in nearly every category and reestablishing himself as an asset. He was second on the team in Wins and ERA behind only De La Rosa. It is widely expected Bettis will be in the starting rotation in 2016.


Jordan Lyles– Before injuries cut his season short, Lyles was beginning to find his groove. Apart from a few bad starts, he looked like a legitimate starter who could pitch at the back end of the Rockies rotation. If he is healthy at the start of 2016, there is a good chance he could be in the starting rotation.

Chris Rusin– Much like Chad Bettis, Chris Rusin had a solid 2015 campain. He pitched 131.2 innings and proved to be somewhat of an innings eater. Based on where several other Rockies pitchers are developmentally, there is a good chance Rusin begins the regular season in the starting rotation.


Eddie Butler– Hard times hit Butler in 2015, who battled control issues and spent the season up and down between Triple-A Albuquerque and the Colorado Rockies. His prospect status is nearly gone after 2015 and if he isn’t careful, he could find himself outside of the rotation.

Tyler Chatwood– After tearing his UCL and undergoing Tommy John surgery in July of 2014, Chatwood has been rehabbing his arm in hopes of returning to the Major Leagues. In 2013, he started 20 games for the Rockies and had a 3.15 ERA. If completely healthy, Chatwood is a great candidate to start, however the recovery from Tommy John surgery is lengthy and it is unknown when Chatwood will be fully healthy.

Tyler Matzek– 2015 was a rough season for Matzek, who went from a Major League rotational starter to Triple-A bullpen. He lost all control of his pitches and appeared at some points to have the “yips”. Things got so bad, that he left the team and went home to work with his high school baseball coach. Matzek has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his brief time pitching for the Colorado Rockies, but inconsistency in his control has left his status for 2016 up in the air.


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