And just like that, it’s all over.
With a 6-1 loss to the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, the Colorado Rockies finished their 2022 season with a 68-94 record (.420) and with sole possession of last place in the National League West.
The first official offseason for Bill Schmidt as general manager brought about some big investments. Schmidt signed five free agents, swung a trade for a big league outfielder and locked up four Rockies to multi-year extensions before Opening Day.
Extensions for Kyle Freeland and Daniel Bard during the season raised the total amount of new guaranteed money to $428 million following the end of the 2021 season.
Despite the financial expenditure for a roster that appeared quite similar to the one that had won 74 games a year prior, Colorado actually came short of expectations.
Bud Black’s squad opened the year 16-11 and won six of the first eight series.
The season fell apart from that point as the Rockies went 52-83 (.385) since that high-water mark on May 8.
There were a myriad of reasons, but it didn’t help that the man at the center of the offseason spending was largely absent.
Signed to a seven-year, $182 million deal in March, Kris Bryant played in only 42 games due to three stints on the injured list. A back strain put him on the IL twice for about a month each. A bout with plantar fasciitis in his left foot effectively ended his season on August 1.
Their record on the road was tied for fifth-worst in franchise history (27-54, .333). The play at home produced a winning record at 41-40 (.506), but it was below average for a franchise who has averaged seven-games over .500 at Coors Field.
Also below average was the defense and situational hitting, which Schmidt addressed during the final homestand.
One of the most glaring flaws for Colorado was the subject of focus this time last year: a lack of home runs.
Even after their first three-homer game of the year at Dodger Stadium on the penultimate day of the season, the Rockies remained dead-last in the Majors in dingers on the road.
C.J. Cron led the club with 29 home runs and Ryan McMahon was next with 20, marking the first time since 2015 that Colorado had as few as two players reach the 20-homer mark.
It’s also the third-straight season without a player slugging 30 homers, tied for the longest drought in franchise history with the 2012-14 Rockies who averaged just 68 wins during the three worst seasons in club history.
What could be remembered from this year is the start of a youth movement at the big league level.
Ten different Rockies made their Major League debut, including three of the most intriguing prospects in a few years: 3B Elehuris Montero, 1B/RF Michael Toglia and SS Ezequiel Tovar.
Ultimately, Rockies fans will lump the 2022 season together with any number of the 21 losing seasons of the club’s 30 in existence.
Opening Day 2023 is March 30 in San Diego while Colorado celebrates the home opener at Coors Field on April 6 against the Washington Nationals in what will be the 30th Anniversary for the Denver nine.