HomeTeamsRockiesRockies Starting Rotation Not Meeting Expectations

Rockies Starting Rotation Not Meeting Expectations

Only two games into the 2024 Major League Baseball Season is a difficult time to see anything beyond a very early glimpse of the promised potential witnessed in Spring Training, but thus far the Colorado Rockies starting rotation is not offering anything the Arizona Diamondbacks cannot seem to handle.

In game-2 against the Diamondbacks, Cal Quantrill came confident and ready with fans believing that he was able to deliver a performance like his 3.88 career ERA. After the disappointing showing by Kyle Freeland on Thursday’s Opening Day, Quantrill was expected to help the Rockies shake it off and show why he was acquired from the Cleveland Guardians this past off-season.

Bottom of the first inning, Quantrill began his debut with the Rockies by executing a textbook sinker at 92 mph to Corbin Carroll. Unfortunately, Carroll showed a lot of plate discipline and refused to chase. Quantrill does pitch-to-contact, so it seemed like part of the plan when Carroll got ahold of his cutter and lined it out to Nolan Jones in left field. One out.

Quantrill then faced Ketel Marte and caused him to ground to first baseman Elehuris Montero. Like Freeland’s fielding display early on Thursday, Quantrill quickly got to first for Montero to flick him the ball and get the out. Two outs.

Then up came Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and again the Rockies pitching showed they were not throwing anything he could not work with. Quantrill lobbed an 88 mph cutter that drifted high center across the plate and Lourdes punished him with a first inning homerun into the bullpen passed left field. The real hurt came when Christian Walker stepped up to the plate next and launched another homerun over the left field wall only eight pitches later. Bottom of the first, two homeruns, and two outs and Quantrill was rattled. Rockies fans worried that another high-scoring inning early in the game was brewing.

The left-handed batter Joc Pederson was up next, and he sent a line drive over Nolan Jones’ head in what seemed like a possible third homerun attempt in a row toward the leftfield wall. Fortunately, the baseball gods spared Quantrill and kept Pederson to a double. Quantrill was able to retire the side with a splitter to the outside that caused Gabriel Moreno to fly out to Brenton Doyle in centerfield. 

Elias Diaz answered the Diamondbacks in the top of the second with his first homerun of the season. Then after a short celebration, Ezequiel Tovar was thrown out at first by Merrill Kelly in what seemed like a preventable out from a relatively short lead. Tovar has shown stellar reflexes at shortstop, but his baserunner prowess still has some maturing to do. That out just seemed to show that the Rockies could not get momentum going even after a homerun, and so it went back to the defense to try to stop Arizona’s persistent dominance.

By the time Quantrill made it to the bottom of the sixth, it seemed his arm was gassed. The five pitches that walked Moreno were mostly slower and much lower than Quantrill would need to entice the Diamondbacks. After 88 pitches, Quantrill was done for the day. Interestingly, Quantrill’s unexpected go to pitch in his 2024 season debut was his splitter, which accounted for 26 of his total pitches.

Aside from the bottom of the first, Quantrill gave up one more run in the bottom of the third when Pederson singled to bring Marte home for a run that could be credited more to a defensive shortcoming. As the second in the rotation, the expectation that Quantrill could deliver a veteran dominance from the mound was dashed. Now it is up to Austin Gomber to break the Diamondbacks hitting momentum by showing them the Rockies’ starting rotation has something formidable to face in game-3 of this opening series.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here