HomeTeamsRockiesA Look at the Rockies Rotation After 30 Games

A Look at the Rockies Rotation After 30 Games

Nearly a fifth of the 2024 Major League Baseball Season is in the books, and the Colorado Rockies have already set some unfortunate records, suffered significant losses to injury, and drawn the ire of fans and speculators. Having a 7 – 23 record, at the time of this writing, is the primary cause of all the angst, but it is also overshadowing some interesting developments on the mound.

On Tuesday, the Rockies blew a 5-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to go into extra innings and eventually lose to the Miami Marlins. The turning point in that game was probably when Ryan Feltner hit Christian Bethancourt with a high inside fastball.  It was that “uh-oh” moment when the Rockies were caught on their heels with no one warming up in the bullpen and realizing that Feltner did not have another inning in him. A double by the next batter brought a run in, put runners on second and third, and brought Justin Lawrence to the mound with no outs and little warm-up. Feltner walked off the field on a low note, and the Rockies crashed and burned from there.

What that upsetting end overshadowed was the fact that Feltner pitched eight phenomenal innings. In those eight innings, Feltner gave up only three hits, no walks, and no homeruns.  Feltner only faced 25 batters in those eight innings, which included only one inning where he faced more than three batters. This was a career best outing for Feltner, which is why it must have been hard to see that his arm was done at the beginning of the ninth. It is heartbreaking to see great performances like this end in a team loss, just like Cal Quantrill’s six innings on April 10th that lead to a loss to the Diamondbacks, because the win lose category continuously overshadows the quality of performance by the starting rotation in the wake of losing their Ace.

Feltner has 33 strikeouts, including the three from Tuesday, which puts him only five below his total from 2023. He currently has 33.1 innings recorded, which is only 10 below his total from 2023. Together, that seems to point to Feltner being able to easily surpass his performance last year if he can stay healthy and maintain his current trajectory. Feltner’s walks are way down, his strikeouts are up, and his FIP is at 3.8. After nearly one fifth of the season is done, Feltner is quickly rising as the Rockies starter to watch.

The rest of the starting rotation has shown strong possibility each in their own right. As the season progresses, and these pitchers have their number of innings pitched per game, their numbers start to reveal more of their specific contributions.  Austin Gomber has the second highest number of strikeouts on the rotation with 22. Gomber has been in a steady decline with strikeouts, going from 113 in 2021 to only 87 in 2023 despite adding over 60 innings to his time on the bump, but his current trajectory puts him back in possible triple digits for this season. Gomber and Peter Lambert are currently leading the team with 1.3-ish WHIP, but Lambert is the only one with a great FIP of 3.54 at this point. Currently, the ranking of the starting five based on ERA+ is Gomber and Lambert slightly above the MLB average, then followed by Feltner and Quantrill who are slightly below, and Dakota Hudson seems to still be adjusting.

Despite the positives, the Rockies starting rotation has given up runs in the first inning too many times and started games at a deficit with unfortunate consistency. However, it should not be overlooked that Colorado’s starting pitchers are showing some early signs of great possibility this season after a little over a month of baseball.



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