Young, old, and revivals a bad mix for Colorado Rockies in 2023

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Ezequiel Tovar #14 of The Colorado Rockies looks on prior to batting practice at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 20, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Ezequiel Tovar #14 of The Colorado Rockies looks on prior to batting practice at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 20, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images) /

The wait for the 2023 MLB season is over and there is one thing that the prognosticators are agreeing on … the Colorado Rockies are going to be bad.

A quick glimpse through some of the major sports books have the Rockies’ season win total sitting between 64 and 65.5. The reason for this low total is quite simple: Colorado’s combination of young players that have to break out, old players who need to return to their former glory, and players who are looking to rebound from down years is too many for the club to be successful in 2023.

Young, old, and revivals: Colorado Rockies will be a mix in 2023

The young

From Neifi Perez to Juan Uribe, Troy Tulowitzki, and Trevor Story, the Rockies have had a long tradition of top shortstop prospects who go on to having solid MLB careers after reaching the big leagues. Looking to join that list is Ezequiel Tovar who saw his first MLB action after a September call up last season.

The expectations for Tovar to be the next big thing for the Rox might just be too much for him to handle especially in his rookie season. He is good enough defensively but being able to adjust to MLB pitching and avoiding prolonged slumps at the plate could be a big issue. He will be a good player in the league but it will probably take a few seasons for this 22-year-old to get there.

Elehuris Montero is the opposite of Tovar as in he is MLB-ready at the plate but is a defensive liability. He easily could have a breakout season, hitting 20-plus home runs but manager Bud Black will have to get creative working him into the lineup at first, third, and DH.

Other young players the Rockies will need a lot out of include Yonathan Daza, Michael Toglia, and Brian Serven, a pitcher out of the group of Peter Lambert, Ryan Feltner, and Riley Pint to take hold of the fifth spot in the rotation and production from potential call-ups later in the season by Zach Veen and Drew Romo.

The old

The days of hitting .300 with 30 home runs and 100 RBI are over for Charlie Blackmon. The soon-to-be 37-year-old Chuck Nazty can still supply some pop in the lineup, but 120 games would be surprising even with him as the primary DH in the lineup. The chances to sing “Your Love” by The Outfield as he walks to the batter’s box are starting to become numbered for Rockies’ fans.

At first base, C.J. Cron has been a pleasant surprise the last few seasons but a rough second half of 2022 could be signs of things to come for 33-year-old. Add that to a tough spring training and things aren’t looking good for baseballs to be entering the Cron Zone.

Daniel Bard has been one of the top closers in baseball the last season with a 1.79 ERA converting 34 saves out of 37 opportunities in 57 appearances. The question in how many more stressful innings does his 37-year-old arm have left in tank. The Rockies are hoping for a lot since they extended his contract for two more seasons.

The revivals

Let’s begin with the obvious in Kris Bryant, who only played in 42 and hit zero home runs at Coors Field in 2022. I’m sure that’s not what the Rockies front office imagined when they signed him to the monstrous six-year, $182 million deal before last season. To have any shot at relevancy, he has to live up to that contract, if not exceed it.

The season-ending shoulder injury to Gold Glove winner second baseman Brendan Rodgers left the Rockies in dire straights in the infield. They moved Ryan McMahon back to second and signed former three-time All-Star Mike Moustakas to a minor league deal.

Moose could actually fall in both the old and revival categories as the 34-year-old is coming off of three straight injury-plagued seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. He is likely a place-holder for season until Rodgers returns in ’24, but the Rockies would love to see Moustakas resemble his ’19 form when he hit .254 with 35 homers and logged 87 RBI.

It seems like it was just yesterday that Kyle Freeland was 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA but, in fact, that was five seasons ago. Since then, it has be a bit of a roller-coaster ride for the lefty out of Denver. The Rockies desperately need him to be a 15-game winner.

Finally, there is Jurickison Profar who, until after the World Baseball Classic, wasn’t on any roster until the Rockies gave a one-year, $7.75 million deal. He is not really a revival as he played in a career-high 152 games last season with the Padres hitting .243 with 15 homers and 58 RBI, but it makes one wonder what took him so long to catch on with a club.

The Rockies have too many things that need to go right this season to even be close to contending for a playoff spot. This is why I am also predicting a last-place finish in the NL West but better than the oddsmakers with a final record of 68-94.

Next. Why the Rockies signed Jurickson Profar. dark