As the first month of the season concludes, let’s examine some early storylines
As the sun dawned on May 1st, the Rockies sit at 9-17, last place in the NL West. While obviously not the most promising start, there have been ups and downs, and plenty of notable moments. Let’s take a look at some of the big takeaways from the first month of Rockies baseball.
While Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon have not played to their expectations thus far, the Rockies have a burgeoning star in the form of Ryan McMahon. “RyMac” has come out of the gate hot, slashing .273/.308/.556 and tied for the league lead in homers. He’s been the catalyst of the Rockies offense thus far, and after a few seasons bouncing between the major and minor leagues, McMahon is finally making the necessary adjustments and cementing himself as a legitimate cornerstone of the Rockies’ future.
The first 3-homer game of the year? Ryan McMahon. pic.twitter.com/Ggsfjdxz86
— MLB (@MLB) April 7, 2021
Bullpen battles continue…
The Rockies bullpen has been a source of derision for a few years now, and losing Scott Oberg just prior to the start of the season didn’t help. Daniel Bard hasn’t looked like the 2020 NL Comeback Player of the Year that was so sturdy for Colorado. He’s 2-for-4 in save attempts and currently sports a whopping 5.19 ERA due to his 12 hits allowed in just 8 2⁄3 innings. Bard is the closer so his struggles are perhaps more pronounced, but other bullpen arms have gotten off to an inauspicious start as well — Yency Almonte, Ben Bowden, Jhoulys Chacín, and Tyler Kinley all have 4.50+ ERAs.
…but not for all
As much as half of the Colorado bullpen has struggled, others have thrived. Mychal Givens has returned to form, posting a 2.70 ERA and striking out 11 batters in his 10 innings thus far. That’s the kind of production the Rockies were hoping for when they traded for Givens last year. Robert Stephenson overcame his rough first few appearances and has pitched much better as of late, and youngster Jordan Sheffield only gave up his first runs of the season last night. Carlos Estévez has also taken steps forward — after a bad 2020 and not-great spring training, Estévez has struck out 10 in as many innings to the tune of a 3.60 ERA. There’s work to do, but that’s an encouraging development from him.
Mychal Givens tosses a scoreless frame pic.twitter.com/HWNJKu8ftO
— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 18, 2021
It’s a (say it with me now) small sample size, but Yonathan Daza has been an early-season highlight for Colorado. The long-time PuRP is finally getting regular major league at-bats, and is making the most of his opportunities. He’s hitting .316 with a homer and five RBI, and has a hit in eight of his last ten games. If Daza can continue to string together quality at-bats like these, he may further complicate a crowded outfield situation (which is not a bad problem to have).
No better setting to your first career home run than in the snow at Coors!❄️ pic.twitter.com/LjNuCeKmCt
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 21, 2021
Gray leads the pack
While much of the Rockies’ starting rotation has been inconsistent, Jon Gray has been a breath of fresh air. Other than his rough outing last night, Gray has been the workhorse of the rotation by allowing just a 3.15 ERA and striking out 30 in 34 1⁄3 innings. Even after his subpar outing in Arizona, it’s gray-t to see him putting it together this season. Chi Chi González is also quietly off to a solid start, and while he hasn’t been starting games regularly, his 3.60 ERA in his 20 innings in not bad at all. He does need to continue to make adjustments — his .297 AVG against is probably going to bite him sooner than later.
Jon Gray strikes out Alec Bohm pic.twitter.com/oRWtnXYfG5
— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 25, 2021
What are your thoughts a month into the season? Who has caught your eye? What’s your favorite moment of the season thus far? Let us know!