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(Colorado Rockies)

(Colorado Rockies)

2023 Season

Season Recap: The Rockies were the only NL team to lose more than 100 games, but it was not a lost season. Nolan Jones had a breakout year after coming to Colorado in a trade with the Guardians, and Brenton Doyle showed he was the best defensive outfielder in baseball. The two rookies form a core for the future that includes sluggers Elehuris Montero and Hunter Goodman, shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, and first-round draft pick Michael Toglia. They will soon be joined by other exciting prospects who had great seasons for the team’s Double-A team in 2023. The challenge for the Rockies, as always, will be pitching.

July 11, 2023: Catcher Elias Diaz blasted the winning home run in the 2023 All-Star Game and was named MVP.

Season Preview:  Colorado fans may not have much to cheer about in 2023. The team is rebuilding, but there don’t appear to be any home-grown superstars like Todd Helton or Noland Arenado on the horizon. The everyday lineup features former MVP Kris Bryant and young stars Ezequiel Tovar and Elehuris Montero, along with veterans Charlie Blackmon, CJ Cron, and Ryan McMahon. They will score some runs, but the pitching staff may struggle to keep games close. Kyle Freeland and German Marquez are good, but they can’t do it alone.

2022 Season

Season Recap: Colorado fans spent the 2022 season waiting for their team to show signs of life and put together a big winning streak. Unfortunately, that never happened and the Rockies finished last in the NL West. They played well at home, but were a disaster on the road—which is unusual for a team full of veterans. Colorado’s best hitter was CJ Cron, who led the club in runs, homers, slugging average, and RBIs, and was picked to play in the All-Star Game for the first time. The star of the pitching staff was another veteran, 37-year-old reliever Daniel Bard.

Season Preview: Colorado fans were all set for a long summer after Trevor Story took a free agent deal with the Red Sox, but their spirits soared when the club signed former MVP Kris Bryant. Along with Connor Joe and Ryan McMahon, suddenly the Rockies’ lineup is looking like fun. The new DH rule in the National League will come in handy for Colorado, because playing 81 games in the high altitude of Denver can wear down older players like Charlie Blackmon and C.J. Cron. Now they can expect a day off once every 10 days or so. Colorado’s pitching is always a question mark, but the 2022 staff looks like one of its best ever, with Kyle Freeland and German Marquez forming a good 1-2 punch.

2021 Season

Season Recap: The Rockies finished a distant fourth in the NL West despite having a solid everyday lineup. Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson, and Brendan Rodgers had breakthrough seasons, and slugging shortstop Trevor Story stayed with the club all year, but a good offense was not enough to overcome so-so pitching.

Season Preview: There are questions at almost every position for the Rockies—including the pitching staff—but also plenty of talent in 2021. Colorado won’t finish first in the NL West, but they won’t finish last if everyone plays consistent baseball. Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon lead an offense with some exciting young players, including Ryan McMahon and Sam Hilliard.

2020 Season

Season Recap: Manager Bud Black used a lot of different players in 2020, but disappointing seasons from Nolan Arenado, David Dahl, and Jon Gray crippled the team. Colorado’s starting pitching was actually very good and the team was in first place in August. However, poor hitting and bad luck dropped the team into the NL West cellar with a 26–34 record.

Season Preview: As usual, the Rockies have a lot of scary hitters, led by Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Daniel Murphy, and Charlie Blackmon. But this may be the year the pitching gets them deep into the playoffs. German Marquez, Jon Gray, and Kyle Freeland are in their prime years, and rising star Ryan Castellani could be a difference-maker. The bullpen is stocked with flamethrowers who could make Colorado tough to beat in the late innings.

2019 Season

Season Recap: Winning close games is crucial when you are fighting for a Wild Card spot and the Rockies lost more than their fair share in 2019. The team was 40–34 in June but ended up dropping more than 90 games after a dismal second half. Injuries kept Colorado from putting its best lineup on the field all year long. The bright spots for the Rockies included big years from Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, and good showings from prospects Brendan Rodgers and Sam Hilliard in brief trials.

June 16, 2019: Charlie Blackmon collected 15 hits in a four-games series against the Padres to break the old four-game record of 14.

Season Preview: Fans in Denver got their New Year’s wish when the team signed superstar Nolan Arenado to a huge contract heading into 2019. He leads a scrappy club into battle with hopes of topping 90 wins again. Arenado will be surrounded by slugging infielders Trevor Story and Daniel Murphy, and do-it-all leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon. The Rockies got great pitching last year. If that happens again they will cause big trouble for the Dodgers again.

2018 Season

Season Recap: Colorado won 90 games to finish in a tie with the Dodgers in the NL West. Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado had MVP-type seasons at the plate, while Kyle Freedland, Jon Gray and German Marquez led the pitching staff. The Rockies ended their season with four games in four different cities over five days: Game 162 at home in Denver, the NL west Tiebreaker in Los Angeles (which they lost), the Wild Card Game in Chicago (which they won), and Game One of the NL Division Series, In Milwaukee. The Rockies were swept be the Brewers to finish off and exciting but disappointing year.

September 26, 2018: German Marquez tied an all-time record when he struck out the first eight batters he faced in a start against the Phillies.

September 11, 2018: Trevor Story became the first shortstop in NL history with 30 homers, 40 doubles and 100 RBIs in the same season.

Season Preview: The Rockies have never been known for their pitching, but that could change in 2018. A young, hard-throwing group of starters is backed by an excellent bullpen. There will still be a lot of runs scored in Colorado, but Rockies fans hope that most of them will be scored by the home team. Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, and Nolan Arenado lead a powerful offense, while Chad Bettis and Jon Gray anchor the starting staff. Wade Davis, Adam Ottavino, and Chris Shaw make up a very good bullpen.

2017 Season

Season Recap: After more than two decades trying to figure out how to pitch in their own ballpark, the Rockies found the right formula in 2017 and won 87 games. Their entire starting staff was between 22 and 27 and they simply reared back dared opposing batters to hit their best stuff. The offense was excellent as usual, with 30-homer seasons from Mark Reynolds, Charlie Blackmon, and Nolan Arenado. DJ LeMahieu, Jonathan Lucroy, and Gerardo Parra chipped in with .300 averages.

September 29, 2017: Charlie Blackmon set a new record for RBIs by a leadoff hitter when he drove in his 101st run of the season with a home run against the Dodgers.

June 1, 2017: Charlie Blackmon was named NL Player of the Month for May. He had the most hits and triples in the league that month.

2016 Season

November 1, 2016: The Rockies were baseball’s most feared power-hitting team, with Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and Trevor Story combining to smash 122 home runs. A wrist injury ended Story’s great rookie year before he played his 100th game, but another rookie, David Dahl, picked up the slack with a solid August and September. The team’s starting pitchers were better than expected, but the bullpen was a major weak point. At season’s end, Colorado’s record was a so-so 75–87.

October 5, 2016: The Rockies showed in 2016 that they are ready to compete in the NL West. Trevor Story was on pace for 40 homers and 100 RBIs before hurting his thumb. Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and Carlos Gonzalez combined for 95 homers and 315 RBIs. Colorado’s starting pitchers also showed flashes of brilliance, especially Jon Gray, Chad Bettis, Tyler Anderson, and Tyler Chatwood.

September 17, 2016: Jon Gray set a club record with 16 strikeouts against the San Diego Padres.

August 11, 2016: Rookie David Dahl started his big-league career with a 17-game hitting streak. He tied the record set in 1941 by Chuck Aleno.

April 8, 2016: Rookie shortstop Trevor Story became the first player in history to hit homers in each of his first four big-league games.

2015 Season

October 14, 2015: The Rockies boasted two 40-home run hitters in Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado, who led the NL with 42 homers, 354 total bases, and 130 RBIs. Unfortunately, Colorado could not catch the division-leading Dodgers, and made the decision to part ways with longtime star Troy Tulowitzki, who was traded to the Blue Jays in July.

October 4, 2015: Nolan Arenado tied with Bryce Harper for the NL home run crown with 42.

April 5, 2015: The recipe for success in Colorado hasn’t changed over the years. If Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez stay healthy and the starting pitchers keep games close, the Rockies are a dangerous team. The fans in Denver are expecting big years from Corey Dickerson and Nolan Arenado. They could turn out to be the difference-makers.

2014 Season

November 15, 2014: Two Rockies won NL Gold Glove awards—third baseman Nolan Arenado and second baseman D.J. LeMahieu.

November 1, 2014: The Rockies had the talent to compete with the Giants and Dodgers in the NL West, but injuries to their two stars—Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez—led to a disappointing season. Colorado did get breakout years from outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson, and amazing comeback performances from free agent Justin Morneau and veteran starter Jorge de la Rosa.

September 28, 2014: Justin Morneau finished the year with a .319 average to lead the National League. He was the 7th different Colorado player to win the batting crown since the team joined the league in 1993.

May 8, 2014: Nolan Arenado singled against the Rangers to set a team record with hits in 28 straight games. The previous record was held by Michael Cuddyer.

March 31, 2014: The Rockies have a fearsome middle of the lineup, with batting champion Michael Cuddyer and sluggers Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. All three are MVP candidates, but all three have also lost a lot of games to injury in the past. If they stay healthy and productive—and if the Rockies’ young pitchers come through—they could be a very dangerous team.

2013 Season

October 1, 2013: The Rockies lived and died with their three outfielders in 2013. Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, and Michael Cuddyer got off to hot starts, but all three were eventually slowed by injuries. Cuddyer was the only one to fully recover—and led the NL with a .331 average. But without Fowler and CarGo at full strength, the team was unable to put together one of its famous late-season runs. That was a shame, because the pitching staff—led by Jhoulys Chacin, Jorde de la Rosa, Tyler Chatwood, and Rex Brothers—was getting the job done.

September 29, 2013: Michael Cuddyer won the NL batting title with a .331 average. He became the sixth Colorado player to lead the league, joining Andres Galarraga, Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Matt Holliday and Carlos Gonzalez.

September 1, 2013: Todd Helton cracked a double against the Reds for hit # 2,500 of his career. Only 95 other players in history had reached this mark.

March 30, 2013: Healthy pitchers will make all the difference for the Rockies in 2013. Last year, Jhoulys Chacin, Juan Nicasio, and Jorge de la Rosa tried to pitch through injuries. The result was a lost season for Colorado. This year all three begin the year in good condition. If they get help from Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez—who were also hurt in 2012—the team could challenge for the NL West crown.

2012 Season

October 3, 2012: Injuries to team leaders Todd Helton, Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki ruined a season of hope for the Rockies. Without a high-scoring offense, young pitchers like Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, and Christian Friedrich had to be almost perfect to win the few games they did. With a return to full strength on the hitting side, these same pitchers will be counted on to up their game in 2013.

April, 17, 2012: Jamie Moyer defeated the San Diego Padres to become the oldest pitcher to win a big-league game. Moyer was 49 years and 151 days old. He broke the record set by Jack Quinn in 1932.

March, 2012: Rafael Betancourt saved seven games in the final seven weeks of the 2011 season, so it looks like he will get the chance to become the Rockies’ closer when 2012 begins. There are a couple of other hard throwers in the Colorado bullpen, including Rex Brothers and Matt Belisle. Meanwhile, Alex White and Drew Pomeranz will be trying to make the team’s starting rotation. They were the pitchers who the Rockies received after trading Ubaldo Jimenez in 2011.

More Go-To Guys

Did you know that Juan Pierre was named after Juan Marichal, the Hall of Fame pitcher? (Author’s Collection)

Garrett Atkins was some hitter when he joined the Rockies. In 2007, he had an amazing second-half that helped Colorado win the pennant. (The Upper Deck Co.)

  • Juan Pierre — Outfielder
    Born: 8/14/1977
    Played for Team: 2000 to 2002
    Juan Pierre broke into the big leagues with Colorado and almost immediately became the NL’s greatest base-stealing threat. He led the league with 46 stolen bases in his first full year with the team and was second in hits, with 202.

  • Eric Young — Second Baseman
    Born: 5/18/1967
    Played for Team: 1993 to 1997
    Eric Young was unstoppable on the basepaths for the Rockies. In a 1996 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he stole second, third, and home in the same inning. Young batted .324 that year and made the All-Star team.

  • Pedro Astacio — Pitcher
    Born: 11/28/1968
    Played for Team: 1997 to 2001
    Pedro Astacio was the team’s best pitcher in its early years. He was not afraid to challenge hitters. He gave up a lot of home runs, but he also won a lot of games for the Rockies.

  • Jose Jimenez — Pitcher
    Born: 7/7/1973
    Played for Team: 2000 to 2003
    The Rockies traded two of their best pitchers—Darryl Kile and Dave Veres—for Jose Jimenez, hoping to make him their closer. Jimenez made Colorado look smart. During his four years with the Rockies he saved 102 games, including 41 in 2002.

  • Brian Fuentes — Pitcher
    Born: 8/9/1975
    Played for Team: 2002 to 2008
    Brian Fuentes became the closer for the Rockies in 2005 and was the first Colorado reliever to be picked for the All-Star Game. He was an All-Star again in 2006 and 2007. In all, Fuentes saved 115 games for the Rockies.

  • Garrett Atkins — Third Baseman
    Born: 12/12/1979
    Played for Team: 2003 to 2009
    Garrett Atkins was a great hitter in college baseball. He continued to hit well after being drafted by the Rockies. In 2005, he led the club in RBIs as a rookie. Over the next three seasons he drove in 330 runs.

  • Jeff Francis — Pitcher
    Born: 1/8/1981
    Played for Team: 2004 to 2010
    Long and lanky Jeff Francis had good control and a great curveball. He hid the ball well when he threw both pitches, making them very hard to hit. In 2007, Francis became the first Canadian-born pitcher ever to start and win a playoff game.

  • Ryan McMahon — Infielder
    Born: 12/14/1994
    First Season with Team: 2017
    Ryan McMahon’s ability to play first, second, or third made him a valuable utility man for the Rockies. In 2019, he showed he could be one of the game’s top power hitters, too.

More Fun Facts

Look out, Mr. Camera Man—Matt Holliday is swinging a mean bat! (Black Book Partners)

    From 1995 to 1997, a different Rockie won the home run crown each season. It was the first time in history three different players from the same club won the championship three years in a row.

    Eric Young was the leadoff batter for the Rockies in their very first home game. He started the team off with a bang when he drove a pitch over the left field fence in his first at bat.

    When Matt Holliday competed in the Home Run Derby at the 2007 All-Star Game, he got to choose his own pitcher. He selected his brother, Josh.

    John Vander Wal had a dream season for the Rockies in 1995. He came off the bench to set a record with 28 pinch-hits that year.

  • THE 200 CLUB
    In 1996, the Rockies became the first team to hit 200 home runs and steal 200 bases in the same season. Andres Galarraga (47), Ellis Burks (40), Vinny Castilla (40), and Dante Bichette (31) led the club in home runs. Eric Young (53), Burks (32), and Bichette (31), led the team in steals.

League Leaders

Andres Galarraga signed the back of this magazine in 1993. It shows him running the bases, which wasn’t easy considering he had bad knees. (Beckett Publishing)

Preston Wilson was the nephew and stepson of Mookie Wilson, the New York Mets’ star of the 1980s. Mookie’s brother was Preston’s father, but Preston’s mother married Mookie instead. Got all that? (Author’s Collection)

  • Home Runs
    1995 — Dante Bichette — 40
    1996 — Andres Galarraga — 47
    1997 — Larry Walker — 49
    2015 — Nolan Arenado — 42*
    2016 — Nolan Arenado — 41*
    2018 — Nolan Arenado — 37

    * Tied with another player

  • Batting Average
    1993 — Andres Galarraga — .370
    1998 — Larry Walker — .363
    1999 — Larry Walker — .379
    2000 — Todd Helton — .372
    2001 — Larry Walker — .350
    2007 — Matt Holliday — .340
    2010 — Carlos Gonzalez — .336
    2013 — Michael Cuddyer — .331
    2014 — Justin Morneau — .319
    2016 — DJ LeMahieu —.348
    2017 — Charlie Blackmon —.331

  • Runs Batted In
    1995 — Dante Bichette — 128
    1996 — Andres Galarraga — 150
    1997 — Andres Galarraga — 140
    2000 — Todd Helton — 147
    2003 — Preston Wilson — 141
    2004 — Vinny Castilla — 131
    2007 — Matt Holliday — 137
    2015 — Nolan Arenado — 130
    2016 — Nolan Arenado — 133

  • Stolen Bases
    1996 — Eric Young — 53
    2001 — Juan Pierre — 46
    2008 — Willy Taveras — 68
    2020 — Trevor Story — 15

  • Wins
    No Rockies pitcher has led the league in wins.

    2018 — Wade Davis — 42

  • Strikeouts
    No Rockies pitcher has led the league in strikeouts.

  • Earned Run Average
    No Rockies pitcher has led the league in ERA.

Playing for the Championship

2007 Boston Red Sox Lost 4–0

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