In the post-2021 era of Rockies baseball, the state of the Rockies as we head into the 2022 season is seemingly future-focused. If the reader recalls, I wrote an article around this time last year detailing what the state of the franchise was heading into the most recent season (if you have not checked it out, I highly encourage you to), and well a lot has happened since then. What happened with the franchise is a bit of a mixed bag of the doomsday scenario and the “This Is Fine!” scenario that I detailed in the aforementioned article. On January 29, 2021, the state of the Rockies franchise officially descended into rebuild mode, and the fanbase into chaos, with the trade of superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado to the Saint Louis Cardinals where they got a solid starter in Austin Gomber and a top 10 prospect Elehuris Montero in return (among others). This trade made the Rockies the laughingstock of major league baseball, and the fanbase that they still had remaining having questions about the future.
The 2021 season had begrudgingly commenced where the Rockies would turn in a typical season of 74-87, and 4th place in the NL West. What had happened within the season, however, sparks hope for the future. With Nolan Arenado’s departure, Trevor Story turning in the worst season of his career, and Charlie Blackmon’s lackluster season, the club was in desperate need of on-the-field leadership where it saw placeholder first baseman C.J. Cron, heir apparent 3B Ryan McMahon, and rookies Brendan Rodgers and Connor Joe step up. The club also set a franchise record for most walk-off wins in a season and it had a home record of 48-33, but what did them in was a whopping 6-33 start on the road and a sub-optimal bullpen.
Something amazing, and honestly surprising, did happen within the season, Jeff Bridich had stepped down as Rockies’ GM on April 26th, where Farm Director Bill Schmidt would take his place, ushering new hope for the franchise. What the departure of Jeff Bridich did was cause a mass exodus in a Rockies’ front office that desperately needed to be cleaned out, but that caused the Rockies’ to sit on their hands and do nothing in-season until Schmidt could get his guys in the ensuing offseason. Meaning, the controversial no-trades of Trevor Story and Jon Gray, who would both end up walking in free agency with Gray signing a deal with the Texas Rangers and Story unable to sign before the league’s lockout. Barring a very shocking re-signing, Story is fully expected to sign elsewhere and in the event that he does, the Rockies will receive a compensatory pick.
Basically, what the Rockies did was shift the franchise and the fanbase future-focused instead of focusing on the present, and that could not happen until they cleaned house within the clubhouse and within the front office. I know that is not what the fans want to see, but unfortunately, that is a part of the business aspect of running a franchise, and that was a wild card team at best, which is not good enough. This team as it stands is fairly young with lots of players still developing and waiting in the wings, and it has the players in place to propel the club into the future, it is just going to take some time. I encourage Rockies fans to enjoy the good moments as they come and look upon the bad with hope for a better future.