ROCKIES

Colorado Rockies announce opening day starter for 2023 season

Mar 24, 2023, 11:57 AM

The Colorado Rockies have one really good pitcher and Bud Black has picked him to throw the first pitch of the 2023 Rockies season.

German Marquez will get the ball on the bump in San Deigo when the Rockies open their season next Thursday afternoon. Marquez, 28, has spent his entire career with Colorado and debuted all the way back in 2016. He made the Rockies-hosted 2021 All-Star Game and was once one of the better-hitting pitchers, back when slingers swung wood.

From 2017 to 2021 Marquez put together one of the best five-year stretches a Rockies pitcher ever has, accumulating 14.1 rWAR over 135 starts and nearly 800 innings. He recorded 53 wins and 40 losses with a 4.25 ERA and 1.260 WHIP, striking out 9.1 batters per nine innings while walking 2.6. Those numbers ballooned last season, as the righty had an 11-12 record over 31 starts with a 4.95 ERA, and a falling strikeout rate.

Marquez looks himself again in the Cactus League, pitching 11 innings thus far and allowing just eight hits and two walks. The hard-throwing Venezuelan has not allowed a single run to score while hurling this spring and has struck out 13 batters.

The Rockies signed Marquez to a five-year $43 million deal back in 2019, he’s now in the last year of the contract, with a $16 million club option for 2024.

The Rockies are expected to once again miss the playoffs and be one of the NL West’s worst teams but Marquez could be a bright spot this summer.

In his first game of 2023, he’ll face a revamped Padres team who has had one of the best offseasons in baseball. They added star infielder Xander Bogaerts to a roster already featuring All-Stars Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Michael Wacha, Drew Pomeranz, Joe Musgrove, Josh Hader, Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Jake Cronenworth, Matt Carpenter, Nelson Cruz and of course Manny Machado, who just got a massive 11-year extension.

The Rockies start with four games in San Deigo then two against the Dodgers before hosting their home opener on Apr. 6 against the Nationals.

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