By Jack Etkin/Forbes.com
Conventional baseball wisdom warns not to put too much stock in September performance. The Rockies think the impressive work by pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez in the final month of the season might have little to do with the variable that is September.
Rosters expand that month. So the competition level that was in place for the first five months of the season is diluted. Furthermore, the effort level of some players on teams with nothing to play for can wane in September.
That said, Gonzalez made a subtle mechanical change, a basic one, really, that involved exactly when he took the ball out of his glove. His September established Gonzalez as a viable competitor in spring training for the Rockies’ 2020 Opening Day rotation.
Jon Gray, German Marquez and a hopefully improved Kyle Freeland seem set in that rotation. The Rockies, of course, could acquire a starter in the offseason and undoubtedly will search hard to do so after their rotation after their rotation was last in the majors with a 5.87 ERA, the second-highest in franchise history.
Other in-house rotation candidates in addition to Gonzalez are Jeff Hoffman, Antonio Senzatela and Peter Lambert. Hoffman and Senzatela are out of minor league options, although that’s less of a concern with Senzatela.
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