The Colorado Rockies struggled during the 2020 season.
In a shortened 60 game schedule, the team went 26-34 and earned a fourth-place finish in the NL West.
However, 2021 has an even worse outlook for the franchise.
After an offseason full of trade rumors, the Rockies made the move to trade superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals.
New threads for Nolan Arenado ⚾️🔥 pic.twitter.com/HlwQNwjx3q
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) January 30, 2021
He was the backbone of their franchise and is widely considered to be the best third baseman in the league.
His trade signifies that the Rockies are in the midst of a rebuilding period.
They are shifting their focus to the future and the impacts will be felt in this upcoming season.
Here is an early look at their potential starting lineup for the 2021 season.
Rockies Projected 2021 Lineup
If the season started today, here is how the Rockies lineup would shape up:
- Raimel Tapia, OF
- Trevor Story, SS
- Charlie Blackmon, OF
- Ryan McMahon, 2B
- Josh Fuentes, 1B
- Elias Diaz, C
- Garrett Hampson, OF
- Brendan Rodgers, 3B
Arenado’s absence is well felt in this lineup.
While they still have some solid pieces, this is no longer a lineup that many opposing pitchers are worried to face.
Story is easily one of the best shortstops in the MLB.
Since this is clearly a Trevor Story stan account these days, here's this. Casual. pic.twitter.com/6rIbYk8aXP
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) July 28, 2020
He projects to have a batting average above .280 and more than 30 home runs.
There are rumors that he could be the next Rockies player to be traded.
Blackmon provides the team with a veteran presence that has consistently put together solid seasons.
Over the last five years, Blackmon has hit above .300 in four of them.
He also added 29 or more home runs each of those seasons besides the COVID-altered 2020.
However, outside of these two players, the Rockies will have to rely on relatively unproven and unknown talent.
Tapia had a solid season in 2020 and established himself as a solid contact hitter.
Rogers is another player with a high ceiling, being ranked as the 9th best prospect in the minors prior to his MLB debut.
With this group, the team has a solid group of position players with much to prove in 2021.
Historically, the biggest struggle for the Rockies has been their pitching.
They play in a hitter friendly park that hurts many pitchers’ statistics.
In their rotation for 2021, German Marquez will be the undisputed ace of the staff.
Wake up. You’re sleeping on German Marquez and you shouldn’t be. pic.twitter.com/lo8l7lmyDa
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 5, 2020
He has been a solid arm over his young, five-year career.
Gray has shown the potential of being a good arm in the starting rotation, posting a 3.84 ERA last season.
However, an abysmal 2020 calls his true skill into question.
Freeland is in a similar situation, as his dominant 2.85 ERA in 2018 suggests that he could be dominant while poor 2019 and 2020 seasons contradicts that.
Either way, this will not likely be a strength for this team.
Rockies 2021 Outlook
Rockies fans can expect to struggle in 2021.
This is not going to be a very good team, as their lineup and pitching staff are very underwhelming.
They are also in a heavily stacked NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) February 9, 2021
It is a longshot that they can make it to the playoffs, as their players would collectively need to have standout seasons.
However, the hope is that it will be a quick turnaround for the organization and the rebuild effort will be successful.NEXT: What Happened To Todd Helton? (Complete Story)