Rockies Cardinals Baseball

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez pauses after giving up a ground-rule double to St. Louis Cardinals' Nolan Gorman during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Time is winding down for the Colorado Rockies, and while, they are not yet out of contention officially, it's pretty safe to check that box. 

The Rockies are over 30 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West and 16 games behind first place, unofficially officially not heading to the postseason.

So what's a team like that have to focus on now? Next year. And getting through this year in one piece. 

Their veterans, like Germán Márquez, are trying to end the season on a high note going into the winter. Their young talent, including Elehuris Montero, are trying to prove they can get used to increased playing time. Both had fine nights on Wednesday, but the Rockies fell to the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1. 

For Márquez, that means flipping around a season where he has had a 6.92 ERA for part of the first half. If this team is going to have a chance to contend — and the Rockies believe they can do so as early as next year — it starts with pitching. And this year the rotation, as a group, has struggled. 

Márquez has steadily improved since mid-June, adjusting his release point and fine-tuning other aspects of his game. Since June 7, Márquez has a 3.89 ERA, including his start on Wednesday, when he gave up three runs in six innings. He ran into traffic in all but his last inning. 

After this season, Marquez is planning to play winter ball in Venezuela, then represent his home country in the World Baseball Classic next spring. Both could help him improve for 2023.

As for Montero, he's hit safely in 11 of his 13 games since his recall from Triple-A on Aug. 2. That included a single on Wednesday, his 24th birthday. It's the most he's played at the major league level, and he's proving he belongs. 

Jaden Hill to Low-A

Right-handed pitcher Jaden Hill has been promoted to Low-A Fresno. Hill, selected 44th overall by the Rockies in the 2021 draft and their No. 10 prospect, had Tommy John surgery on his arm in spring 2021. He made his first start for the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, striking out the side in the first and second innings. 

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