2011 Rockies Player Reviews: The September Callups

Every September, when your team is pretty much out of contention, you tend to see the lineup suddenly fill itself with names you've never heard of: Pitchers you thought had washed out of the system months ago. Veterans from other teams you never realized the Rockies had acquired. Michael McKenry.

September callups for the Rockies have seen such names as Mike Esposito, Joe Koshansky, and Cory Vance. For a winning club, the callups present the team with a stable of pinch hitters and extra arms to take the bullets for the guys set up for the playoffs. For clubs that are not winning clubs, it's the time when your prospects and depth get auditions for the next season's club, and veterans just audition to the entirety of MLB to prove that they have.

In the case of this September, we had a little of all of that. We have a veteran minor leaguer in Jim Miller, seemingly failed prospect Hector Gomez, and utilityman hopeful Tommy Field.

Miller, 29, was drafted by the Rockies in the 8th round of the 2004 Entry-Level draft. In 2007, he was traded to Baltimore along with Jason Burch in exchange for Rodrigo Lopez. Miller hit the majors in 2008 with Baltimore, pitched 8 innings of low-ERA-bad-peripheral baseball, and then went back down and didn't come back. Miller was granted FA at the end of 2010 and signed with the Rockies on a minor-league contract. 2011 brought a poor season in the Springs, as far as ERA goes, but his high strikeout rate and low walk rate brought along a 3.52 FIP. There's MLB ability, even if only as a back-end bullpen arm. Miller posted a 2.57 ERA (3.31 FIP) over 7 innings for Colorado. He was a bit wild, didn't show his minor league strikeout numbers, but WAR (both of 'em) saw him as a positive player for the Rockies.

Gomez and Field post-jump.

(If you were wondering, guys like Pomeranz, White, Rosario, Pacheco - they're getting their own articles)

Hector Gomez was once a top prospect in the Rockies organization, but just endless numbers of injuries have hampered his development to the point where many people consider him a non-prospect. Gomez had a rough season in AA Tulsa, batting a mere .235/.272/.416 with solid defense. As a plus, that's a good SLG for AA Tulsa, esp when compared to the low batting average. In the majors, Gomez made his MLB debut as a PH/late inning replacement at SS, getting 2 PA (and 0 hits). He got a start the next day at SS, going 2-for-4 with a BB. Not a bad MLB debut, but obviously not enough to say anything definitive about his MLB potentials.

Finally, Tommy Field. Field got 12 starts at SS, mostly in relief of an injured Troy Tulowitzki. He didn't do anything special, batting .271/.314/.271 over 51PA with a plus glove. He split his time in AA between 2B and SS, playing 96 games at 2Band 34 at SS. Interestingly enough, Field batted .271 in Tulsa, but he supported it with a .357 OBP and .439 SLG. Were the Rockies in any sort of contention, Field's line would've been generally unacceptable, but given the fact that the season was pretty much over already, he did a good enough job.

Basically, we have 3 guys who did the job well enough: 2 with samples too small to really judge, and another who we kind of brush under the "eh, the season was over" rug. I'd like to give them an Incomplete as far as their grade goes, because really, we didn't see enough to judge them fairly. Forced to give a grade though? Well, Miller would get a C, Gomez a B, and Field a D if we looked at them all on somewhat of an absolute scale. Field COULD squeak into a C rating if you consider him having a generally positive glove and then lower the bar substantially for utility guys.

Overall, I'd give this group of callups a C.

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