Saturday Rockpile: Where does Nick Masset fit with the Rockies?

USA TODAY Sports

Does the newly-signed reliever have a shot at making the Opening Day roster and, if so, what might his role be?

Having signed right-handed reliever Nick Masset to a minor-league contract that would pay him $1.2 million if he made the Major League roster, the Rockies added another option to an already crowded group of relievers.

Counting Masset and the newly re-signed Manuel Corpas, the Rockies now have a good dozen options for relievers to staff their bullpen with.

Barring a trade or injury or trade in Spring Training, five relievers have a roster spot seemingly locked up, including closing options Rex Brothers and LaTroy Hawkins, righty setup man Matt Belisle and lefties Boone Logan and Franklin Morales. That leaves seven players for either two or three spots, depending on if the team goes with a more traditional seven-man bullpen or the eight-man version they used at times last season.

If the Rockies stick to seven relievers in the pen, the two obvious candidates to fill the sixth and seventh spots would be Adam Ottavino and Wilton Lopez. Both pitchers performed well for the team last year and would be among that group of locks if not for the fact that they each have an option year remaining and could possibly start the year in AAA if they were agreeable to such an arrangement.

If one of Lopez or Ottavino fails to make the roster or gets injured in Spring Training or the Rockies choose to go with an eighth reliever, Masset would likely be near the top of the list of names to take that spot, along with Corpas, Chad Bettis and Rob Scahill.

Throwing a wrench into the whole situation is Rule V draft pick Tommy Kahnle, who must be on the active roster all season or be returned to the Yankees, which could mean he gets a spot purely to keep him in the organization. Another wrench could be thrown into the bullpen selection process if the Rockies sign another starter or someone like Jordan Lyles or Christian Friedrich earns a spot in the rotation out of Spring Training and makes Juan Nicasio a bullpen option.

Given that Masset has not pitched in a Major League game since 2011 because of injury, I would bet on the Rockies starting his season at Colorado Springs with him being one of the first options for them to go to when one of their MLB relievers gets hurt.

LINKS

The Baby Bull is ready for the Super Bowl:

Scott Strandberg of Fangraphs wrote a piece on where Eddie Butler may fit into Colorado's rotation in 2014.

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