The Rockies needed help in the bullpen going into September. The front office did not seem to have much faith on rookie relievers coming up from AAA (Edgmer Escalona, Samuel Deduno), so Dan O'Dowd went outside the organization to acquire Boston's version of Manny Corpas: Manny Delcarmen.
Like Corpas, Delcarmen had the type of season in 2007 that caught the attention of baseball analysts and fans everywhere. With a 2.05 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, his traditional numbers pointed to a career as a closer. But it didn't work that way, and by 2010, Bostonians wanted their native pitcher shipped out.
O'Dowd saw an opportunity to soften Matt Belisle's September workload while simultaneously adding a project for pitching coach Bob Apodaca to fix. Delcarmen was to be under team control through arbitration from through the 2012 season, and after earning less than $1mil in 2010, he represented an monetarily inexpensive project. If Apodaca could recapture Delcarmen's impeccable control and find his lost velocity, Colorado would have stolen a prize bullpen arm.
The cost was Chris Balcom-Miller, Colorado's sixth round pick in 2009, a right-handed starter who has posted a 2.73 ERA 0.915 WHIP in 171.2 IP. Had Delcarmen fulfilled his end of the bargain, it would have been a worthwhile trade for Rockies, whose minor league strength is starting pitchers. As it turned out, Manny Delcarmen became arguably Dan O'Dowd's biggest regret in 2010.
Purple Row did not respond well to dealing Balcom-Miller for Delcarmen. Jeff Aberle and Rox Girl immediately defended the move at the time, but Delcarmen wasted no time in rewarding the angry mob over the writers of Purple Row. In his first appearance, Delcarmen faced five batters, got one out, allowed four runs on four hits, and even worse - allowed all three inherited runners to score. That came in a nine-run inning against Philadephia, allowing the Phillies to turn a 7-3 deficit into a 12-7 lead on their way to dealing a serious blow to Colorado's post-season dreams in 2010.
Delcarmen pitched fairly effectively the rest of 2010 in purple pinstripes, allowing two runs on eight hits in 8.1 IP after that horrid debut. Yet it was not enough. When O'Dowd landed another bullpen project in Felipe Paulino for the soon-to-be non-tendered Clint Barmes, Delcarmen's niche was filled by someone else. Consequently, he was non-tendered in spite of a small 2011 salary, closing the book on the Balcom-Miller with a "woops."
After being non-tendered, Manny Delcarmen is a free agent looking for work. There has not been any takers yet, and his name hasn't been bandied about often in rumors. However, two teams in the AL East (not including the Red Sox) have reportedly expressed interest in the short-lived Rockie.