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Rockies 2014 season review: Eddie Butler's MLB debut is completely unsatisfying

Much heralded pitching prospect Eddie Butler made his MLB debut in 2014. That is the good news. The bad news is that his rookie season became a rookie cup-of-coffee mired by injuries and lackluster performance. We learned very little about Butler in 2014. Hopefully the opposite is true 2015.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This wasn't what anyone wanted.

Eddie Butler should always remember 2014 fondly. A debut in Major League Baseball comes but once in a lifetime. Bravo, good sir.

But it would be dishonest to say that everyone from prospect hounds, to die hard fans, to coaches and the righty redhead with righteous stuff himself, were anything less than deeply disappointed in how his season unfolded.

What happened

Butler was immediately shelved following his first start in the show on June 6th because he was experiencing shoulder soreness. That relegated him to only two more starts at the major league level in late September, which in turn makes his sample size against major league competition far too insufficient to draw any conclusions.

He looked a bit shaky in his debut (admittedly a bit of nerves) and also caught some tough luck against the Dodgers and held on for 5.1 IP and six earned runs surrendered. His debut-do-over went much better. On September 20th he pitched his best game as a pro (Arizona Diamondbacks caveat) tossing six innings and giving up only one run.

His final game (against those damn Dodgers again) saw Butler give up five runs in only 4.1 innings. He was scheduled to head to the Arizona Fall League immediately after the season ended but was shut down for the winter with the same shoulder soreness.

Butler articulated that the soreness may have been causing his mechanics to change a little and that rest would help him return to natural form. Here's hopin'.

Before his stint in the majors and during his rehab to return, Butler threw 108 innings for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers. He posted a 3.58 ERA in 18 games and struck out 5.25 batters per nine innings.

2014 Grade: Incomplete

In pretty much every way, Eddie Butlers season was incomplete.

What to expect in 2015

Eddie Butler should break camp with a starting rotation spot in 2015 if all is well on the health front.

To limit pressure and stress on his arm, I suspect he won't throw a ton of innings right out of the gate, and hopefully the Rockies can add enough pitching depth in the off season that he can be the fifth rotation guy. He may take the league by storm, he may break down again, he may have the usual rookie struggles you expect from just about anybody.

There is a wide range of possibility for Eddie Butler in 2015 but the best bet is that he has some good nights and some tough ones and that it won't be until 2016 and beyond that we see the best that he has to offer. Or he is going to be Rookie of the Year. Dream big.