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Ranking the Rockies: No. 41 Jorge Rondon was a worthy gamble

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Jorge Rondon allowed 11 runs in one plus inning pitched, but he was worth picking up and playing.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Figuratively, Jorge Rondon did nothing, good or bad, for the Rockies in 2015. Literally, he pitched one inning. Figuratively, Rondon gave up a million runs in that one inning. Literally, he gave up 11, which feels like a million. Given the very limited play, and despite all of the runs allowed, Rondon was a figurative, but almost literal, non-entity for the Rockies in 2015.

Rondon got into two games. In the first, on April 28, Rondon entered in the eighth inning. He allowed as many runs as outs he recorded—three. But Rondon didn’t cost the Rockies the game. The Rockies were losing by five runs when he entered. At worst, he put a game likely out of reach even further out of reach.

A similar thing happened in his abysmal second appearance.On May 1, Rondon entered in the eighth inning again. This time, the Rockies were down four runs to the Padres at home. The Padres win expectancy was already at 99.3 percent, according to FanGraphs. Rondon didn’t record an out and allowed eight runs. Combined, Rondon’s Win Probability Added was -0.012, which is essentially nothing. He was promptly DFA'd thereafter.

The Rockies selected Rondon off of waivers in November 2014. They didn’t give up a player to get him and they paid him the league minimum. The appeal was the mid-90s fastball he is wont to throw. What was exploited in the inning plus that Rondon pitched was that a mid-90s fastball that doesn’t move is a very hittable pitch.

Rondon added nothing, but he also cost the Rockies nothing. And—unless you believe his two outings crushed the Rockies’ morale, who were poised to score five runs in the ninth—he didn’t even cost them a game. The lesson, if there is one, is that it’s worth gambling on players like Rondon again in the future. They might pay off less often than they don’t, but they is essentially no risk involved.