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Ranking the Rockies: No. 36 Jason Gurka's long-awaited debut was ruined by bad luck

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He's also a right fielder!

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The 2015 season was a big one for Jason Gurka. Most importantly, the 15th round pick in the 2008 draft finally reached the big leagues after eight years spent as a minor leaguer. Despite having consistently good minor league numbers -- Gurka has posted a 3.16 ERA with a 3.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his 176 minor league appearances -- Gurka was consistently overlooked due to his size and lack of blow-you-away type stuff. The Colorado Rockies, however, finally gave him his shot when he was promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque in late August. Gurka made nine appearances (as a pitcher, at least), and the numbers weren't pretty. In 7⅔ innings, Gurka had an ugly 9.39 ERA and 2.35 WHIP. These numbers have a good shot at making Gurka a casualty of the upcoming roster crunch, but I wouldn't seeing him get a more extended look in what will most likely be a non-competitive 2016 season.

If you look past the raw numbers, you'll find that Gurka wasn't actually that bad! He had a very solid 7-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio, a terribly unlucky .517 BABIP against, and a 3.79 FIP, 4.02 xFIP, and 3.66 SIERA. Those numbers are all roughly league average and are probably a lot more representative of what you should expect from him going forward than his 9.39 ERA is. Another reason it wouldn't be the worst thing to take a longer look at Gurka is this:

(Thanks, Baseball-Reference!)

You read that correctly. Pitcher AND right fielder! He's a 2-way player! The Rockies, perhaps even more than any other team, constantly have to decide whether it would be best to carry a 13th pitcher or a 13th hitter. With Gurka, they can have both! Some may say that Gurka was only used in right field because it was the 16th inning and the Rockies had no other options. Those people might also say that he only has five career plate appearances in the minor leagues and has never gotten a hit. Those things may be true, but I'm not so sure that the Rockies haven't uncovered a hidden talent. He looks like a natural out there to me: