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Ranking the Rockies: No. 10 Yohan Flande ... wait, what?

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It doesn't get any more average and serviceable than the Flan Man, and that's OK.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Yohan Flande was among the Colorado Rockies' 10 most valuable players in 2015.

I assure you, there are no typos in that previous sentence.

Flande was worth a full win above replacement on the mound, according to Baseball-Reference, ranking behind only Jorge De La Rosa and Chad Bettis (more on them later in this series) among Rockies hurlers. Flande's performance—4.74 ERA, 5.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 68⅓ innings—was good enough for a right-around-league-average 99 ERA+. The Flan Man provided the majority of his value out of the bullpen, posting a 3.60 ERA in 20 innings spanning nine appearances in the Rockies' swingman role.

Don't look now, but Flande has proved to be a serviceable—not great, good or really even average, but definitely serviceable—big league pitcher for two years running, putting up a 91 ERA+ in a decent 127⅓-inning sample size. Flande does it with a fastball and change-up combination, that is, per Fangraphs, above average in terms of value.

How about that?

The fastball isn't thrown particularly hard, averaging 90-91 mph, and Flande exhibits a velocity difference of only 5-6 mph between the heater (term used loosely) and change. But there's clearly enough deception there to allow him to not go full Kyle Kendrick (though Flande did allow 14 homers in his limited work in 2015).

In a nutshell, Flande is definitely not the worst pitcher on the staff. In fact, he's shown enough that the Rockies have chosen to keep him on the 40-man roster for two years running.

Wow.

Here's the best thing I can say about Yohan Flande: The Rockies' decision to keep him during each of the last two offseasons is completely justifiable. Sure, a lot of that has to do with the state of the group of pitchers at the highest level of the organization. However, Flande deserves some credit, too. To show that, here is a list of pitchers who have at least 125 innings under their belts and a worse park-adjusted ERA than Flande over the last two years:

Rk Player ERA+ IP
1 Trevor Cahill 68 154.0
2 Justin Masterson 69 188.0
3 Kevin Correia 69 177.1
4 Ricky Nolasco 70 196.1
5 Edwin Jackson 70 196.1
6 Felix Doubront 72 155.0
7 Shane Greene 73 162.1
8 Chris Capuano 73 138.0
9 Jerome Williams 74 236.0
10 Matt Cain 74 151.0
11 Odrisamer Despaigne 75 222.0
12 Hector Noesi 75 205.0
13 Eric Stults 75 223.2
14 Mike Minor 75 145.1
15 David Buchanan 77 192.1
16 Kyle Kendrick 78 341.1
17 Drew Hutchison 78 335.0
18 Tim Lincecum 78 232.0
19 Brad Hand 79 204.1
20 Dillon Gee 79 177.0
21 Robbie Ross 80 139.0
22 Trevor May 80 160.1
23 John Danks 81 371.1
24 CC Sabathia 82 213.1
25 Brad Peacock 82 136.2
Rk Player ERA+ IP
26 Jeremy Guthrie 82 351.0
27 Travis Wood 83 274.1
28 Ryan Vogelsong 84 319.2
29 Chris Rusin 84 144.1
30 Colby Lewis 84 375.0
31 Scott Carroll 84 166.0
32 Matt Garza 85 312.0
33 Juan Nicasio 85 152.0
34 Bud Norris 85 248.1
35 Kyle Lohse 85 350.2
36 C.J. Wilson 86 307.2
37 Bartolo Colon 86 397.0
38 Jeremy Hellickson 86 209.2
39 Mike Pelfrey 87 188.1
40 David Phelps 87 225.0
41 Charlie Morton 88 286.1
42 Rubby De La Rosa 88 290.1
43 Jeff Locke 88 299.2
44 Mike Bolsinger 88 161.2
45 Brett Oberholtzer 89 182.0
46 David Hale 89 165.2
47 Nathan Eovaldi 89 354.0
48 Ian Kennedy 89 369.1
49 Taijuan Walker 89 207.2
50 Anthony DeSclafani 90 217.2
Rk Player ERA+ IP
51 Vidal Nuno 90 250.2
52 Brandon McCarthy 90 223.0
53 Alfredo Simon 90 383.1
54 Joe Kelly 90 230.2
55 Franklin Morales 90 204.2

Let's be real: Flande isn't going to be a significant contributor on the Rockies' next winning team. But, they have, can and will do worse than an average-ish 29-year-old left-hander who will earn the league minimum for at least the next two seasons.