And just like that, Rockies fans all over the country let out a sigh of relief.
The club has reassigned pitcher Jon Gray to minor league camp, according to a team announcement.
Gray, the Rockies' top pitching prospect, came into his second spring training looking to prove he belonged with the MLB club. Gray tossed 13⅔ innings this spring, allowing nine runs while striking out 11 batters and walking two.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding the possible promotion of Gray to the MLB rotation, mostly due to service time constraints, which Bryan Kilpatrick explained in his recent article. While it definitely would be exciting to see Gray pitch in the opening series in Milwaukee, this was the right call for not just the organization, but for Gray as well. The big right-hander showed that he still needs a little bit of seasoning in the minors, as evidenced in his last start against the Chicago Cubs. In just two-thirds of an inning, Gray surrendered six earned runs, including a three-run homer off the bat of the opposing pitcher.
The Rockies' decision will allow Gray to get a few starts under his belt in Triple-A before the club even thinks about calling him up, and all the while, will ensure the team doesn't lose out on an extra year of team control. It also cuts the race for the Rockies' final rotation spot to Eddie Butler and Chad Bettis. Christian Bergman will begin the season in the big league bullpen, per Nick Groke of The Denver Post.