A week ago, I wrote an article taking a brief look at how some of the players who left the Rockies over the offseason have been doing in 2015, specifically Michael Cuddyer, Josh Rutledge, Juan Nicasio, Rob Scahill, Jhoulys Chacin, Brett Anderson, Matt Belisle, Nick Masset, and Franklin Morales. Juan Nicasio and Rob Scahill in particular, now pitching in relief roles for the Dodgers and Pirates respectively, have been having themselves nice seasons thus far, which has had some community members lamenting their departure. Today, I wanted to take a look at how the Rockies' newest additions are performing. The group below doesn't include every signing, as there are a bunch of guys who were signed to minor league contracts, but I think it covers the majority of candidates.
A fourth-round selection in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs, Rusin made his debut in 2012 and went on to appear in seven starts. He made 13 starts in 2013, but was limited to just four appearances from the bullpen in 2014 before being cut by the Chicago Cubs. Obviously, it's early goings yet, but if Rusin's first start for the Rockies is any indication of future performances, the Cubs' loss is the Rockies' gain.
Rusin wasn't particularly impressive in his stint with the Albuquerque Isotopes, where he began the year, posting an ERA of 6.29 over 34.1 innings and allowing six home runs over his six starts and one relief appearance. His lone start with the Rockies on Wednesday, however, was impressive and it was unjust that Rusin didn't get his first win with the club. A lackluster offense failed to capitalize on a fantastic start that lasted seven innings and saw the Reds score just one run. Although he walked four, Rusin struck out five and needed just 90 pitches to get through seven innings. That kind of start is going to result in a win the majority of the time and while I don't expect him to repeat this impressive outing every time, it'll be interesting to see how he does in the future.
Rondon was claimed off of waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals and saw time with both Triple-A Albuquerque and the Rockies. With the Isotopes, Jorge Rondon tossed 6.1 innings of relief over five games, allowing a run on two hits while striking out four and walking two. His short stint with the Rockies was an absolute dumpster fire.
Yikes. Rondon has since been DFA'd by the Rockies and claimed off of waivers by the Orioles. Just watch, he's going to become a star for the O's.
Rob Scahill, who has been having a great season with the Pirates, was traded by the Rockies to Pittsburgh for starter Shane Carle. Scahill never struck me as an MLB-caliber player, but I stand corrected as he's been very good so far. Five years younger, Carle is currently playing with the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats, although he has made a start with the Isotopes. Over nine starts for New Britain, Carle has pitched 57.1 innings and has failed to go at least six innings in just two of those starts. He's walked just 12 through those nine starts and has struck out 31, giving him a nice K/BB ratio. Carle got blown up in his start with the Isotopes, allowing six runs on nine hits over six innings.
Veteran lefty John Lannan was signed as a free agent to a minor league contract over the offseason as a potential depth starter. He's played all year with the Isotopes thus far, but given the state of the rotation I wouldn't be shocked to see him with the club at some point this year. He's made eight appearances for Albuquerque (seven starts) and owns an ERA of 4.22. An early injury set him back some and he struggled in two appearances coming back from it. Prior to his injury, Lannan had an ERA of 0.69 over 13 innings spread out over two starts. He made a relief appearance coming back from injury, allowing four runs in just one inning. His next start didn't go well either, and he allowed seven runs in just 3.2 innings of work.
Since those two rough outings, however, Lannan has turned the corner a bit and has now allowed eight runs over 25 innings in four starts. For the year, Lannan has struck out 30 and walked 12. Although I'm skewing the numbers a bit here, ignoring those two outings following his injury Lannan has allowed just nine runs over 38 innings in which he has struck out 24 and walked just 8. That's good for an ERA of 2.13 of a K/BB ratio of 3.00, which are pretty impressive numbers.
The Rockies drafted Mark Canha in the Rule 5 Draft from the Marlins, but flipped him to the A's for pitcher Austin House. Canha, for his part, has appeared in 39 games for the Athletics and owns a line of .236/.313/.409 with six home runs. House has tossed 19 innings of relief for New Britain, allowing eight runs on 26 hits with a K/BB ratio of 2.0. He's got 16 saves out of a possible 18 and leads the Eastern League in saves by seven. Seven of his eight runs allowed have come in just three of his 21 appearances and have resulted in his two blown saves, but House has looked very good otherwise. I'm excited to see what the future holds for him.
Diaz came to the Rockies from the Angels via the Josh Rutledge deal and owns an elite fastball and a solid slider. He's a power pitcher with a ton of velocity, but has struggled a bit in Triple-A thus far. Through 22 innings of relief, Diaz has allowed 11 runs on 22 hits and has struggled with his command at times. He's struck out 16 while walking 13 and has blown three saves out of eight opportunities.
Cuevas was the PTBNL in the Nicasio deal with the Dodgers and has been playing for the Rock Cats thus far. The outfielder has been hitting well and by all reports is solid defensively. He owns a line of .347/.381/.459 over 98 PAs, but has drawn just five walks while whiffing 21 times. Of his 34 hits, nine have resulted in doubles and one has been a triple. Cuevas has driven in 16 and stolen nine bags.
Signed as free agent, the former Cardinal has been with the Rockies for the entirety of the season and has 62 ABs in 33 games. Descalso was brought in as a depth infielder, but has generally looked poor in his limited playing time with a putrid line of just .210/.269/.323 and a WAR of -0.4 so far. He does have 12 RBIs and two home runs, but is striking out a career-high rate and failing to draw many walks, which is something the entire team has struggled to do all year. He also has committed four errors.
Long-time Padre Nick Hundley was signed over the offseason as a free agent after a short stint with the O's. Hundley's had himself a fine season with a line of .317/.356/.504, 16 RBIs, and five home runs. He's been solid behind the plate, and a number of the club's pitchers have praised Hundley's ability to help them work through games. A calming, veteran presence is crucial, especially for the team's younger pitchers. More than a few games come to mind in which Eddie Butler found himself in trouble, but was able to work himself out of the situation with help from Hundley. At the beginning of the season I expected the veteran presence, but I have been pleasantly surprised by his offensive contributions.
After a scary start to the season that saw his son hospitalized after a rattlesnake bite, Axford has performed wonderfully. He's allowed just one run over two innings and is a perfect 8/8 in the saves department after being made the closer following Ottavino's season-ending injury. He owns an ERA of just 0.75 and has yet to allow an extra base hit. He has walked six batters while whiffing eight, but as long as he's limiting the hits Axford should continue to do well.
Hale came over to the Rockies from the Braves in a trade that sent minor league catchers Jose Briceno and Chris O'Dowd the other way. He began the season with a strained oblique injury that caused him to miss some time. His first rehab start back from injury came with the Modesto Nuts, and Hale went 2.1 innings allowing no runs on two hits and a walk. With Albuquerque, he's made six uninspiring starts including one in which he went just 1.2 innings and allowed seven runs in his second game back from injury. He's got an ERA of 5.97 over 31.2 innings with the Isotopes, but looked good in his lone start with the Rockies. In last Saturday's game against the Giants, Hale got the win after going 6.2 while allowing two runs on eight hits. He struck out two and didn't walk a batter in a nice performance. Unfortunately for Hale, a lack of room on the 25-man roster meant that the Rockies had to option him back to Triple-A, but I'd guess he's the first name on the list should injury or a run of bad performances strike a member of the rotation.
The second part of the deal with the Braves that also brought Hale to the Rockies, Schlosser has made 12 appearances with New Britain (three starts) and has allowed 13 runs over 25.1 innings. With an ERA of 4.62 and having walked 10, it'll be interesting to see if the 26-year-old can get on track a bit.
Long-time Philadelphia Phillie Kyle Kendrick was signed by the Rockies as a free agent over the offseason. Kendrick was the Rockies' opening-day starter and delivered a masterful performance in which he tossed seven innings of no-run ball, whiffing six and walking none. Since then, however, Kendrick has had a roller coaster of a season, alternatively turning in solid outings and poor ones. When he was signed, it was generally hoped that Kendrick could be a solid contributor at the back of the rotation who could eat innings, allow a handful of runs, and give the Rockies offense a chance to win some games. Of his 10 starts, Kendrick has failed to go six innings in four of them, but he has gone at least seven innings in five starts. In the four starts that he failed to last six innings, Kendrick has been blown up to the tune of 28 earned runs over just 19 innings, giving him an ERA of 13.26 from those four starts. Otherwise, he's given up 15 earned runs over 41.2 innings, good for an ERA in those games of 3.24. His aggregate ERA is 6.38. If he can just find some consistency, Kendrick could be a terrific asset for the Rockies.
Thankfully, he's delivered in his last four starts and has hopefully put his shaky outings from earlier in the season behind him. He's gone 27.2 innings over his last four outings and has allowed 11 runs. Those sort of starts are exactly what I was hoping for when the Rockies signed him, and it is encouraging that he's been able to go deeper into games as of late.
Who do you think has been the Rockies best addition thus far? Vote and comment below!