That day lines up perfectly with the schedule of Jon Gray, who is penciled in to start for Triple-A Albuquerque, but the time is not yet here for the top prospect to make his major league debut, writes Groke. The Rockies could in theory opt to go with Yohan Flande on that day, but considering he isn't stretched out, it appears Butler will be the benefactor.
Butler posted a 4.80 ERA in 11 starts with the Rockies earlier this season, walking more batters (30) than he struck out (29). Colorado demoted the once highly touted prospect to Triple-A in early June. Since then, Butler owns a 6.27 ERA against Pacific Coast League teams while continuing to put up middling strikeout and walk numbers.
It has been almost two years since Butler last was a consistently dominant pitcher. The 2012 first-round pick carved up Low-A, High-A and Double-A hitters throughout 2013, finishing the season with a 1.80 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning across the three levels. But Butler looked like a different pitcher at the beginning of last season, losing his ability to miss bats despite seeing mostly positive results in Double-A.
The Rockies called up Butler to make his major league debut in June of last year, a decision that Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich wishes he could take back, as he told Groke last week:
"Honestly, I was the guy who pushed for Eddie Butler to come up last year. I felt like he was ready. In hindsight, maybe not the best recommendation in the world. It didn't go so well. He probably wasn't ready. But at the time, I felt he did enough to make that jump. I hope that the experience of it all will lead to a lot of learning and much better things for him at this level."
If his recent numbers are any indication, Butler doesn't appear to be ready to make the jump this time around, either. But the Rockies have few other options given their schedule and how it matches up with that of internal candidates.
So, bring on Butler? Bring on Butler!
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Dickerson could begin a short rehab assignment next week and rejoin the Rockies shortly thereafter. But first, they'll see how he responds to being run "through the ringer" this weekend. Dickerson has played only 38 games this season because of nagging plantar fasciitis.
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Ryan Hammon has roughly 25,000 words on the art of being clutch. He has quotes from certain players on the subject, but after coming to terms with most of that being "player speak," Hammon summarizes that clutch is a thing that might not exist at all. Indeed.