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Rockies add 5 pitchers to 40-man roster

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Colorado chose to use most of its roster space to protect a few arms from being exposed in the Rule 5 Draft

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Scottsdale Scorpions at Salt River Rafters
Zach Jemiola was one of the five players added to the 40-man roster by the Rockies on Friday.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies on Friday purchased the contracts of five minor leaguers in advance of the 6 p.m. MT reserves deadline, the team announced.

Yency Almonte, Shane Carle, Rayan Gonzalez, Zach Jemiola and Sam Moll were added to the 40-man roster, protecting each player from being selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft. The Rockies now have only one available spot on their roster.

Almonte, acquired last offseason in a deal that sent Tommy Kahnle to the Chicago White Sox, posted a 3.58 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 16813 combined innings at High-A Modesto and Double-A Hartford. The 22-year-old right-hander will likely begin next season at Hartford, where he ended 2016.

Carle, who came to the Rockies in 2014 from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Rob Scahill, struggled as a starter at Triple-A Albuquerque but posted a 3.60 ERA with 18 strikeouts and four walks in 15 innings out of the bullpen. The 25-year-old righty, who has drawn praise from scouts for his advanced repertoire, has carried that strong relief performance into the Arizona Fall League. Carle has struck out 19 batters and walked six in 1913 frames for the Salt River Rafters.

Gonzalez, the Rockies’ 21st-round pick in 2012, spent last season at Hartford, producing a 3.12 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. The 26-year-old righty is also pitching well in the AFL, taking a 2.31 ERA with 12 strikeouts and two walks in 1123 innings into Friday’s action. Gonzalez throws a cutter and curveball that have a chance to be legitimate out pitches at the major league level.

Jemiola started last season off well (1.52 ERA in five April starts) but wore down the stretch, finishing with a 4.39 ERA with 5.1 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 162 innings at Hartford. The 22-year-old righty — drafted in the ninth round in 2012 — has been significantly younger than the average player at each level he’s pitched at, and he possesses a change-up that might play at higher levels.

Moll, Colorado’s third-round pick in 2013, is the lone southpaw of the group. The 24-year-old University of Memphis product had a down year at Triple-A Albuquerque, posting a 4.94 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 4713 innings. Moll struck out nearly 10 batters per nine innings at High-A and Double-A the previous season, so the Rockies will hope he can bounce back and eventually become a left-on-left weapon in the majors. Last season, Moll allowed just one homer to left-handed hitters while notching 22 strikeouts against just four walks.