As part of the natural life cycle of MLB rosters, the Rockies moved on from a number of players during the past offseason as they tried to shape their roster back into contention. A few of them were unfortunate departures, while others were necessary and expected, but regardless the team rolls on without them.
While it’s important that we focus on the guys that are on the current roster, it’s fun to check in on how our other old friends from the 2021 roster are faring in their post-Rockies careers.
Trevor Story (Free Agent, signed by BOS)
For several seasons we enjoyed high-quality production from Trevor Story in Colorado, but he made it clear he didn’t want to be in Colorado anymore, so he signed a large contract with Boston to play second base. The thought of competing with a winning team was enough to draw Story away, but things haven’t gone quite as he had hoped with his new team. Boston is off to a rough 10-18 start on the season and Story’s struggles at the plate haven’t helped.
Through 23 games, Story is slashing .202/.287/.281 with seven doubles and 10 RBI but has yet to hit a home run. What’s alarming for Boston is that Story has struck out 32 times and walked just nine times. Story is going to be under a microscope in the Boston market, and only time will tell if he breaks out of his slump and lives up to the expectations.
Jon Gray (Free Agent, signed by TEX)
Jon Gray’s departure to the Texas Rangers was the most surprising development of the offseason. Despite the Rockies' desire to keep him around, holding on to him at the deadline, and opting to not issue a qualifying offer, Gray felt Texas was a better destination for himself. Unfortunately, things have been off to a rough start for the Gray Wolf as he has already been on the injured list twice, most recently due to a knee sprain.
He’s made just three starts with the team, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits in 12 innings for a 7.50 ERA to go along with the 11 strikeouts and four walks he has tallied. History tells us that when healthy, Gray can be quite effective and dominant, but it’s been rough out of the gate for him and hopefully, he can iron things out and reach the potential the Rangers see in him.
Raimel Tapia (Traded to TOR)
One of the surprising trades by the Rockies sent Raimel Tapia to Toronto in exchange for Randal Grichuk, a move that has seemed to pay off for the Rockies, but not so much for the Blue Jays. Viewed as a typical fourth outfielder with Toronto, Raimel Tapia found himself thrust into everyday outfield duties after Teoscar Hernández suffered an injury that sidelined him for three weeks. Tapia was back in an everyday spot but it didn’t seem to go very well for him.
In 24 games Tapia is batting .222/.237/.289 with a home run and seven RBI. While Tapia is a high contact player, he’s struck out 18 times this season and drawn just two walks. His groundball rate is just a smidgeon over 45% and he is hitting line drives and fly balls at an increased rate. Most interesting is the fact that Tapia appears to be hitting the ball harder at a career-high 41% clip. Now that Hernández is back from injury, Tapia will likely see a decrease in playing time, but the Blue Jays look committed to him.
Yency Almonte (Free Agent, signed by LAD)
A rough 2021 season saw Yency Almonte get outrighted off the Rockies roster, and rather than stay with the organization, he chose free agency and later signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers during spring training. To the relief of many Rockies fans, Almonte didn’t immediately become an unhittable reliever, as he is down in Triple-A Oklahoma City getting his work in.
Through 15 1⁄3 innings, Almonte has a 3.52 ERA with 25 strikeouts and has issued just a single walk, and converted three saves on the year. So if that’s any indication, the Dodgers are doing a good job improving on things Almonte lacked and he should be primed for a relief spot on the big league club if any injuries open up a chance for him.
Joshua Fuentes (Free Agent, signed by TOR)
Just one season after trading away his cousin, the Rockies parted ways with Joshua Fuentes and he found a new home with the Toronto Blue Jays on a minor league deal. Unfortunately for Fuentes, the struggles that forced him out of the Rockies roster have continued in Buffalo as he toils away in Triple-A. Through 19 games this season, Fuentes is hitting .134/.203/.194 with a whopping 31 strikeouts and just four walks. For reference, Fuentes struck out 65 times in 95 games with Colorado last season. His defense remains quite decent though as he is splitting his time between third base and shortstop.
Ryan Castellani (Free Agent, signed by OAK)
After just 11 appearances across two seasons with Colorado, Ryan Castellani elected free agency back in November of 2021 and later found a home with the Oakland Athletics. It seemed an ideal fit since he needed a change of scenery and opportunity abounded for Castellani to play in front of the 40 or so cats that are apparently watching Oakland games these days.
He has primarily been down in Triple-A Las Vegas being used as a reliever where he’s posted a 5.40 ERA in 8 1⁄3 innings of work. He had a brief three-game stint with Oakland where he tossed just 2 2⁄3 innings allowing one unearned run on two hits. Walks continue to be a problem as he has allowed nine walks to just seven strikeouts at the Triple-A level.
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In this video from Jolly Olive, a member of the Jomboy Media brand, he explores a conversation about WAR using Rockies legend Dante Bichette and his 1999 season. Despite being an offensive powerhouse in Colorado, Bichette’s defense was so rough, it had a drastic impact on his overall WAR in every form.
In one of those things you don’t notice until it gets pointed out, the Rockies have decided to pull one of their jerseys out of the rotation with the imminent arrival of their Nike City Connect jersey. To the surprise of us all, the black vests, notably worn during the 2007 run to the World Series, have been pulled out of the rotation for the team. The team now has just three uniforms, soon to be four with the City Connect jersey. Some, like me, are not happy with this new development.
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On the Farm
Despite Alan Trejo slugging a grand slam to put the Isotopes up 5-2 in the third inning, a bullpen collapse in the bottom of the sixth cost Albuquerque the game 8-5. Brandon Gold started on the hill for Albuquerque allowing two runs on four hits in five innings but struggled with command after issuing four walks in the game. Reagan Todd and Nick Kennedy allowed six runs on three hits while registering just two outs combined in the sixth before J.D. Hammer stopped the bleeding finally. Tim Lopes also added a pair of hits to continue a strong season in Triple-A.
It seems that nothing can stop Ezequiel Tovar in Hartford after he slapped three hits to improve to a .337 AVG on the season. Hartford combined to steal five bases on the night, but also struck out 14 times and came up short of tying the game in the bottom of the ninth. Noah Gotsis tossed four innings of three-hit baseball before giving way to Riley Pint in the fifth. Pint gave up three runs on four hits in 1 2⁄3 innings while issuing two walks. Jared Biddy took the loss after allowing two runs in the top of the seventh.
High-A: Spokane Indians, Tri-City Dust Devils Games 1 and 2 (PPD)
The hits just kept coming for Fresno as they soundly cracked the Nuts 16-3 in a show of dominance. Braiden Ward and Yanquiel Fernandez combined for six hits and drove in eight of Fresno’s total runs. Warming Bernabel had a two-hit night with a pair of doubles to drive in a couple of runs. Hunter Goodman also blasted a two-run home run for his sixth of the year. Victor Juarez started on the hill for Fresno, allowing one run on five hits in six innings. Tyler Ahearn tossed a scoreless ninth inning to end the game and bring his ERA down to 1.59 on the season.
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