Welcome to the 2023 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2023. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.
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No. 44, Justin Bruihl: -0.4 rWAR
Continuing on with our “guys who had brief stints with the Rockies in 2023” part of this series, we now reach LHP Justin Bruihl.
Bruihl was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and made his MLB debut on August 8, 2021. However, he never completely stuck on the Dodgers’ roster. He made 21 appearances in 2021, 24 in 2022, and 20 in 2023 before being designated for assignment on July 28.
He was traded to the Rockies for cash considerations three days later on August 1. Bruihl was immediately assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque where he made nine appearances (one start) and posted a 5.59 ERA in the hitter-friendly environment. He recorded three holds and blew his only save opportunity, but was recalled on August 11.
Between August 11-25, Bruihl made seven appearances but only threw 3 2⁄3 innings. He threw 77 total pitches in a Rockies uniform and allowed seven runs (six earned) on four hits with one hit batter, four walks (one intentional), and three strikeouts. Bruihl was off the roster almost as quickly as he was on it, as he was designated for assignment on August 25 and outrighted on August 27.
It was a noble attempt to add some desperately-needed pitching reinforcements, but unfortunately it did not work out. Maybe next time!