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.
★ ★ ★
No. 28, Riley Pint: 0.0 rWAR
With the 4th overall pick in the 2016 MLB, the Colorado Rockies selected Riley Pint, a 6-foot 5-inch pitcher out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park, Kansas. Between losing two seasons to injury and another to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pint suddenly retired during the 2021 season. After taking the rest of the 2021 season off, Pint made a comeback in 2022, making 38 appearances out of the bullpen for Double-A Hartford and earning a spot on the Rockies’ 40-man roster last offseason to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft.
Pint started the 2023 season in Triple-A Albuquerque before getting called up to make his MLB debut on May 17th, almost a full eight years since being drafted. His time in the Big Leagues was short lived, only making one appearance and only a third of an inning pitched. In his lone outing, Pint walked three batters and a hit resulting in a run, while only recording one out.
In Triple-A, Pint finished the season 3-4 with 6.12 ERA over 47 relief appearances. Although these numbers are not the greatest, Pint’s 52 2⁄3 innings is the most he has pitched since the 2017, his first full professional season. Pint being able to pitch a full season hopefully means he is getting back into baseball shape and start looking like the pitcher the Rockies drafted 4th overall in 2016.
★ ★ ★
No. 27 Blair Calvo: 0.0 rWAR
Blair Calvo started the 2023 with in Triple-A Albuquerque, where he pitched 23 innings in 24 games for the Isotopes. While Calvo did strikeout a batter per inning in Albuquerque, the rest of his stats were not great. The right hander walked ten batters and hit another five, giving 15 free bases in just 23 innings, which contributed to a 7.43 ERA and a 1.696 WHIP.
Despite the struggles with the Isotopes, Blair Calvo was called up to make his MLB debut on May 30th against the DBacks, pitching a 1-2-3 eighth inning. This outing turned out to be the lone appearance Calvo would make this season and for the Rockies in general. The next day Calvo would be optioned back down to Triple-A Albuquerque, and just two days later would be designated for assignment. On June 18th, the Rockies agreed to trade Calvo to the Detroit Tigers for cash considerations.
★ ★ ★
No. 26, Gavin Hollowell: 0.0 rWAR
Gavin Hollowell was a September call-up in 2022 and able to pitch in 26 games in 2023 with two stretches in July and another in September. Hollowell started the season in Triple-A Albuquerque, where he made 19 appearances this season. His stats with the Isotopes were solid, earning a 3.47 ERA and striking out 27 batters in 23 1⁄3 innings. He continued to strike out batters at the MLB level with 32 batters going down on strikes in just 33 2⁄3 innings with the Rockies.
Hollowell had some growing pains in his first season with the Rockies, mainly giving free passes. Not only did the righty walk 18 batters, he also hit six batsman for a total of 24 free passes in his 26 appearances. Hollowell also gave up the long ball often in his time in Colorado, with 8 home runs against. The Rockies should expect to have Gavin Hollowell in the bullpen next season. The 26-year old will look to improve on his rookie season going into 2024 by lowering his walks and home runs, while keeping his 8.6 SO/9 rate up that high.