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Connor Seabold is looking to prove he belongs in the rotation

Colorado Rockies news and links for Thursday, May 11th, 2023

It wasn’t so long ago that right-handed pitcher Connor Seabold was a top 30 prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization. Seabold was drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017 out of Cal State Fullerson, and eventually traded to the Red Sox. In 2020 he was the Red Sox’ no. 11 prospect per Baseball America and no. 21 in 2022. MLB Pipeline ranked him at no, 15 in both years.

Seabold found himself designated for assignment after the 2022 season despite only making five big league appearances and spending the majority of the season with the Triple-A Worcester Red Sox. Admittedly he struggled in five starts with the big league club, posting an ERA of 11.29 in 18 13 innings. He got hit a lot, with an H/0 of 10.5 and an HR/9 of 1.5. However, he was a very reliable member of the WooSox rotation in Triple-A. He made 19 starts over 86 23 innings, posted an ERA of 3.32, and struck out 89 batters with just 19 walks.

It was a surprise to see the then-26 year old prospect designated for assignment by the Red Sox, but the Colorado Rockies swooped in to acquire him by giving up a (still unnamed) player to be named later. Seabold now had a chance to play for the team he rooted for when he lived in Colorado for several years as a kid.

Seabold made the Rockies’ Opening Day 26-man roster as a long reliever. Although he had been used sparingly out of the bullpen throughout his minor league career, he has primarily works his craft as a starter.

“It’s cool getting this opportunity,” Seabold said about making breaking camp as a relief pitcher. “A lot less thinking. You kind of just... you get the call, you start warming up, you go in. It’s quick. You get in there more often. If you have a bad outing you don’t have to wait five days to make up for it. You get to get back in there fairly quickly after that and get another shot at it.”

Seabold got plenty of shots at it in April, even after a bumpy first outing against the dreaded Los Angeles Dodgers where he gave up four earned runs in three frames. He was called upon frequently to eat innings during the Rockies’ brutal first month of the season. Seabold pitched two or more innings in four of his seven April appearances, and it would take him six of those seven games to give up a combined four earned runs. Three of his outings in April were scoreless. He also struck out 13 batters compared to issuing just three walks.

After optioning Seabold in late April, the Rockies began to stretch him back out as a starter with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. Unfortunately this would shortly become a dire need for the club after José Ureña was designated for assignment after a disastrous five starts while Germán Márquez and Noah Davis wound up on the IL. Seabold only made one three inning start in Albuquerque before he was summoned back to the big league squad.

In Seabold’s first start for the Rockies he worked for five innings and threw 75 pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers. He did give up seven hits, three of which were solo home runs, but he kept the Rockies in a game they ended up winning. Not bad at all when you were coming out of the bullpen a week ago. He then made his second start of the year against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. Again he pitched five innings and only threw two more pitches. He struck out three batters while giving up only one earned run on three hits to earn his first big league win.

In a season where the Rockies are desperate for starting rotation depth, Connor Seabold is looking to prove he belongs in a big league rotation. While his fastball is average, he throws an excellent changeup with “late fade and tumble that grades as well above average at times and works against both left-handers and right-handers.” MLB Pipeline once called it his “money pitch.” and excels at pounding the strike zone. In the minors he averaged 4.07 strikeouts per walk and is currently averaging 2.25 at the major league level.

Once cast off from the Red Sox, Seabold is now seizing an opportunity he knows he has to work for.

“I got dealt [to Boston] in a year when the Red Sox weren’t playing very well, and a part of me was thinking, ‘This is going to be a sure thing,’ that I was going to be pitching the year that I got dealt,” he said. “It doesn’t work out that way. You’ve still got to earn it. You’ve still got to pitch to the best of your ability and show you can pitch in the big leagues. It’s not going to fall into our lap, and I’m not expecting anything to fall into my lap after this trade either.”

It may not fall into his lap but after two starts with the Rockies, Seabold is being given a chance. He’s looking to establish himself, not as a prospect, but as a major league starter.

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Senzatela (forearm) to be evaluated after early exit |

After leaving his start with only 2 23 innings under his belt on Wednesday, Antonio Senzatela will be evaluated by team doctors in Denver for right forearm tightness. Skipper Bud Black says we should know more by the weekend, but Senzatela is understandably worried about the outcome. Senzatela was making his second start after returning from surgery to repair a torn ACL.

A look at the Rockies’ catching situation | The Gazette

Danielle Allentuck at the Gazette explores the Rockies’ organizational catching depth in light of the Austin Wynns waiver claim. The Rockies have little catching depth organizationally with Willie MacIver hurt and Grayson Greiner retiring. Plus other current Rockies tidbits.

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On the Farm

Triple-A: Las Vegas Aviators 5, Albuquerque Isotopes 3

Karl Kauffmann had a much needed quality start on the mound as he threw six innings of two run baseball. He gave up seven hits but didn’t walk a single batter as he tallied five strikeouts. Unfortunately Matt Koch allowed the Aviators to tie by allowing two runs in his inning of work. The Isotopes fell behind when Riley Pint gave up two walks and a double alongside a costly throwing error. The Isotopes were fairly quiet offensively, scoring three runs on just five hits, but they did draw five walks. Elehuris Montero walked twice.

Double-A: Binghamton Rumble Ponies 6, Hartford Yard Goats 2 (F/7)

In game one of a double-header Mike Ruff gave up six earned runs on five hits and four walks over 5 23 innings. The Yard Goats scored just two runs despite getting nine hits and did not draw a single walk. Kyle Datres was the Yard Goats’ best offensive performer, going 2-for-3 with a home run.

Double-A: Binghamton Rumble Ponies 2, Hartford Yard Goats 0 (F/7)

The Yard Goats bullpen pitched quite well in a combined effort from the bullpen to round out the day’s double-header. Blake Goldsberry, Will Ethridge, and Nick Kuzia each pitched two innings, with Goldsberry and Ethridge only giving up one run each. Dugan Darnell also pitched a scoreless final inning. Unfortunately the Yard Goats offense didn’t get much done with only four total baserunners on two hits and two walks.

High-A: Spokane Indians 18, Hillsboro Hops 1

This was the game of the night as the Indians dominated on both sides of the ball. Jaden Hill gave up the Hops’ solitary run with a solo home run in the first inning only for him and the Indians’ pitching staff to blank them the rest of the way with eight total strikeouts and just five combined hits. Meanwhile, the offense went to work. The Indians scored 18 runs on 19 hits, were 7-for-16 with RISP, and demolished 7 home runs. Jordan Beck continued his red hot May by extending his hitting streak to 12 games and hit a home run. The night was full of fantastic performances at the plate, but the true MVP is young outfielder Yanquiel Fernandez. Fernandez hit for the Indians’ first cycle since 1979 with two home runs in a 5-for-6 night.

Low-A: Visalia Rawhide 5, Fresno Grizzlies 1

Another day, another dominant start for Blake Adams. Adams spun seven innings of one run baseball with nine strikeouts for his fourth straight quality start. Braxton Hyde’s difficult eighth inning allowed the Rawhide to take a commanding lead as he gave up four earned runs in an inning, including a three run home run. The Grizzlies’ offense also failed to capitalize on baserunners, scoring only one run despite nine hits. They were just 1-for-9 with RISP. Bryant Bethancourt, Jesus Bugarin, and Parker Kelly had two-hit nights.

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