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The Pitching Woes Continue (plus Pebble Report)

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, July 17, 2023

The Colorado Rockies got to have one nice thing this season when Elias Díaz became not only the first catcher from the organization to make the All-Star, but the first Colorado player to take home MVP honors in the mid-summer classic.

Then someone apparently drank Jobu’s rum…again.

Before the first game after the break got underway, a slew of news broke regarding the Rockies’ pitching throughout the organization. Antonio Senzatela is now set to have Tommy John surgery despite sitting out the past two months since injuring his UCL in May in hopes that he could avoid going under the knife.

But it didn’t end there as the news on the minor league front also included LHP Ryan Rolison — who hasn’t pitched since re-injuring his shoulder at the beginning of June — moving to the 60-day IL and Double-A Hartford announcing that last year’s first round selection Gabriel Hughes was placed on the injured list with what is initially rumored to be an injury to his throwing arm.

There was some silver-lining in the news pipeline as Kyle Freeland spoke about his injury suffered in San Francisco before the break, saying the imaging revealed a “best-case scenario” of no structural damage. But he is still headed to the IL with no immediate time frame for his return.

Rockies 2023 SP Rankings

Stat Rockies League Rank
Stat Rockies League Rank
K% 18.4% 30th
BB% 9.6% 24th
WHIP 1.54 29th
FIP 5.26 29th
As of Sunday, 7/16.

Giving credit where it’s due, the recent series against the New York Yankees was certainly a successful stint for the rotation. Although Connor Seabold suffered in the rubber game, Austin Gomber gave up two runs in the first inning of his outing before blanking New York for the next five frames while Chase Anderson delivered five scoreless innings in a wild walk-off series clincher on Sunday.

Gomber has certainly been throwing well in his last six starts with a 3.82 ERA over 35 ⅓ IP with a greatly diminished 2.1% walk-rate. But he also relies heavily on getting outs through contact – indicated by his subpar 15% K-rate – and has been no stranger to catastrophic outings this year, leading to a 6.19 ERA. Anderson, meanwhile, pitched admirably in his first six starts with the Rockies after being claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays organization. But he fell flat in his final four starts before the All-Star break with 27 runs surrendered in just 13 ⅓ IP before righting the ship against the Yankees.

Those two, at least until Freeland returns, are the backbone of the rotation.

The injuries have piled up, and it is an unfortunate break for the franchise. One that many teams around the league have experienced themselves. Some prepare for pitching disaster better than others and it’s very apparent the Rockies fall into the latter category.

The organization has already been without Senzatela, Ryan Feltner and staff-ace Germán Márquez for much of the season, so surviving the present has been a reality for some time now. But with Senzatela joining Márquez as officially out for the year, Feltner out indefinitely recovering from injuries sustained from a line-drive to the head and Freeland on the mend, the situation in the rotation for the final 68 games of the season is looking dire.

The club has already used an alarming 13 different starting pitchers this season, showing the depth from the minor league ranks has already been utilized to patch the existing holes and what remains has either proven ineffective (Karl Kauffmann), untested (Jeff Criswell) or injured (Rolison). Beyond that, far-fetched options worth consideration from Double-A like Hughes or Joe Rock have gone through injury themselves and cannot have their development expedited for the sake of the current big-league pitching situation.

That leaves the Rockies leaning on their thin artillery of starting pitching depth and likely scouring the waiver wire through the end of the season. Maybe an arm or two can be thrown into the mix at the trade deadline, but history tells us that is not the wisest bet to make. As it stands, the club looks to have considerable instability to endure as it plays out the string of the 2023 season.

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Walk-off blast gives Trejo a story he’ll tell for a lifetime |

Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees was a roller-coaster victory for the Rockies. C.J. Cron’s eighth inning grand slam and Nolan Jones’ game-tying two-run homer in the 10th set the table for Alan Trejo’s biggest moment as a big-leaguer with a walk-off solo home run in the 11th.

Rockies Journal: DJ LeMahieu’s return with Yankees reminds us what should have been | The Denver Post ($)

To commemorate his first game at Coors Field since 2018, Patrick Saunders recounts LeMahieu’s time with the Rockies and his departure marking the end of the last competitive era for the organization. LeMahieu left the Rockies as a free agent after the 2018 season for the New York Yankees on a two-year $24MM contract.

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Pebble Report: July 10-16, 2023

It was a light week for the farm system as each level held their respective All-Star breaks. The big news of the week regarded Jordan Beck (No. 9 PuRP), who was promoted to Double-A Hartford for the second-half of the season.

The University of Tennessee product had a tremendous start to his first full-season, hitting 20 HR and posting a .944 OPS in 76 games with the High-A Spokane Indians. His abbreviated first series at the next level was not overly-impressive, however if he can show well at Double-A in the rest of 2023 he could find himself on a fast-track through the minor league ranks.

Top 30 PuRPs

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes (2-1, 38-52overall)

The bats led the way for the Isotopes at home against Salt Lake (LAA). Wynton Bernard and Elehuris Montero each had five hits overall with one double and two home runs — combining to drive-in 11 runs. Jimmy Herron didn’t leave the yard, but did have an impressive 1.625 OPS in two games. Karl Kauffmann (No. 23 PuRP) threw six innings in his start with a K-to-BB of 7-to-1.

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats (0-3, 36-45 overall)

While the bats were hot in Triple-A, Hartford was cold in Erie (DET) with just two runs scored in three games. Kyle Datres continued his strong season with four hits, however only two other hitters had multiple knocks in the series. Joe Rock (No. 11 PuRP) tossed an impressive six innings in his start with just two hits and one run allowed.

High-A: Spokane Indians (1-2, 42-41 overall)

The Spokane rotation performed well in Tri-City (LAA). Jarrod Cande and Connor Van Scoyoc each tossed innings with two runs allowed in their starts — with Cande punching out nine without issuing a walk — while Mason Green held the Dust Devils scoreless over four innings. Benny Montgomery (No. 5 PuRP) and Sterlin Thompson (No. 14 PuRP) led the offense with four hits each while Nic Kent amassed four RBI in the series.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies (2-1, 51-33 overall)

Gabriel Barbosa and Albert Pacheco each dealt against Lake Elsinore (SD), allowing one run over five innings on five hits in each of their starts. Jesus Bugarin launched his eighth HR of the season while Andy Perez collected a team-high five hits. Skyler Messinger scored and batted-in three runs and had three of his four hits go for extra-bases.

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Week of 7/31-8/6 (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Adael Amador 3 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 3/17 0 3 6 0
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 3/19 1 3 7 0
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 4/19 0 2 4 0
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 6/18 0 8 1 0
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 4/9 0 0 3 0
Michael Toglia 13 MLB 9/28 0 5 7 1
Sterlin Thompson 14 High-A 4/20 0 2 7 3
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 3/21 0 1 3 0
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hunter Goodman 19 Double-A 3/12 1 1 4 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 5/22 1 3 12 0
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 6/23 0 1 4 1
Ryan Ritter HM High-A 7/19 0 0 10 0
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 3/17 0 1 6 0

Week of 9/11-9/17 (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 1/1 5.0 0/0 1 10
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Case Williams 26 Double-A 1/1 2.2 7/6 3 3
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 1/1 6.0 1/1 2 5
Noah Davis 29 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 1/1 5 3/3 3 6
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 2/0 3 0/0 3 5

Season to Date (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) 36/172 2 23 43 22
Adael Amador 3 Double-A (IL) 78/255 12 37 32 14
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 83/327 13 29 67 6
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 110/438 10 52 135 18
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 68/302 6 15 68 2
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 132/487 25 73 142 20
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 127/479 25 32 132 1
Michael Toglia 13 Triple-A 79/308 16 53 82 3
Sterlin Thompson 14 Double-A 104/355 14 38 74 17
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 56/198 0 13 35 10
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB 15/49 5 8 19 1
Hunter Goodman 19 MLB 83/348 25 41 98 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 101/445 17 77 142 4
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 73/311 5 33 81 13
Ryan Ritter HM Double-A 124/441 24 62 152 20
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 126/439 14 42 116 12

Season to Date (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) 16/16 43.2 47/46 25 57
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) 14/14 66.2 51/46 26 83
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) 13/13 64.0 35/30 24 69
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 19/19 90.0 53/45 32 108
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) 15/15 67.0 48/44 25 66
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) 4/4 11.0 11/11 6 9
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A 20/20 91.2 66/65 35 94
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A 18/18 86.1 70/65 38 60
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) 10/9 31.0 27/25 20 32
Case Williams 26 Double-A 23/23 101.2 87/80 51 79
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 19/19 92.1 44/40 37 134
Noah Davis 29 MLB 14/14 56.0 33/29 33 48
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB 19/0 23.1 9/9 10 27
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 28/25 116 103/100 69 130
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 45/0 55.2 42/38 54 81

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Upcoming Schedule

Triple-A Albuquerque: 7/18-7/23 @ Sugar Land (HOU)

Double-A Hartford: 7/18-7/23 vs Somerset (NYY)

High-A Spokane: 7/18-7/23 vs Vancouver (TOR)

Low-A Fresno: 7/18-7/23 vs Modesto (SEA)

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