Among the most disastrous of the disastrous Rockies this year has been relief pitcher Esmil Rogers. Before the season the team decided that his skill set, which includes a 95 mph fastball, was better suited for relieving than starting. With an 8.10 ERA out of the bullpen this season, one can only imagine the horrors if he was a starter. Actually, considering the way the rest of the rotation has been, it’s not that hard to imagine. Sigh…
Nevertheless, Rogers finds his roster spot slipping through his fingers. With no minor league options remaining, the Rockies are faced with two courses of action if they wish to move Rogers off the roster:
1. Designate him for assignment, at which point they risk losing him because he would have to clear waivers. Despite all his struggles, it seems to be agreed upon that he will not clear waivers, because teams will see that he has great velocity and figure that’s the most important factor. It’s at this point I honestly wonder what these kinds of conversations sound like. In a room full of baseball scouts and executives, are you telling me there is not one single person who raises their hand and points out: “Yea, he throws 95, but he also kind of sucks.” Apparently not. This brings us to the second option.
2. Trade him. And it appears that despite the fact teams would be willing to claim him off waivers, they might not want to actually give anything up for him. That’s where I come in.
Here are four fail-proof selling points to make potential trading partners excited about Esmil Rogers, to the point that they will happily give up some value for him.
He’s a great pinch runner
You know that situation when you send your burly pinch hitter up late in the game as the tying run, but instead of hitting a home run he draws a walk? Well you certainly don’t want him running for himself. Enter Esmil! He is a converted shortstop and therefore a tremendous athlete. If you don’t believe me, ask Drew Goodman (play-by-play man for Root Sports) who has used the words “exceptional athlete” in reference to Rogers approximately 15,000 times in the past three years.
Speaking of his athleticism, he can cover the shortstop position in a pinch. You might think this is unlikely, but I bet the Phillies never thought they would need Roy Oswalt to play the outfield. Baseball is weird sometimes.
How am I doing so far? A good pinch runner and a worst case scenario position player in addition to being a mediocre pitcher? I’m wearing you down, I can feel it.
His hilarious self-deprecating sense of humor
Rogers was converted from shortstop to pitcher because of his struggles offensively. When asked about the switch, he
famously said that he “batted .300.” When asked to clarify, he said, “Yes. I hit .100, .100 the next year, and .100 the year after that.” The ability to laugh at oneself is invaluable, no? Think of the healthy sense of humor Rogers will contribute to your locker room. And the Rockies would know, because they are experts on clubhouse culture.
His mastery of male grooming
Let’s start with his facial hair. He consistently sports a sleek soul patch and chin goatee combination, one that you might find on a pirate, biker,
or an eccentric relief pitcher. It’s part intimidation, part precision, and part pure style. But his skills don’t stop at his personal look. He was nice enough to cut a mohawk for teammate Juan Nicasio. That’s skills, boys and girls.
To recap: in Esmil Rogers you get a pinch runner, emergency shortstop, a great self-deprecating sense of humor, and a barber/male facial hair consultant. I don’t know about you, but to me that signals a new and exciting definition of the whole package.
And he throws 95! What’s the downside? The Rockies await your call.