Who is David Hale?


The Colorado Rockies acquired David Hale from the Atlanta Braves this week, along with Gus Schlosser, as they try to bolster their pitching staff.

Should I feel good that the Rockies just traded for a pitcher from the Braves, an organization far superior when it comes to developing pitching, or should it make me nervous that those same Braves were willing to give up on these pitchers?

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The Rockies sent two minor league catchers, Jose Briceno and Chris O’Dowd, to the Braves for two pitchers, David Hale and Gus Schlosser. The Denver Post and others have noted that Hale is the main get in the deal. As for the players headed to the Braves, it seems noteworthy that the son of former general manager Dan O’Dowd was traded away.

Back to Hale. Who is David Hale?

He was briefly a starter for Atlanta last season before transitioning to the bullpen. That might seem like a discouraging sign, but he showed flashes as a starter. I certainly don’t remember the Rockies’ pitchers doing much of this last season:

Hale’s numbers from 2014 are an exercise in skepticism towards ERA as a statistic. In 45 appearances, six of them starts, Hale posted a 3.30 ERA but a 4.31 FIP and a 4.61 xFIP. Those are red flags, but the Rockies are still drawn to Hale’s groundball percentage of 56% from last season.

On the one hand, the Rockies should not be obsessed with acquiring groundball pitchers, but on the other hand, this might have saved us from a world in which Dillon Gee is a member of the Rockies’ rotation. That’s a win in its own right.

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Adding the 27-year-old Hale will be boasted as adding depth, at least initially, but my gut prediction would be that Hale starts the season as the fifth man in the starting rotation, especially given the bad injury news with top prospect Tyler Anderson earlier this week.

As for Schlosser, he has even less experience in the big leagues. The 26-year-old right-handed pitcher had a cup of coffee last season, pitching 17.2 big league innings and posting a gruesome 7.64 ERA. He wasn’t exactly dynamite in Triple-A either, posting a 4.17 ERA and 6.34 K/9 mark in 99.1 innings. Part of his appeal, it will shock the reader to learn, is the fact that he is more inclined to induce grounders.

In addition to the minor league catchers shipped out of town in the deal, the Rockies desiganted pitching prospect Jayson Aquino for assignment to make room for Hale on the 40 man roster.

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