Colorado Rockies 2015 Crystal Ball: Yohan Flande

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Jun 30, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Yohan Flande (58) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

As the season gets underway, RoxPile.com is making some fun (but completely unqualified!) predictions about how members of the Colorado Rockies will fare this summer. In this edition: Yohan Flande.

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Yohan Flande made his big league debut in 2014 with the Colorado Rockies, and the journeyman minor leaguer joined the fraternity as a 28-year old rookie. As you’d expect, his prospect status was… non-existent, and he didn’t win a game, despite pitching in 16 and starting 10, throwing 59 innings for the Rockies.

Nevertheless, he had some promising starts, kept the Rockies in games despite not winning any of his own, and showed flashes of effectiveness once he was moved to the bullpen as a long reliever.

Flande pitched better than his numbers last year, allowing a .269 batting average against as a starter and a paltry .118 BAA as a reliever. He had a 1.208 WHIP and a 2:13 K:BB ratio. For a journeyman minor leaguer, his peripherals were solid enough to earn respect. It’s a shame he couldn’t come up with his first big league victory.

Now, he’s in AA New Britain as a starting pitcher, and dominating hitters several years younger than him in the Eastern League. Will we ever see him in the big leagues again?

What The Numbers Say

FanGraphs lists various projection systems, which you can learn more about here.

FanGraphs doesn’t currently project anything for Flande in the big leagues this season.

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  • Best-Case Scenario

    Flande showed some good things last summer with the big league club. He only allowed more than four runs in a start one time (and that was just five runs). I know, that’s not Cy Young status, but when a Rockies hurler allows four runs and goes more than five innings (which Flande did in eight of his ten starts), he gives the team a good enough chance to win.

    As a reliever, Flande was good last year, allowing just two hits and two walks – and no runs – in six innings with four strikeouts and a .118 batting average against.

    Either one of those – as a long reliever or maybe as a spot starter depending on injury and ineffectiveness issues in the rotation later this summer – could open the door for Flande to return to Denver, and give the Rockies innings. I think he’d do far better as a reliever, as Flande had trouble seeing hitters the second and third time through a lineup in his starts last year. But either way, especially considering how well he’s throwing in New Britain this spring, it’s not inconceivable to see him in Albuquerque soon, and possibly even Denver later.

    Worst-Case Scenario

    There isn’t a worst-case scenario for Flande; Rockies fans expect absolutely nothing from him, and I think most Rockies fans truly believe he will never again see the big leagues (and, you may very well be right).

    So, how could there be a worst-case for Flande? I mean, I guess if he ends up starting 15 games, that’s a worst-case scenario, but more of one for the team and season as a whole (considering how far down the depth chart he’d be), than for Flande himself.

    Crystal Ball

    I like Flande, so my crystal ball prediction is clouded with my subjectivity (but that’s what this entire Crystal Ball series is – subjectivity!). Anyways, in light of how well he’s throwing the ball in New Britain, I think Flande is fast earning his way into a spot at AAA Albuquerque, and if he keeps throwing the ball well there, too, and the Rockies’ pitching staff struggles as it has thus far this season, we could see Flande in the big leagues at some point this summer.

    Granted, it should be as a long reliever, and not as a starter, in light of his splits from last year. But, he’s throwing the ball well this summer, and he threw the ball far better last year in Denver than his stats ended up giving him credit for when the season ended. Expect Flande to be with the Isotopes very soon.

    More on Flande later this week.

    Give us your predictions!

    Comment below, find us on Facebook, or tweet us @RoxPileFS and let us know. You can also use the hashtag #RoxCrystalBall.

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