Former Rockies Headed To The Postseason: National League


As usual, it’s not a great year to be a Colorado Rockie, but it’s a great year to be a former member of the team. Here’s a look at the former Rockies who will suit up for National League playoff teams.

New York Mets

Michael Cuddyer

Cuddy has been the Mets’ starting left fielder this season, though he’s also played first base a handful of times. Despite his age (36), he has not missed significant time to injury this season, and he’s posted a decent .263 average with 10 home runs. The Mets certainly aren’t counting on the aging Cuddyer to provide much offensive juice, but he’ll still be a veteran presence with that all-important character element the Rockies are so fond of. Cuddy also bring loads of postseason experience, having played for the Twins in the ALDS six different times. In 22 games, he’s hit .338 with an .845 OPS, but it’s hard to say how well he’ll do five years older than the last time he appeared in the playoffs. He’s only made it past the first round once, so it would be fun to see him on a team that has a real shot at the pennant. Mets fans will most likely hope to see rookie Michael Conforto in the lineup over Cuddy, but his numbers against lefties are bad, so look for a possible platoon in left field throughout the playoffs.

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Juan Uribe

I can’t believe Juan Uribe is still playing baseball, and I think that every time I remember that he is. A homegrown Rockie, he spent three seasons in Denver, collecting 2.6 WAR in his time there. He’s been the very definition of a journeyman since, playing for six teams total, including the Mets after a midseason trade with the Dodgers. Uribe is hitting worse in New York than he did in LA, but he has appeared in the postseason almost as often as Cuddy has, and with three different teams. He has two rings, one from the ’05 White Sox Series, and one from the ’10 Giants Series. His numbers don’t look great, but he has hit well in the clutch, especially in 2010. With David Wright back in the lineup, Uribe is unlikely to start for the Mets on a regular basis in the postseason, but he’ll be good for some hits off the bench.

Eric Young, Jr.

Given the Young legacy in Colorado, I think we all hoped that EY Jr. would work out better than he did. He was never good for much beyond stealing bases, although he did hit .316 in 98 games in 2012, making him an unlikely bright spot in a horrible season. EY Jr. is in his second stint with the Mets after coming over from the Braves in August following a DFA. In 9 plate appearances since then, he has yet to record a single hit. Since his fielding has never been worth mentioning, I doubt he will see many AB’s this postseason. It’s just as well, because he was hitless in his one playoff appearance thus far, a 2009 NLDS game.

Carlos Torres

You’re forgiven if you didn’t remember that Torres was a Rockie. His 31 appearances in 2012 resulted in 31 earned runs. He walked 26 batters in 53 innings, and despite a scoreless 10-game stretch in July, only seemed to get worse as the season went on. It was not a hard decision for the Rockies to send him off into free agent land. Since being picked up by the Mets, Torres has had his good and bad days, although he gave up 6 runs in just over 4 innings in September of this year. He’s never been to the postseason, and the Mets’ bullpen depth is such that they won’t often look to him in 2015.

St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Holliday

It’s not hard to remember that Holliday is a former Rockie, nor that he plays for the Cardinals, since he notoriously left Colorado for a more lucrative deal in St. Louis following the 2007 season. He was the NLCS MVP that year, not to mention famous for The Slide Heard ‘Round the World, but he has collected far more playoff experience in his time with the Cards. They’ve been in the postseason every year he’s been with the team except for 2008 and 2010, and won the World Series in 2011. Holliday’s hit .255 in 68 postseason games, with 13 home runs. He missed a chunk of the season due to a quad injury and is only 4-for-20 since returning. The Cardinals surely hope that Holliday will return to All-Star form for the playoffs.

Matt Belisle

After being heavily overworked, in my opinion, out of the Rockies’ bullpen, Belisle was not offered a contract after hitting free agency in 2014 and ended up signing with the Cards. He’s only been used in 34 games this season, the fewest since 2009, and his numbers clearly appreciate the break: his 2.67 ERA and 0.3 HR/9 are career bests. Of course, part of the reason he hasn’t pitched much is that he missed 2 1/2 months with right elbow inflammation. He’s been flawless since his return, so I expect the Cardinals will use him with some regularity in the playoffs. His only experience is in the 2009 NLDS, when he pitched two scoreless innings.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Rob Scahill

Scahill was given several opportunities to prove he could be a big league pitcher in Colorado, but he didn’t do much with them. He allowed 8 home runs in 46 innings pitched in 2013 and 2014. That’s not Kyle Kendrick bad, but it’s pretty bad. Scahill has been much better in Pittsburgh, pitching to a 2.64 ERA (though his 4.51 FIP suggests good defense has had more to do with his success than good pitching). He’s allowed only 3 home runs in 30 innings. He spent all of July and August on the DL with forearm tightness, and gave up 3 runs in 4 outings in September. The Bucs figure to use him sparingly in low-leverage relief situations this postseason. He has no previous playoff appearances (given that this is the only season he hasn’t been in the Rockies’ system).

Chicago Cubs

Dexter Fowler

Fowler played solid baseball for six seasons in Colorado, though it was evidently not good enough for Dan O’Dowd. After a season in Houston, Fowler was traded to the Cubs, where he has scored a career-high 102 runs. This is partly due to the fact that he is surrounded by a potent offense made up of guys like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. He’s also struck out a career-high 152 times, so clearly he hasn’t conquered that problem. With 155 appearances this season, Fowler has health on his side, and he looks to be the Cubs’ starting center fielder for however many playoff games they find themselves in. He has one year’s postseason experience, in the 2009 NLDS with the Rockies, where he collected 3 hits in 14 AB’s.

Jonathan Herrera

With Herrera a Cub, all three members of the December 18, 2013 trade that sent him to the Red Sox are in the playoffs this year (Chris Martin and Fraklin Morales being the others; see tomorrow’s post for more). Herrera has played his usual utility role this season in Chicago and has performed poorly at the plate, hitting a career-low .230. He’s only getting on base at a .242 clip, which is not good, especially for a team looking at a one-game playoff next week. Herrera is highly unlikely to appear in that game, and any appearances in future games will be off the bench. He only made 24 starts for the Cubs this year, as they have superior options at all his positions. Still, I’ve always respected Herrera’s ability to work hard and do whatever he’s given to do, so I hope the Cubbies make it far enough that he gets a little playing time. He has no previous postseason appearances.

Jason Hammel

It’s been a treat to see Hammel succeed with the Cubs. He wasn’t great as a Rockie, but that’s because he was always meant to be a back-end of the rotation guy and instead was forced to do more given the general awfulness of the rest of the rotation in Denver. His 2015 numbers aren’t quite as good as his 2014 ones, but he’s still posting a 3.74 ERA in 31 starts and has recorded 172 K’s this year, a career best. It’s especially impressive given that he’s only surrendered 4o walks. Hammel has seen playing time with three teams in three different postseasons, including the Rockies in 2009, when he memorably gave up three runs in the 4th inning of Game 3 and was lifted for Belisle. Most recently, he pitched for Oakland in last year’s wild card loss, giving up the winning run on a Salvador Perez RBI single in the 12th. No doubt the Cubs don’t intend to use him in that game this year.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Brett Anderson

Injury-prone Anderson was only a Rockie for a hot minute, pitching 8 games and 43 innings for the Rockies in 2014. He was great in those starts, with a 2.99 ERA and 29 K’s, but he was a risk that didn’t pay off. It was no big deal for the Dodgers to take a chance on him given their unlimited resources, but it’s also paid off brilliantly for them. Anderson has pitched 180 innings this season, a career best and the only time he’s come close to that many since his rookie year in 2009. His 3.69 ERA and 116 strikeouts have served his team well. I personally would take that over any Rockies starter’s performance this season, but Anderson has Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke ahead of him in the rotation, so basically nothing is fair and the Dodgers bought their way into the playoffs. Anderson has appeared in two postseason games in his career, both for Oakland in the ALDS but with vastly different results: a six-inning, scoreless start in 2012 and a relief appearance in 2013 where he allowed three runs to score and recorded just one out.

Juan Nicasio

Nicasio never quite found his footing as a starter with the Rockies, and a stint in the bullpen wasn’t very successful either. He’s been quite good for the Dodgers, posting a 3.57 ERA and a 2.83 FIP in 52 games, mostly in late-inning relief. He has 14 holds on the season as well as 2 blown saves. LA has used him consistently throughout the season, so he’s very likely to get some time on the mound in the postseason as well. He’s never appeared in a playoff game before.

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Joel Peralta

Peralta appeared in 27 games for the Rockies in 2009 after signing a one-year contract. He was very good throughout the month of June, but a bad outing on July 4th launched his ERA into the stratosphere and he never really recovered. He’s since spent a season in Washington and several in Tampa, where he was quite good before being traded to the Dodgers this year. He’s striking out nearly three batters for every one that he walks. Still, LA has used him sparingly and, given their bullpen depth, we probably won’t see too much of him in the postseason. He has appeared in six playoff games with the Rays, and he’s never surrendered a run.

Coming tomorrow once the wild card race has been decided: former Rockies in the American League.