The Colorado Rockies have trimmed their roster again, reassigning four players and optioning six others to minor league camp. The major names sent down were Eddie Butler, who was trying to reclaim a spot in the future of the pitching staff, Carlos Estevez, who started off strong but struggled in his last few relief appearances, and Raimel Tapia, who is amazing at everything and had a great showing this March. Other guys to keep an eye on are catcher Tommy Murphy, pitchers German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela, and outfielder Jordan Patterson.
Murphy, Butler and Estevez all had chances to make the Opening Day roster, albeit slim ones. Murphy was battling Dustin Garneau and Tony Wolters for the backup catcher spot while Butler and Estevez were fighting for a rotation and a bullpen spot, respectively. Wolters has been a nice surprise so far after the Rockies claimed him off the waiver wire in the middle of February. Wolters is considered a defensive catcher but has shown up on the offensive side, slashing .429/.467/.786 with a home run in 14 at-bats.
Butler’s career path has been well-chronicled; once considered to be the future dynamic duo heading the starting rotation with Jon Gray, Butler immediately went on the Disabled List after his first start and hasn’t quite righted the ship. Estevez impressed in the Arizona Fall League and at the start of Spring Training, striking out six in his first three innings of work and quickly giving heat to the buzz surrounding the possibility of making the Opening Day roster in the bullpen. Alas, he hit a rough patch, proving he needs a bit more seasoning before he’s ready. Keep an eye out for him, Rockies fans; Estevez has a lot of potential and could do some really good things in a Rockies uniform.
Marquez and Senzatela both were impressive as well. Marquez, who was the second piece of the Corey Dickerson/Jake McGee trade, showed a lively fastball and quickly proved his talent. Senzatela was optioned after making the start today but showed that he can compete with major leaguers from his performances this spring.
These moves bring the Rockies spring roster to 46.
Note: the difference between an “option” and a “reassignment” is if the player is on the 40-man roster or not. If a player was optioned, he is on the 40-man roster and has used one of his three options back to the minor leagues. When a player is “out of options”, he has been optioned three times. If a player is reassigned, he is not on the 40-man.
As Spring Training rolls along, we’ll be continuing our weekly coverage of the position battles happening in the Colorado Rockies camp. To look at last week’s first base battle update, click here. We’ve looked at the shortstop, pitching staff and outfield competitions over the week. Here is the second update for the first base competition.